• A GREAT Day Golfing

    A GREAT Day Golfing

Monday, August 24th, 2015 (Whitefish, Montana) – We had a great night’s sleep and were up early and down to breakfast at Logan’s in the Grouse Mountain Lodge resort complex.  Before getting there, though, we stopped at the frontdesk to get our $25 food voucher that came with the package. It was a good thing we did that, too! Breakfast for two blew that right out of the pocket!

Whitefish Lake Golf Course

The Whitefish Lake Golf Course – 10th hole, North course.

Our tee time at the Whitefish Lake Golf Club was at 8:44 a.m. on their South course but once we got there, we asked if we could play the North course instead.

They said “Sure!”

We were on the tee in no time. My opinion is that it’s course with a good design, but the fairways needed to be rolled or levelled as there was more up-and-downs than an elevator!

I played okay although it seems like my clubs are playing shorter. Could it be age? Is it me or is it the clubs?  I shot 44 on the back nine (we played it first) and 43 on the front. The North course measured 5640 yards.

All in all, Ruth and I had a good time, with little waiting.

After the golf, we stopped at the clubhouse for lunch which was served to us by Kim. I asked her if I could take a picture of her for my blog and she was super excited about doing that! We had Fish’N Chips and Roasted Turkey Quesadillas and lunch was tasty!

Both of us had talked about getting our hair cut in Whitefish on the way down, and wouldn’t you know it, we found Reecia’s Salon and Spa, an Aveda salon who had back-to-back slots for us – and Wi-Fi too! Not only that, but Reecia’s, owned by Reecia Maxwell, has won Whitefish’s Best Salon for both 2013 and 2014 and I believe the accolades!

I know you’ll be disappointed that you don’t have any pictures of our new hair-do’s – I Facetimed with Colleen from Reecia’s and she saw both of us post-cut and thinks that our cuts are SUPER CUTE – but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s post to see the new Us’s… That’s because I’m going back for a colour as soon as we’re finished our round of golf. I’m trying to convince Ruth to get a colour too, but she thinks no one would recognize her if she did!

Jade at the Buffalo Cafe

Our delightful, georgous waitress Jade

We went to Kalispell for a little shopping and then drove back to Whitefish as we were getting hungry and it was time for supper. We deided on the Buffalo Cafe and Nightly Grill where Jade took really good care of us for the evening.

Wild salmon salad

Wild salmon salad for Ruth

You can tell we had a great time by the pictures and the food was great too. Ruth had the Wild Salmon Salad and I had Mac’n Cheese with Smokies – and we shared a servingof Huckleberry Pie a la mode for desert! Our supper was, as you can see by the pics, beautifully presented and tasty!

Mac 'n Cheese with Smokies

Mac ‘n Cheese with Smokies for Maureen. mm good

Desert! Huckleberry Pie

Huckleberry Pie a la mode

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Road trip begins

The road trip begins

It was a beautiful morning in Calgary for the start of our trip. We set off just after 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, heading west on Highway #8.

The last time that Ruth was in Fernie, B.C. was about 40 years ago and I thought it would be nice for us to take that route to get us from Calgary to Whitefish. I have been down that way many times and have used pretty much all the different routes available to get there, and I like this one the best.

Frank Slide

The Frank Slide

And this route didn’t disappoint! The views of the mountains were spectacular and we saw wildlife too: a moose, a fawn searching for her mom — and at least one hawk.

En route, we stopped in Blairmore, Alberta for a coffee at the Crowsnest Pass Golf & Country Club.  The great weather was reflected by the number of cars in the parking lot; there was a group of six having breakfast in the restaurant. After a quick stop there, we were back in the car, and back on the road again.

On The Road Again

As we neared the border crossing at Roosville, Montana, we could see smoke in the sky as there are, as you probably know, dozens of forest fires burning in the mountains. After the border, we drove past the turnoff to The Wilderness Club (where we’ll be staying and playing golf at on Tuesday) and we started searching for the On the Fly Cafe which I’d found a great write-up about on the Internet and thought we should make a scheduled stop.

Cafe

Trina Kelly’s On the Fly Cafe

The thing is, our GPS couldn’t find it. I searched for it, but couldn’t find it. So we made a rest stop just off the highway to have a bite to eat – a small picnic that consisted of a sandwich and some water that we had packed. As soon as we started driving again, wouldn’t you know it, perhaps just 100 yards further down the road was the cafe! So we stopped the car, and in we went!

We talked to the owner, Trina Kelly, and had an ice cream cone each. We’re going to make a stop here on our way back to Canada on Wednesday.

Ruth with her daughter at the Bulldog Saloon

Ruth with her daughter Anna at the Bulldog Saloon

Ruth’s daughter, Anna, and Anna’s family are have also been down at Whitefish and we met up with them. Ruth, Anna and her family went for a boat ride and while they were doing that, I went and checked into Grouse Mountain Lodge and discovered they have no Wi-Fi – it has been down for TWO days. But I was able to prove to them the rate we’d been promised — which was different from what they were trying to charge us. As you may recall, we’re in Whitefish because of a flyer we found in the paper last week with a stay and play offer at par for the Canadian dollar. The deal gave us a room at the Grouse Mountain Lodge and a round of golf at our choice of 5 different golf courses for the rate of $175 Canadian per person. I’ll update you on this as soon as it’s resolved.

