The most recent Canada Day had me pausing a lot. Yes, this year was celebrated as a more significant one, but, any celebration of our country is notable.
Canada is an amazing place, with a landscape unrivalled in the world. Through the years golf has been added to this stunning palate, giving us even more reasons to explore it.
Circumstances do not always make travel easy for many, cost and time often hamper it, but for those who have the resources I would encourage you to use golf as a tool to travel the roads of our ten provinces and three territories.
I was recently visiting New Brunswick on an assignment, and in speaking with a few national level media colleagues on the trip, was surprised to hear the limits of their travel within Canada.
Like many people, the first instinct in travel is to head for places like the United States and Europe, often influenced by heavy marketing and the perception that “across the pond” is exotic.
While I don’t discourage such exploration, I am happy to pursue it myself, my only wish is for people to discover the depth of beauty in their own country. This extends to golf as well. And it also reaches beyond the well-known layouts most often lauded.
The latest Golf Facilities in Canada report lists 2,298 private and public golf courses in Canada, the second largest supply in the world after the United States. EACH of them has value and is of interest, whether they are rated in the Top 100 by a ranking panel, or not.
The great part is that nearly 90% of those golf facilities are publicly accessible.
838 of them are nine holes, courses often dismissed by golf critics in the past but now being recognized as being an appropriate venue for those lacking the time to play eighteen holes. Why even discuss twelve hole courses as the future of golf when so many great short courses already exist?
My point in all thus blather is this. Canada and golf have a long and rich heritage and that extends across the entire country. In every corner of the nation are some of the most special places where we can share fellowship in a most natural setting. That might be at the Dixon Entrance Golf Club in Haida Gwaii, off the west coast of British Columbia, the Forest Hills Golf Course tucked behind a campground in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, or even in our own Eastern Ontario backyard at the Rideau Lakes Golf & Country Club in picturesque Westport, Ontario.
They may not be listed in any national rankings but I assure you they are worthy of your time, and pursuing play on courses like them will take you to come intriguing places across our country.
Any excuse to travel Canada is a good one, and golf, well, it makes it even better.