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.