Back in the mid 1990’s Nicklaus North in Whistler BC hosted the Export A Skins Game. I was fortunate to be gifted two VIP passes for the entire week and can remember it quite clearly, well sort of. Who could forget the foursome of Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo and Fred Couples. It was later the next week my traveling buddy Dennis and I played the course and that too left an everlasting impression on me. Current General Manager Jason Lowe invited Myra and I to play and review the world class Nicklaus North. There is an awesome feeling as you drive up to the clubhouse past the magnificent homes that line the entrance road to the course and some 24 years later a few of the holes that I played all those years ago came back into my mind a little more clearly. Back in the 90’s at the Skins game we attended, the par 3 17th with Green Lake adjacent to it was the most iconic hole on the course. For me that still rings true today. There are few holes that emote such a feeling of pure golfing joy and natural beauty. Whether it is looking up towards the green with the serene Green Lake situated right next to it or the birds landing on the water and the sounds of nature which soothes the soul, what more could you ask for. Times have changed a little though and watching the seaplanes taking off and landing was actually pretty cool too.
For having had such a challenging year weather wise the course was in remarkable shape and made the round all that more enjoyable. Greens Superintendent Aaron Mansbridge and his very talented greens crew have a great deal to be proud of. Located very close to the heart of Whistler, Nicklaus North is the jewel of all the local golf courses and is for me the one must play course of all. The layout provides a very fair but challenging round and I particularly appreciate that in spite of it being situated in a very mountainous region the course itself is very flat.
Myra was no less impressed on her maiden voyage at Nicklaus North and again being a shorter hitter, it was set up for her skill level and length off the tee
During our first round Myra had stated that another round the next day would be great. Without hesitation I called the pro shop from the 6th hole and Teddy in the pro shop secured us the only remaining tee time at 9:20 am. It was not the only time this very efficient and friendly young man provided us with excellent service. With the weather at its fall best we were delighted that we would be playing this stunning course on back to back days.
Day 1 we were paired up with two the other singles, so we were a complete foursome, much to our delight. Lyndsay Hall formerly from Winnipeg was an accomplished player as well as a true gentlemen around Myra. The other fellow Steve from Burnaby was a fun guy to be around and he brought his bubbly wife Maria to ride along for moral support. Under a brilliant clear sunny sky, we really had a great time complimented by the remarkable feeling you get while playing and looking around at the surrounding mountainous landscape. This is a quality facility in every regard, with the attention to detail being of the highest standard. Steve and his wife made a quick getaway and we were very pleased that Lyndsay joined us at Table 19 for dinner. The restaurant is located right next to the 16th hole and the balcony invites you to sit, relax, eat and drink at a very leisurely pace. Myra and I had already perused the menu online beforehand so we knew what we were going to order in advance. I am a fish and chips aficionado and the 2-piece Halibut and Chips that Krista our awesome server brought me as well as Myra’s Pennine Regate Pasta which I obviously sampled were delicious. Lyndsays’ deluxe burger looked scrumptious and if I knew him better, I may have asked for a bite of it too. The added bonus for Myra and I as non-drinkers was the selection of NA beer they had to choose from.
Day 2 was a repeat in almost every aspect. A last-minute cancellation meant we teed off as a twosome which allowed us to concentrate a little more on performing our reviewing duties.
It also meant the bears that we kept encountering only had to two choices for lunch, 105-pound Myra or an equally as fit and lean 180 pound me. Not being from the Grizzly Adams school of outdoor survival I worryingly telephoned the pro shop and Director of Golf Andrew Smart and Course Marshal Bruce came out quickly and proceeded to deal with the bear. At one point after they attempted to scare it off with a “bear banger” it ran at full speed towards the hole we were playing. From holes 5 through 10 we were on bear “red alert”. It must have done something to both us out of the ordinary as I played those holes 1 over par and Myra made a par and 2 bogeys in that stretch.
At one point with many golfers now “bear aware” we turned the corner on the path towards the 9th tee to come within 10 feet of one huge black bear. It obviously was a vegan as it just munched away on leaves and berries totally ignoring us as we sped past on our power cart.
We both relaxed and eased through the back nine again finishing almost exactly on the 4-hour mark for the second day in a row. With our gear all packed away we were now ready for lunch and there was no way we were missing the opportunity to enjoy a second meal at Table 19. This time it was Myras’ turn for Fish and Chips and a pound of delicious salt and pepper wings for me.
Eager to watch the Ryder Cup we chose to sit inside at the bar directly in from of one of the 55” inch TV’s and lo and behold it was none other than GM Jason Lowe who took our order and brought us each a cold Kronenburg. This allowed us to personally thank him for the great experience and commend him on the entire aspect of this incredible golf course. We informed him that this was now an annual junket and we would see him next year for multiple rounds in September of 2022.
www.nicklausnorth.com 1800 386 9898
www.nicklausnorth.com 1800 386 9898