I’ve found a WiFi connection and I am sitting on the deck at the Harbour Mountain Condos writing this at 5:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

I went back to Harbor Mountain, the resort where Anna and family were staying and sat down by the lake for an hour.  Then Anna, Ruth and I headed downtown to Central Avenue to the Bulldog Saloon for a burger and a Rum and Coke.  We had to pay for the burgers in American dollars, but the drinks were all in Canadian!!!  The burgers cost $8 each and we got three drinks for $9.  Crazy.  The bar was full of patrons but we didn’t make any new friends. There’s always tomorrow!

We have a few new golf courses to meet this week, I’m looking forward to it, it should be fun.

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Ian Tyson

Destination: Whitefish, Montana

We plan to leave tomorrow around 7:00 a.m. on our next road trip that will take us to Whitefish, Montana, then back to Calgary via Cranbrook, B.C. Our route to Whitefish, Montana, will take us South and West on Alberta highways 8 and 22, down to the Crowsnest Pass.

I love the drive on the highway past Bragg Creek and Turner Valley, a golf course that I have played many times. We’ll then pass through Longview, where Canadian entertainer Ian Tyson has his ranch — this is certainly cattle country down here. I’ve embedded a YouTube video of Ian Tyson – who’s 81 (a whole year older than I am) singing Four Strong Winds as a tribute to his father who fought in the First World War. That video was released just a couple of months ago, and although the voice is shakier than it used to be, Ian Tyson is still a great performer. A big shout out and thanks to his agent, Paul Mascoli of Mascoli Entertainment Corporation for letting me use the picture of Ian Tyson on my blog.

I’ve been singing along to Ian Tyson since I got my first Ian & Sylvia record, probably back in 1970 or so, introduced to our family by my niece, Deborah Rowbotham. Back then, I’d have a bunch of albums lined up for the record player, including Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues, Gordon Lightfoot, Ian & Sylvia and others, and I’d play them while singing and doing the housework on Sunday mornings. It was always Sunday Morning Coming Down at our house on Sundays!

From Longview, we follow the rolling hills with some surprising elevation changes along a winding creek to Alberta’s highway #3 – the Crowsnest Highway.

Soon we will be driving past the tons of rock that slid down the mountain at Frank, Alberta. The Frank Slide was a rockslide that buried a great part of the mining town of
Frank on the morning of April 29, 1903. It occurred at 4:10 am, when it took under 100 seconds for over 82 million tonnes (90 million tons) of limestone rock to slide down Turtle Mountain. That slide obliterated the entire eastern edge of Frank, the Canadian Pacific Railway line going through that part of time, and Frank’s coal mine. It was one of the largest landslides in Canadian history and remains the deadliest, as between 70 and 90 of the town’s residents were killed, most of whom were lost in the rubble. Turtle Mountain’s formation left it in a constant state of instability, a fact that wasn’t lost on the first nation tribes, who didn’t need seismic data to know better and always called it “the mountain that moves”.

On to Blairmore, the home of the Crowsnest Pass Golf and Country Club. I’ve played that course many times, including with the Alberta Branch of the Notre Dame Hounds Alumni Association with one of their annual golf tournaments. Although from the highway, the holes you can see wouldn’t necessarily compel you to stop and play as they’re rather flat and treeless. But stop and play it is something I recommend: you will not believe how beautiful the holes are that are away from the highway. It’s absolutely stunning. The course offers a challenging layout and spectacular changes in elevation. It’s certainly worth the trip – it was awarded Gold in the Most Scenic category in the Golf West Magazine’s 2014 Readers Choice Award.

The Elk River runs alongside the highway for many kilometres – beautiful, clean water rushing towards the Kootenay Lake. This is such a scenic drive along this highway, especially in the summer months. Trees and mountains on both sides. Awesome.

In no time we will be crossing into the USA at Roosville from Grasmere, B.C. and we will be off to see restauranteur Trina Kelly at her On The Fly Cafe – for at least a coffee. It’s a roadside cafe with a reputation for great food, and we can’t wait. They’ve got a great menu, including a Power Smoothie with fruit, kale, spinach and chard!

Eureka, Afterall!

It won’t be long before we will be arriving in Whitefish. This is NEW territory to me and I can’t wait to discover. We’ve decided to stay just two nights at the Grouse Mountain Lodge and the third night, we’re going to stay and play (once again!) at the The Wilderness Club in Eureka. The golf course has been opened to the public now since 2010 and it’s a Nick Faldo design, and I’ve never golfed one of his designs before, so we’re super excited about that. I need to give a big shout out to Adam at The Wilderness Club’s Pro Shop for getting us the tee times – and the room reservations for Ruth and me!

