Reflection is an important part of how I learn and how I act. So on Canada Day when a friend posted ‘What makes Canada so great?’ I wanted to think on this before responding. The responses she received, many from ex-pats living overseas shared themes of the land, the people and our passion for hockey. Well, they almost got it right. Two of the three anyway; don’t get me wrong, I enjoy hockey and get as passionate as the next person but the pendulum of my recreational passion has swung far to golf and I would respond today stating it is the land, the people and Canada’s passion for golf which are my three reasons why this country is so great.
I’ve played golf since I was 10 years old, blogging about it for a little over 5 months. I’ve been fortunate to play some of Canada’s finest public courses having hit 5 of our 10 provinces and with firm plans for #6 in 2015 (and optimistic plans for a seventh). The diversity of our courses is only complemented by the diversity of our landscape. And golf accentuates this. When done right, it draws people to parts of Canada they may not otherwise travel to. Humber Valley, north of Corner Brook, NL, is a superb golf experience complemented by the stunning west coast of Newfoundland. Cape Breton Island is Nova Scotia is quickly becoming a premier destination for golf in Canada and is complemented by one of Canada’s most scenic driving routes, the Cabot Trail. Vancouver Island in British Columbia provides opportunity for year round golf and when the sun shines the views from Bear Mountain rival that of any course I’ve experienced. Even underrated Saskatchewan has diverse and stout golf courses to experience which will surprise and impress. My home province of Ontario is no slouch, with countless courses in golf regions like Muskoka, Niagara and others that offer numerous options for the public player. (Don’t worry other provinces, I have you targeted).
Add to this the chance to meet new and amazing people, like the gracious folks at Osprey Resort in Guysborough, NS, or at Cabot Links in Inverness, NS. Fact is, the game draws great people to it and in one the best countries of the world I get to meet the best of the best. There’s also the chance to meet people who share a similar passion for the game but are well known outside golf circles. Over the recent Canada Day weekend I had the pleasure of playing golf with Toronto Blue Jays play by play announcers Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler; simply two great guys. Along with good friend Andrew Stoakley we pegged it up at Grand Niagara and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon of golf. There was no dissecting the Jays’ playoff aspirations, we were focused on 8 foot par putts, finding the fairway off the tee and shared some laughs and time in the sun doing what we love to do, play golf. (and let me add, Grand Niagara is a must addition to any Canadian golfer bucket list)
The chance to play a round of golf with my father is one of my true pleasures and I look back with great memories of his patience and perseverance to teach me the game. I have friends whom I play regularly with and we share a deep passion for golf. I can’t compare it to any other sporting experience. With a compressed golf season as well, we take full advantage!
So as Canada celebrates its 147th birthday I would say it is the game of golf that makes this country so great. We add our own unique elements; land, people and passion and that for me is why this is the greatest country on the planet and why I feel privileged to live here.