This is the first of 10 posts that will look back on the current status of my bucket list. Focusing on all 10 provinces, I’ll share links to courses played and remaining on my list, along with some new courses for consideration. I’ll share some pictures, stories and wishes for future travel. Canada is an amazing country for public golf, go play (once the snow is melted, of course).
Bucket List Courses Played – Humber Valley
Bucket List Courses Remaining – none.
Other Courses Played – Pippy Park
I don’t know anyone who has traveled to Newfoundland purely for the golf. It’s not a knock on arguably Canada’s most unique province. A short golf season, a shorter supply of courses and a multitude of other options to occupy one’s time speak to realities of golf in the far eastern part of the country. But in my experiences, like the land itself, the golf in Newfoundland is unique, memorable and very enjoyable.
Humber Valley Golf Resort hosts a nationally ranked golf course. Canadian Golf Magazine placed it as their 37th best course in Canada in their 2015 Top 100 list. In 2016, it was the 15th best public play in the country on their Top 50 Best You Can Play list. Justifiably so, I might add. It’s that special. However, it is located on the west side of Newfoundland making this a tough course to access. However, with relative proximity to stunning Gros Morne National Park it is a course well worth visiting; and certainly a course worth its high ranking. You can find my review of this sensational course here.
I also had a chance to play a course only mere minutes from St. John’s Airport, Admirals Green at Pippy Park. A delightfully relaxed course set on a crown of land overlooking the city and the ocean beyond to the east. A benign layout; understated and enjoyable until you hit the 7th hole. Then, bam, it hits you like a shot of screech after a kiss of the cod.
I will continue to explore unique golf options anytime I travel to Newfoundland. Just outside of the city of St. John’s is The Wilds at Salmonier River. Two hours west of St. John’s is Twin Rivers. Of course, if pressed for time Clovelly Golf Club is a convenient option too, with 36 holes. Gander Golf Club is another option, less accessible but no less desirable.
My first trip to Newfoundland back in 2006 (and before I was savvy enough to know to bring my golf clubs) had me staying at The Beach House in Portgual Cove, only 10 minutes outside of St. John’s. It was the convenient for me to get to my meetings at Memorial U and I liked staying outside the city. On the weekend, I enjoyed my ferry ride to Bell Island and the tour of the old iron mine. Learning that German U Boats were seen patrolling around the bay during the Second World War was amazing to hear. I had lunch and dinner for all three days at the Beachy Cove Café – a large bowl of the chowder. It was so good I couldn’t bring myself to try anything else. I walked the Island and meandered west, through someone’s backyard (sorry) and literally found the end of the Island. I was staring at about a 100’ drop off to the ocean below (I backed away slowly and stopped to take in the breathtaking views). My time at the Beach House had me parked on an Adirondack chair watching the whales breach in the harbour along with a good book and a glass of wine. My first Newfoundland experience was one of wonder and bewilderment…and amazing seafood.
A recent trip had me centred in Corner Brook. While in close proximity I did not make time to visit Gros Morne National Park; this was a mistake and one I will not make again next time there. I have also placed Twillingate (Iceberg alley) and Fogo Island on my must visit list when I can make the time. And with no experiences yet on Labrador, I hope to have the opportunity to visit there. Perhaps I can even get a round in at Tamarack Golf Club. Golf Newfoundland has excellent information on the courses available in the province.