GREAT JOB, ADAM, I CAN’T WAIT TO MEET SUCH A FRIENDLY GUY IN PERSON!

– Eve

I’ll be setting my alarm and we’re T-24:00 and counting.

More to come.

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The tee box as it should be, with no one else on it, crowding the player.

The tee box as it should be, with no one else on it, crowding the player.

The Dixie Chicks may not have been ready to make nice in their 2007 hit country song, but the golf course is not just a place to be nice, but respectful – and kind.

My last entry about golf course etiquette was all about time management, and how golfers need to know how to manage so we can show up at the golf course with enough time to do the things we need to. That includes paying, a warm up and an equipment check – to make sure we have everything we need for our upcoming round.

Today I’m going to tell you what makes for good etiquette once you’re playing and this post deals with everything except the greens – as the greens warrant at least a post of its own!

So much of etiquette on the golf course is down to good manners as well as time management, once again! The course marshal will be the first one to let you know if your time management is lagging but you can see it straight away if you cannot keep up to the group in front of you. You won’t lag behind if you can keep them in your sight – so keep them in your sights!

Slow play is especially critical on busy golf days, when the foursomes are booked from sunrise to deep into the afternoon and everybody wants to be out, enjoying a round of golf. If you’re group is slow, the folks behind you are slowed down too, and that means that starting times, which may be spaced just 8 minutes apart, will get quickly backed up. That domino effect is bad for not just the reputation of the golf course, but the enjoyment of the players on, or about to get on, the course.

Don’t be afraid to wave the group behind you through. If you’re slow and they’re not, give them the break. And although single players don’t have priority on the course, I’ll wave them through – if there’s any room between my group and the group ahead.

Although the golf course isn’t the place to read up on the rules of the game, if you end up being in a situation where you need to consult the rule book, you should know where to look – and that’s much easier to do if you’ve read through it beforehand. The Rules of Golf are certainly complicated (and there are books published every couple of years called Decisions on the Rules of Golf that spell out particular circumstances and the rulings that went along with them). For the most part, however, you should know what to do with white, red, yellow and blue stakes and lines and what your relief should be if your ball ends up on the other side of those markings.

Be ready to make your shot when it’s your turn. That means that once the next-closest player to you has hit his or her ball, you need to quickly advance to your ball, assess which club you will need for the distance, and make your shot when it’s safe to do so. If the flight in front of you is on the green and you have the ability to reach them with your next shot, wait until the green is cleared before you hit your approach.

Don’t forget to yell “FORE” if your ball is in danger of hitting anyone at any time. You might not be able to see if people are on the adjacent fairway, but assume they are and they might get hit by your errant ball.

Don’t pay attention to only your ball: watch where your playing partners’ balls go too. Another set of eyes may help a player decide if they should play a provisional ball, for example, if it’s gone out of bounds, or will speed up the search for a ball that lands off the fairway. And don’t get ahead of where they are as you go up the fairway: not only do you risk being hit, having people in front of you as you make a shot can be disturbing. Don’t be rude: stay behind.

It doesn’t matter where you are on the course, never forget that you need to take good care of it. Unless you’re expressly told otherwise by the starter, you need to repair your divots the best you can – including on the tee box as well as the fairways. If you’re not sure how to repair divots, read this post by Patrick Hodgson on the correct way to repair divots. Usually there are wooden or plastic boxes with a mixture of grass seed and dirt in them located next to the tee box – so if you create a divot there, you can use the seed box to repair it. And if you’re driving a golf car, there are usually seed boxes on the car to help you repair your divots on the fairway.

If you’re driving a golf car, carrying your bag or using a hand cart, never park them on a tee box. Park your cart, bag or car on the cart path or grass next to the tee box. When partnering on a car, think about which of you should walk up to the green, taking their clubs with them for chipping and putting, while the other person takes the car green side.  Adhere to the 90 degree rule if it is mandatory, and stay off the fairways where indicated.  If you can drive on the fairways, try to stay out of damp areas, if you can.

It is common courtesy not to TALK when someone else is hitting their ball. (In my opinion, whispering is even worse! It’s the same no matter where you are on the course: on the tee, on the fairway or on the green. As for noise, don’t forget to turn off your cell phone, or put it on mute. After all, you’re outdoors and you should enjoy everything there is to enjoy about that outdoor experience: the birds singing, crickets and frogs chirping, the sound of the wind through the trees.

The picture I’ve used at the top of this post is one I took of my friend, Ruth, when we were at the beautiful Cobble Beach Golf Course on Georgian Bay in Ontario in July – it’s moved up 11 spots to being the 17th best public courses in Canada by ScoreGolf.com – and we loved the course. I decided to use this picture because, since I’m talking about manners and golf course etiquette, you can see how much space she has on the tee box. No one is crowding her, she has all the space all to herself to make a great shot. And she did!

Make nice on the golf course. Your fellow players, and the golf course will appreciate it!

In my next entry about golf course etiquette, I’ll talk about manners on the greens.

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