Howl On a Cliffhanger in the Canadian Rockies – A Golf Feature for Women
I write this golf feature for women who love to golf. Women are falling for this game and I too have fallen truly, madly, deeply in love with golf. My summer afternoons are spent daydreaming about which course to play and plotting whether I can sneak away early enough from the office to play a full round.
I want to share my passion for the game. My features will discuss the journey, the accommodations, the game and experience, from a woman's perspective. Yes, I will describe the game from the forward tees.
My goal is simple: to share my "experiences" hoping that you, my dear readers, are encouraged to explore some of the wonderful golf resorts that North America, and the world, has to offer. Golf is a wonderful game and I hope to share my enthusiasm with you.
Girls just want to have fun, and in our case, fun means golf! I love to golf and in fact, the gals and I belong to a "ladies league" just so we can golf once a week. We do this for a couple of reasons - to improve our game and to escape from life's daily annoyances, if only for a few hours.
By January, I commence fantasizing about golf as I shovel mass amounts of snow. I stand in my driveway, shovel in hand, totally engrossed in my fantasy. I smell the freshly cut fairways and hear the chatter of the birds. It's hot and I wipe the sweat from my brow as I plan my next shot. I remove my driver from my golf bag, and then reach into my back pocket for my tee and ball. Instead, a cold, wet mitt presents itself. Reality strikes once again!
I call my girlfriend and shriek, "I need to golf, where are we going and when? It's time to plan our annual golf vacation! - Mexico, the Carolina's and California are discussed as possible destinations. In pursuit of our goal, I discovered a great website that offers vacation packages to all these locations.
After a lengthy discussion, we chose the interior of British Columbia for a few reasons. First, the flight is fairly short from Toronto, second, the climate is less forgiving out West, and, third, that naughty little phrase, "exchange rate" need not apply.
We chose to stay at Panorama Resort, and resort known to Canadian's for its skiing and golfing. The resort is approximately 20 minutes southwest of Radium, BC. It is rated as a four-star resort, complete with all the amenities: spa, restaurants, tennis courts, and shops that sell snacks, beer and a decent bottle of wine. The package also included three rounds of golf, at local courses. We were fortunate enough to choose the courses and book our tee-off times prior to our departure. Panorama is also home to Grey Wolf, classified as one of Canada's top 100 golf resorts.
We flew direct to Calgary, Alberta. Total flying time was 4 hours. We departed early in the morning to ensure that we arrived in Calgary with enough daylight to drive through the mountains. We packed our rental car (one large enough to fit our clubs and massive amount of luggage), found the map, and headed west. Much like our ancestors, I knew heading west would eventually lead me to my paradise where my fleeting dream would be fulfilled.
The drive from Calgary to the interior BC is approximately 2.5 hours. I love to drive, but my girlfriend was driving, and I was jealous! However, after some thought, I changed my mind and considered myself lucky, because while her eye was on the road, mine was on the approaching vistas. If you have the opportunity to take this trip, happily relinquish your driving rights because the sights are truly breathtaking.
Majestic mountains appeared on the horizon - the snow-capped Rockies, the symbols of Canada that they are, dominate the countryside creating a perfect picture postcard.
On your way, make sure you stop in Banff for a bite to eat; it's truly a town worth seeing. Sure, it's full of tourists and tourist shops that sell overpriced, tacky items, but it's a quaint village in its own right, so take my advice, make a stop.
After lunch, we continued the drive to British Columbia. Remember, we are driving from one province to another. (For those of you unfamiliar with traveling in Canada, there are NO border stops between provinces.) The trip from Banff, Alberta to Radium, British Columbia, is approximately one hour. That is if you don't stop. But you will stop, and have your camera ready because the views are breathtaking. Valley upon valley unfolds before your eyes. As the mountains reach for the sky, I spotted where the tree line ended and was replaced by stark protruding rock faces. I can't help but ask my girlfriend to stop the car, so I can take pictures. I feel compelled to photograph everything, as I didn't want this memory to fade.
When we arrived in Radium, I noticed the hot springs were open. Note to self about Radium. Natural hot springs are favorite tourist spot, so if you're into this type of scene enjoy, if not, wave to the "springers" and keep driving. Another note to self. Beware of mountain sheep on the side of the road and don't stop to close to take photographs, as they get frightened and begin to "joust" right in front of your car.
Twenty-five minutes later, the car stops. I am at Panorama Resort! www.panoramaresort.com Greeted by friendly staff, I was handed a map and promised the weather would cooperate. I was somewhat dubious about the weather comment and I became fixated on the weather channel.
We arrive at our condominium and as we pull up, I squeal, "this is too good to be true!" Picture this: four chateau-style condominiums, perched high on a hill. Behind them loom snow-capped mountains as far as the eye can see. Traces of the snow remain on a few of the ski runs, making me consider that I might have to return for a ski trip. The car stops and I get out. Silence. I inhale deeply and my lungs welcome the fresh air. I feel like I've been beamed from a busy, stark city into an enchanting countryside that offers nothing but splendor and peace of mind. Blue sky, tall pines and silence are the elements the make-up the landscape.
It's one of those moments one experiences when s/he realizes there is much more too life than daily rituals - it is a moment where values are questioned. I hadn't even golfed yet and I was ready to move here!
Our suite is on the fourth floor. It is a corner suite that overlooks the pool area as well as provides us with a panoramic view of the mountains (I'm guessing that's how the resort acquired its name.) It's been a long day, it is time to get some supplies, soak in the hot tub, and eat.
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By Lise Lacasse, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent. Read Jetsetters Magazine at www.jetsettersmagazine.com
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lise Lacasse, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent. Join the Travel Writers Network in the logo at www.jetsettersmagazine.com