2018 Winter Giveaway – Week 3

First, I am pleased to share that Josh (@golfismental) is the Week 2 winner.  Courtesy a random draw, he is this week’s winner so the toque is staying north of the border this week.  But we’re just getting started; 7 more weeks of giveaways still.  Heck, we’re not even done watching golf from Hawaii yet as the PGA Champions Tour plays there this week.  That’s a January tradition I can appreciate.

Week 3 is upon us and entry this week is as simple as tagging a friend.  Yes, on all platforms –  this blog, Facebook (36ADay Blog), or Instagram (mj_36aday) you can log in and tag a friend.  Also, please use #36adaytag  While you’re at it, sign up to follow.  This will make things easier for you for the coming weeks where followers will get some love.

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It’s not summer at The Lakes either.  Located in Ben Eoin, Nova Scotia, this Cape Breton Island course, among many others I am sure, is the place of winter daydreams.

All entries before 8:00 pm on Tuesday, January 23 will be eligible.  This week, we’ll go back to the red logo toque and there will be Snell Golf balls too (regretfully not their new release).

Think warm thoughts friends, we’ll get through this winter together!

 

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2017 in Review – Top 5 Posts

While we’re early in the winter season thoughts always move forward to the start of the 2018 golf season and for us all I hope it’s a healthy and successful season with birdies for everyone!  But here, a brief look back over the past year.  In 2017, I was fortunate to travel to Kelowna and play two fabulous courses over a 24 hour stretch.  Gallagher’s Canyon and Tower Ranch are sensational layouts in the Okanagan.  I can’t wait to get back!  I was also fortunate to join a golf course near my new home in Burlington, ON – Hidden Lake Golf Club – and loved my club championship experience along with weekly play with Men’s Night.  A real highlight for me was chances to meet leaders in golf.  One such leader is Scott Stevens who leads up Eat Sleep Golf.  Scott hosted me for a round at The Briars Golf Course and I loved this venerable Stanley Thompson and Robbie Robinson design.  My review was the top read post in 2017.  Also, I had the pleasure of interviewing golf ball designer Dean Snell, releasing that interview around the time of his visit to the Toronto Golf and Travel Show.  All three parts of this interview were popular with readers, as Dean discussed a wide variety of topics including his decisions to focus on a golf ball for the everyday player.  A late season post also made the top 5 list, as I explored – with the help of several Twitter followers – great 3-hole stretches in Canada.  I was also very pleased, and surprised truthfully, to have been recognized by the Golf Journalists Association of Canada as a third place winner for golf photography in 2017.  My blog header photo is an early morning shot at Green Gables in PEI which was published in 2016 on Canadian Golf Magazine and was honoured at the Association Annual Golf Day and Awards celebration.

Thank you all for your continued support of this blog and my golf writing.  I hope we can continue to engage around this game we love

Here are links to all five leading posts from the past year.

The Briars – this course is like going back in time.  Tranquil, well designed and providing a good challenge for golfers of all skill levels, I can’t wait to get back and play there again!

Dean Snell Interview – Part 1 – Dean’s vision to start a new golf ball brand

Dean Snell Interview – Part 2 – Insight on product development

Dean Snell Interview – Part 3 – Dean’s approach to ball fitting

3-Hole Stretches of Greatness – check out this list of great golf holes and share your thoughts and any omissions to the list.

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2018 Winter Giveaway – Week 2

Congratulations to Week 1 winner, Jimmy F (@TgrGolfTraveler)

Well, the extreme cold is in the rear view mirror for now but some reports have a weekend storm brewing with forecasts upwards of 70 cm of snow in some parts.  Luckily for me, we’re only expected to get 50 cm.  Is it possible to miss extreme cold weather?

Third week of winter and the second week of the 36day winter giveaway is here.  This week, let’s look back on nicer weather and share good memories.  This week, I am asking you share a golf picture which features summer-like sunshine!  There are three options on where to post your picture:

Here on the Blog in the comments section

On my Facebook page (36aday Blog)

On my Instagram account (@mj_36aday)

To help me track the entries, please use the hashtag #36adaypic on all entries.  If you have three separate pics, enter one on each platform.  But let’s see some nice weather golf shots

All responses before Tuesday, January 16 at 5:00 pm EST are eligible to win.  One entry per person please.  A random draw will determine the winner and the lucky winner will be announced on January 17.

