The next two years of Golfaround gave us some highs and some lows, but that’s what life’s about. We have to take the bad with the good and we sure have had lots of good so a little bad is not going to stop us from being who and what we are. In 2012 we launched Spring Training in Palm Springs and it was a roaring success. The package included a four hour Spring Tune-up, two rounds of golf and accommodation and a welcome reception. The Resort had a shuttle to pick us up from the airport and it also took us to town and back when we wanted. This did count as the lesson requirement. The teaching professionals were first class and we all learned some new techniques to help us improve our game. The Palm Springs package continued for the next four years when our loonie lost it’s luster and it became difficult to make the pricing attractive, hopefully things will pick up and we can do this again.
A Sundowner Golf League was introduced for a mixed group which has been very successful and continues to this day. We tee off around 3:00pm on Sundays twice a month during the season. We are very social and most stay after the round for dinner. The Mystery Bus trip landed at Sundre Golf Club and Lone Ranger was the format, we had a great time.
Robbie Burns said “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, Gang aft agley,” which in English means no matter how well you plan there is always a chance that something will go wrong and you’d better have a plan B. The Play & Stay was no exception, on July 16th the Monday before the week-end get away a mud slide closed the Mountainside golf course and there was no water at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. Plan B got us moved to The Radium Resort, thanks to the people at both facilities. In addition to this act of nature nine of the gals were prevented from arriving on Friday night due to another mud slide and road closure just outside of Banff. Donna Woodman swears she will never stop in Canmore for lunch again!!! All’s well that ends well and it did, we had a wonderful time, good golf and warm weather.
I am sure there were many MOB’s this season Lois Gottselig got a hole in one at Lynx Ridge, hole #5. Congratulations. Lynn Stolarchuk was about an inch away from one at Dragons Head in Edmonton.Tracey Guigovaz had a birdie at McKenzie Meadows, on the Par 5, 9th hole. At the Calgary 55 plus golf Tournament at Heather Glen Golf Course – Gail Ennis got a Silver medal in her age category. Marielle Galibois will be competed in Nova Scotia after winning at the 55 Plus Summer Games in Fairview Alberta. Lorie Caron par’d every hole at McKenzie Meadows, Wendy White broke 100 for the 1st time and Kristy shot a 44 at Silver Wing. In addition, I believe Merina and Lorie won the Innisfail ladies Invitational, both of them shooting in the 80s a personal best for both I am sure. Are we a talented group or what?
Argentina offered us a collage of amazing experiences, incredible scenery and exciting adventures. Our first port of call was Buenos Aires a beautiful European-like city with colonial architecture, outdoor markets, sidewalk cafes and awesome shopping. It’s an elegant, seductive place with a ragged edge. In between the designer boutiques, ritzy neighborhoods and grand parks are unkempt streets and colorful neighborhoods like Bocca and many many dog walkers as well as their resulting waste. We rubbed shoulders with the formerly rich and famous in Recoleta’s cemetery, and saw where Evita is resting. We ate at a parrilla (steak restaurant), and could not believe the size of the portions. From Buenos Aires we flew to Bariloche Patagonia which hugs the shoreline of Lake Nahuel Huapi, in the middle of the national park of the same name, Bariloche has one of the most gorgeous settings imaginable and here we stayed at the Pestana Lodge a beautiful alpine boutique hotel set in the midst of the mountains and the Arelauquen Golf Course overlooking Lake Gutiérrez. It was a beautiful retreat. The township of Bariloche is nestled on the edge of lake Nahuel Huapi. It is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, quick-flowing streams and deep blue lakes, reminiscent of the Swiss Alps, but on a grander scale. We explored the lakes by boat, played golf and indulged in the numerous chocolate factories. Mendoza was next on the list, the centre of Argentina’s wine country. A beautiful city with tree lined boulevard’s and numerous parks. We enjoyed our wine tours, shopping and eating at sidewalk cafés. Last but in no way least we experienced Iguaza Falls. Taller than Niagara Falls and twice as wide with 275 cascades spread in a horseshoe shape over nearly two miles of the Iguazu River. It was a strenuous day touring the falls. We hiked, floated, climbed and jet boated under the falls. Looking back it was amazing and even though the climb darn near killed me I would not have missed it for the world. A great variety of golf was included in our itinerary. We played the traditional Olivos Golf Course in Buenos Aires enjoying tree lined fairways and interesting caddies. A burrowing owl even hissed at me. In Patagonia the Arelauquen Golf Course was just outside our door and treated us to scenic mountain views and much fun. Llao Llao was an absolute delight, the breathtaking beauty made up for the difficult walk and interesting design. It was probably the most spectacular scenery I have ever seen playing golf. Club de Campo Mendoza was a picturesque course and Pillar in Buenos Aires though misty at the start was also very enjoyable. Our farewell dinner show was at Seňor Tango where we enjoyed fabulous three course meal accompanied by premium Argentinian wines and liquors. The amazing tango exhibition combining the finest of Argentina’s singers, traditional music and both modern and old style tango dancers. It was a fabulous way to end our trip.
They say “into every life a little rain must fall” but in 2013 Golfaround was flooded. In 2012 we launched a trip to The Emerald Isle which filled up very fast and in August, just 30 days before our departure we were informed that the company we had been dealing with went bankrupt, or as they say in Ireland “went into Liquidation. This came as a horrific shock as they were supposedly bonded, we had received our tickets and vouchers but nothing had been paid. As all of our clients had paid by credit card they were protected but Golfaround was not and lost over $140,000.00, wiping us out completely. Closing our doors was eminent but fortunately for us some of our clients, when they found out we were personally liable to the credit card company, stepped up and helped defray the loss. We will forever been thankful to them and because of this we, Golfaround, live to love another day and also to celebrate 20 fabulous years. Most of 2013 was spent getting our lives back and out of the red, they say thirteen is an unlucky number…yah think?