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Ten Courses in Canada I Need To Return To

So my list of “dumb blondes” and “Canada’s most overrated courses” drew some debate. Good. That was the point.

Anyway, I checked ScoreGolf’s Top 100 Courses list (I’m a panelist) and recognized I have now seen all but three. With that in mind, here are two more lists — the 10 courses that I need to see in Canada, and the 10 courses that I’d like to return to having only seen once.

What’s left to see:

* Royal Mayfair — I’ve seen it on television, and own the club history. Yes, this was once a fine Stanley Thompson design, but a heavy-handed redesign by Les Furber, complete with railway ties, has never encouraged me to go and see it. Doesn’t help that I’ve been to Edmonton exactly once.
* Eagle Creek — I tried to get and see this one in the late fall a few years back, but didn’t make it. No excuse for not having seen a course in Ottawa. I’m going to try and knock it off this summer.
* Northern Bear — Another Edmonton course, and this one had a series of problems when it opened. I’ve never heard anyone speak that highly of it, but it is on Score’s Top 100.
* Digby Pines — A highly-regarded Stanley Thompson course. No excuse for this one with the exception of the fact it is in Nova Scotia and not on Score’s Top 100 list.
* Ashburn — I’ve had plans to see this Halifax area course before. I haven’t seen either the Old or New — maybe this summer.
* Waskesiu — friends speak highly of this one, but I’ve only been to Saskatchewan once. I need to return.
* Royal Quebec — I’ve long wanted to see this course, but frankly haven’t played east of Montreal when it comes to Quebec.
* Lynx at Kingswood Park — A Graham Cooke course that won Golf Digest’s Best New a few years back. I’ve had plans to see it in the past, but never managed to get there.
* St. Andrews-by-the-sea — A well-regarded Thomas McBroom course in New Brunswick. I was once heading there for a travel feature, but the flight got canceled and I’ve never made the trip since.
* Falcon Lake Golf Course — I’ve been to Winnipeg twice, but never to this course a few hours away that is held in high regard by some.

The 10 Courses I Want To Return To:

* Victoria – You could put Royal Colwood alongside this. I had a great time at Victoria and would love to see what Jeff Mingay has done in restoring its bunkers.
* Blackhawk — Rod Whitman’s gem outside Edmonton. I had a tremendous time when I was there seven years ago, but often wonder if my memory is inflating how good this course is. Naw, it was really that good…
* Jasper — I played Jasper three times when I was there (on the same trip as Blackhawk), but since I’ve played Banff a half-dozen times, I’d love to get back and study Jasper more closely.
* Humber Valley — I was part of a journalists’ trip to see this Newfoundland course four years ago while writing my Going for the Green book. It was breathtaking and has since struggled financially.
* Essex — I drove down to see this Windsor Donald Ross gem two summers ago and had a great game with two members. The greens alone warrant a return trip.
* Dakota Dunes — built on one of the great sites in Canada, I found the differing bunker styles to be a bit off-putting. However, I’d like to see if my first impression was the right one.
* Riverside — A classic course built by little-known Bill Kinnear. Some great greens and a strong new finish created by Wayne Carleton. I’ve been once and thought it was terrific.
* Calgary G&CC — I toured this Willie Park course before its recent restoration. I’d love to see how that turned out…
* St. Charles — The first time I went to St. Charles it was under water. When I returned to Winnipeg to see the course it was wet, but playable. An interesting Donald Ross/Alister Mackenzie course, but it left me feeling somewhat flat about it. Was it better than I recall?
* Stewart Creek — A terrific Gary Browning course that I played twice when I was there four years ago. At that time a second course had been rough-shaped, but seems to have stalled. Hopefully it’ll be ready for my return visit.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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