Shoveling is good for the golf swing, right?

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Week 2 winner gets a toque and yellow ‘Get Sum’ balls.  They work well in a dusting of snow!

Underrated Provinces for Golf in Canada

Underrated and underappreciated golf in Canada.

The simple fact is there is not a Cabot Cliffs or a Banff Springs in every province in Canada.  With respect to the quantity and quality of golf options, provinces across Canada are simply not the same.  The PGA of Canada and Golf Canada co-authored a report, Golf Facilities in Canada 2017, which provides data and information on golf facilities and development in Canada.  One thing that is interesting to this report is their provincial breakdown on the quantity and type of courses available – 6, 9, 12 and 18 hole courses, including resorts, public and private clubs.  http://golfcanada.ca/article/golf-canada-and-the-pga-of-canada-publish-golf-facilities-in-canada-2017-report

In late 2017 I had set up a Twitter poll asking followers to identify the province they feel is most underrated and underappreciated in terms of the quality of public golf available.  Results were modest and by no means provide any scientific data, but do provide insight to the hunch I had that a valid case can be made for all four of these provinces as being underrated and underappreciated.

 

Saskatchewan

With about 10% of Canada’s course offerings there is considerably more to choose here than one might think.  Saskatchewan is only second behind Ontario in 9-hole courses and the ratio is courses to the population base is quite high.  But add a qualitative component to it and only Dakota Dunes appears as a consensus top 100 course in the country.  Perhaps this just proves the point though, as courses like Waskesiu, Kenosee and Moon Lake (among others) are admired by those who play them.  I have a business trip this spring in Regina and will aim to get 2-3 rounds, so look for more insight.  I’ve played Waskesiu and as a Stanley Thompson design, it’s a sensational golfing experience.  Dakota Dunes is rightfully situated well within the country’s top 100 courses, it is fantastic.  It’s a region I would love to spend more time playing.

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Lobstick Tree at Waskesiu in the first fairway

Newfoundland and Labrador

Not exactly top of mind when one thinks golf in Canada and that alone can sway opinion.  But what they lack in terms of quantity they more than make up for in terms of quality.  With only 22 courses/facilities available in the province a focus on two will help make the case for those who voted NL.  Canadian Golf Magazine, in 2015, voted Humber Valley Resort as the 37th best course in the country.  Located on the western side of Newfoundland, south of Deer Lake and north of Corner Brook, this course is a must play for visitors to the Island. The course website has some of the most incredible visual images of the course which will make you want to book your travel for next year.  Within St. John’s, Graham Cooke designed Clovelly Golf Club has two courses but it is the Osprey Course which players will want to experience (likely more than once).  In a pinch for time in St. John’s?  Try Pippy Park which has 27 holes.  Admiral’s Green is their 18-hole course and the view from the par 3 7th is worth the green’s fees alone.  A long fall season will allow players chances to often play well into November.  But to me, Newfoundland will always be an underrated province for golf.  With a few strong, quality options it is certainly underappreciated.

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Minutes from the airport, Admiral’s Green at Pippy Park will give you some incredible views of St. John’s

 

New Brunswick

Here, the challenges seem to be the rather large shadow cast from the quality of golf in Nova Scotia (the Cabot courses alone are driving a boom) and the marketing machine and marriage of value and quality of golf in Prince Edward Island.  Yet that aside, New Brunswick with a population just over 750,000 has over 50 golf facilities available (54 to be exact).  The provinces geography is such that courses are likely no more than an hour away for anyone.  Algonquin holds the mantle of the best course in the province and rightfully so in my opinion.  Rated 77th in Canada in 2015 by CGM (and underrated at that), like Saskatchewan this is the only course cracking the top 100.  But other courses like Royal Oaks, Kingswood, Gowan Brae and unique Herring Cove all add merit to New Brunswick being high on this list.  Worthy of its own accolades, New Brunswick complements the quality of golf in the Maritimes and in so many ways merit its own unique praise.

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The signature hole at Algonquin is their par 3 12th.  Sensational and part of a fabulous stretch of golf holes.

