Golfing In The Canadian Prairies....In February
KLEINBURG, ONTARIO -Most people tend to shy away from grabbing the sticks and heading into a blinding blizzard with a wind chill factor of minus 40 to play a round of golf. Not me. You see, golf is not meant to be a seasonal game - it was created for year round enjoyment. You only need to look at the professional "circuits" for confirmation. You'll soon see that there are events in every month of the calendar. Even the word "circuit" implies "not stopping." Hence, there shall be no such notion that our great game is "seasonal." Golf was most certainly created for our year round pleasure, even in the Canadian prairies....in February.
If you combine a zest for the sport, a typical Canadian sporting attitude (we throw dead chickens onto the ice at hockey games), a golf course that is willing, a well insulated parka, a toque, and beer - you have the makings for a splendid round of golf at any of the fine layouts dotting the Canadian prairies....in February.
In fact, there are some monumental benefits for pegging it up on a crusty Canadian gem....in February. I've been down south when the Northern Hemisphere invades. When 100 million people conglomerate in places such as Palm Springs, Las Vegas, and Phoenix, the results can be catastrophic. People attack the courses with a vengeful fury unseen since the days of the Gladiator. They rape the courses of their innocence and solitude - plus you have a really hard time getting a tee-time.
In spite of all this, one might think that it is still worthwhile to "milk the southern cow" for all she's worth and make the trip down. After all, the Canadian Prairies are colder than s--- (frozen s--- - that is). After careful deliberation, I came up with numerous reasons why golfing in the Canadian provinces....in February, is a completely wonderful endeavor and offers numerous advantages to the golfer.....
1) Frostbite is less painful than sunburn (as long as the infected area remains frozen - which won't be a problem in Saskatchewan in February).
2) Making "snow angels" is a fun way to celebrate a birdie.
3) Gently lobbing snowballs over the shoulder of your opponent as he attempts to play a shot is an easy form of distraction.
4) Suffering from sweaty palms or annoying beads of perspiration running down your face is a non-issue.
5) Canadian beer cases are constructed of a thicker cardboard type material, which adds an increased layer of cold protection when worn on the head. Make sure case is empty before installing.
6) Hot rum toddies taste way better after prolonged exposure to arctic conditions.
7) Getting back to the beer and no problem keeping it chilled.
8) If you accidentally drop your headcover, mitten, or any other object, retracing your steps and finding the item is a breeze.
9) Snowshoes provide excellent support and stability (vital components to a strong set-up and base from which to swing).
10) Refreshments delivered by the "Snowmachine Girl" arrive much quicker as an "Arctic Cat 800" snow machine kicks a regular beverage cart any day.
Perhaps it's time you reconsider your migration pattern this winter. Oh, and if you already live down south and you're sick of all us "northern folk" coming down and crashing your party, there is no reason to believe that you can't have a perfectly fine winter playing golf in the Canadian Prairies. So saddle up and head north this winter! I'll buy you a hot rum toddy when you get here.
February 12, 2002
Andrew Penner is a freelance writer and photographer based in Calgary, Alberta. His work has appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout North America and Europe. You can see more of his work at www.andrewpenner.com.
We all love golf course rankings, but there's quite a bias involved, huh? Host a major championship and you're basically guaranteed a spot on the list. What about the average duffer who's more impressed with the beer list than the slope/rating - or prefers friendliness over the fine, imported lotion in the locker room? Where's our list, hackers? Answer: Right here.
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