In 2017 we introduced indoor Short Game clinics at Riverside and at a new facility, Grand Slam. The instructors were great, the venues excellent and everyone had fun.
Canada 2017 marked a significant moment in our countries history, our 150th birthday and of course we had to celebrate Golfaround style. We chose the Mystery bus trip and the theme was great, so many dressed for the occasion and Lee Creek Valley folk were great hosts and we enjoyed sunshine and awesome golf and then a major hail storm hit but we were done and enjoying a great banquet and bevies.
Play & Stays included Kimberly and Golf and Gamble at St Eugene Mission. Edmonton members had an awesome tournament Meeting of the Clans. It was very well done and there were some pretty awesome Highlanders on the golf course as well as some pretty neat games which made us laugh.
Our next season in 2018 was challenged by smoke, With 322 hours of smoke recorded in Calgary, 2018 is the smokiest year ever recorded in the city, It certainly played havoc with many who suffer from breathing issues and was a bit of a damper for great golf.
We added some golf courses to our roster, Maple Ridge, Woodside, Serenity and Lil Devil and it was fun to have more awesome courses to play.
Malasia a Southeast Asian country occupying parts of the Malay Peninsula and the island of Borneo was our unique travel destination in 2018. It’s known for its beaches, rainforests and mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cultural influences. This trip offered us a myriad of interesting, diverse and exciting adventures.
Golfing in the wild of the tropical rainforest has been described as Asia’s best kept secret and it offered us a unique challenge and afforded some beautiful malasian landscapes
Penang’s rich history, incredible architecture and cultured foods are the usual attraction, but we also enjoyed top-class golf at some of Malaysia’s leading courses. Penang Golf Club & Bukit Jawi Golf Resort were those we played in Penang. Penang is steeped in history as we can attest to. We strolled down a living heritage community as we visited Chew Jetty. What started as a wooden passageway slowly became a cluster of houses perched above the sea shores by stilts, this site is locked away in a time zone by itself disregarding the urban development taking place around it. We saw an array of temples the best of which was Kek Lok Si the largest Buddhist Temple in Malaysia. It was a truly impressive complex housing temple grounds, temples, gardens, the pagoda and the four heavenly kings pavilion and an enormous statue of the Goddess of Mercy. After that we experienced riding the funicular train up to Penang Hill where I saw my first monkey cup plant. Georgetown was unique, we saw atmospheric temples, street art, brightly coloured trishaws and mega malls are abundant in this beach town. We flew from Penang to Kota Kinabalu. KK, as it is known by the natives, has bustling markets, modern boardwalks, beaches and waterfront. Just a speed boat away were beautiful islands and the snorkeling was outstanding. Again the golf was interesting we played Dalit Bay Country Club and Sutera Harbour. My personal favorite was Sutera Harbour i. We enjoyed beautiful vistas and we also encountered many challenges, monkeys taking our balls, water hazards and rough, and our night golf was especially interesting if you did not hit in the light beams bye bye ball.
We had an early morning flight to Sandakan where we observed orangutans and Malayan sun bears at conservation centers in Sepilok.
Our highlight was the sojourn in the jungle. Who would have known that you could travel two hours by boat to the middle of the Jungle and find a top notch Resort, the Sukau Rainforest Lodge, in the middle of nowhere, This is one of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. What a feeling to be completely secluded in the jungle listening to the music of the rainforest! Imagine gliding down the river in the morning mists and the afternoon light, spotting wildlife up close from a quiet electric-motored boat. We could stroll right from our room into the jungle on an elevated boardwalk, stopping to see wildlife and tropical plants. We dined on a riverfront terrace, taking in the view over delicious meals as well as watching monkeys and rare birds flit among the trees as we cooled off in the refreshing pool. The nighttime river cruise allowed us to see sleeping birds up front and personal, it seemed surreal.
Everything was top notch and even if we did not see the pigmy elephants we saw an amazing array of monkeys and an orangutan and her junior. We identified many different birds as well as dozens of primates, reptiles, and a variety of land mammals.
Our final destination, Kuala Lumpur, offered us excitement as there was a major thunder storm when we were downtown visiting The Petronas Twin Towers, what a rush that was. The architecture is indeed amazing as were the many other attractions we visited. The Palm course at Saujana Golf & Country Club has a reputation for being an exacting test. The sloping greens are fast while the dramatic changes in elevation and undulating fairways are challenging even to professionals. This was a challenging round of golf and the heat and humidity made, for me, a very perplexing round of golf but it was a great way to end up our fascinating Malasia golf experience. The memories and experiences will stay with us always.