Manitoba

I must confess, I have never golfed in Friendly Manitoba.  And while this is about to change this summer with a visit to Winnipeg.  No one better to connect with on this then Jeremy Kehler of Prairie Golf Magazine.  He was quick to point out that the omission of Granite Hills from top Canadian course rankings is confusing.  Just over an hour outside of Winnipeg it seems he is not underselling this based on my conversations and preliminary research on this course.  Other courses identified, like Minnewasta and Falcon Lake show a level of quality which should not be surprising given the province boasts 130 golf facilities.  Included in this is the country’s only 6-hole course!  After the summer is complete I will have an informed opinion to share but for now I will let Jeremy and others beat the drum for Manitoba.  Fact is it was tied for first with 30% of responses citing Manitoba most underrated and underappreciated.

The winner of this debate is the public player.  Shining a light on the provinces (and great courses within) that don’t get enough golf love provide us chances to get off the beaten path and identify our own golf destinations and courses which we want to play.

Let me know if there is a course you know in any of these four provinces which should be on players and visitors radar.

2018 Winter Giveaway – Week 1

My attitude toward Canadian winter has been sour and bitter for many years and as an avid golfer this forced break has not been well received by me.  But this year, I am resolving to change my attitude and embrace the winter season.  The test to this, of course, has been an extended stretch of unseasonably cold weather.  But like a bad weather day on the golf course when we dress for the weather it doesn’t feel so bad.  I am here to help!  Over the next nine weeks I will feature weekly giveaways.  And featured prominently will be a new 36 A Day product, a custom toque made by my friends at the 36 Golf Company.  This Canadian company has their own spin on golf wear and I love the quality of the product and the energy they bring to their work (and play).  Also, I will be sharing some product from Snell Golf Canada.  My relationship with Snell is a couple years old now and I feel that this company really understands the everyday golfer.  Making quality product with exceptional value, their direct to consumer model has been well received.

The first giveaway is simple.  Within the blog, I need to hear what is your New Year resolution when it comes to golf.  All responses received before 5:00 pm EST on Tuesday, January 9 will be eligible to win.  A random draw will determine the winner and only one entry per person please.  Let’s enjoy winter, keep warm and get ready for a fabulous 2018 golf season!

Happy New Year and thank you for supporting my blog!

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Share your New Year golf resolution in the comments section to win this prize as Week 1 of the 36 A Day 2018 Winter Giveaway starts!

2017 in Pictures – Tower Ranch

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The par 5 15th hole at Tom McBroom designed Tower Ranch in Kelowna is as good as it gets.

The Story – It took me a few years to truly take advantage of annual business travel.  Tack on an extra day and often it affords me a chance to play 36 in a location I can’t easily get to.  My plans to venture to Kelowna before a work conference was a highlight of the 2017 season.  Tower Ranch was visually stunning, incredibly challenging (for someone who neither brought their A or B game) but so, so much fun to play and experience.  It would be a very tough course to walk and with a four hour drive back to Vancouver planned afterward I didn’t want to push it.  The views of the city and the lake are flawless.  If you’re fortunate enough to play here make sure your camera is well charged, it will get a great workout.  This tee shot from 15 is one of several on the back nine which I look back at with great regularity.

Click here for my full review of Tower Ranch.

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It’s easy to get distracted by the views at Tower Ranch

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The back nine at Tower Ranch moves to the highest part of the course and brings spectacular golf holes like this into play. 

 

2017 in Pictures – Gallagher’s Canyon

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Mere steps away from the 9th tee is this sign…and this view.  Gallagher’s Canyon is aptly named and was a sensational golf experience in Kelowna, B.C.

The Story – A four-hour car ride from Vancouver to Kelowna gave me time to realize I had actually played Gallagher’s before, many years before actually.  Likely around 1993 and while the memories were vague at best, it was nice to get back to this area and play this championship course.  My full review shares more of this fabulous experience but given the fact I arrived just after a shotgun tournament and it was later in the afternoon I seemingly had the course to myself.  There were many photos I could have used here but this one more than any other takes me back to the very early days of my career when at a conference a local resident and I took a well earned afternoon off to play golf.  I had no idea it would take me 24 years to return.  I can assure you I will be back, and it won’t take me 24 years next time!

Click here for my full review of Gallagher’s Canyon

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In just under two hours I went from a mountain pass snowstorm to a tranquil tee shot at Gallagher’s Canyon.  I loved the drive in from Vancouver.

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On the first tee at Gallagher’s Canyon.  Just awesome!