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Carnoustie Golf Club Burns Lake BC 250-698-7677

Aspen grove

With a name like Carnoustie Golf Club you'd expect soft rolling hills covered in sheep. Greens with that certain magical touch and maybe a piper to play Amazing Grace over a nightly feed of Haggis. Well laddie those are not sheep you see walking through the grass but moose, and this isn't Scotland it's Northern British Columbia at her best.

You are on a golf course that workingmen built and that workingmen play on. The fairways are generally wide and messy to look at and the whole course oozes crudeness. The mature fir trees and thick dandelions, covering everything from tee to green, dominate the course just like the setting sun dominates the sky. You will not find a bell to ring, helping to indicate that you have just left the green, on this western layout. Here you'll see a large saw blade suspended in the air with a piece of metal to bang on it. Behind that there is a spiral staircase that helps you to look down over the next hole to see if the fairway is clear. Walk up that staircase and go trigger-happy with your camera. The greens are almost unplayable and that is just me being honest. They are rock hard and small. Imagine trying to fly a 5-iron on to your kitchen table and stopping it close to the salad bowl. However all of this adds to the experience. I swore I heard an old Scottish caddie whisper in my ear ' Nobody says yer ball has to be flying when it gets to the green'. There are a few short par fours with wicked doglegs. You can drive them, but what is the point? If your wedges aren't sticking how can that 9- degree driver hold?

Number 9 is the #1 handicap hole. It's a straight away par four measuring 412 yards long. There are three little strips of water that are hard to see from the tee and there are lots of trees on the right. Play wide to the left and let your creativity tell you how to get your second shot (from about 160-200 yards out) on to Canada's version of the Stamp hole. Not a course to consider if you set out to play Pebble Beach and just got turned around a little. But if you wanted to leave the designer sunglasses and matching hat in the suitcase and pullout your jeans and favorite hockey jersey and kick it around with the world's friendliest people then Carnoustie is your kind of course. Forget the name and its Olde Country heritage. Just try to imagine Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, Etta Place and the rest of the Hole in The Wall Gang going out for a quick nine while planning their move to Bolivia. Carnoustie is a wonderfully rough and ready par 35, 2,894 yards long with a clubhouse and facility looking over a setting that leaves you breathless.

Player's Tip

The greens are not receptive to any kind of a high shot. Putting on these boards reminds me of the old line 'I can't read dirt'. Prepare to use your imagination and play for run ups, fairway metal bump and runs and off the green putts. Do that and you can have fun. Remember: Roll it when you can and fly it when you have to.

Accommodations

While making the trek across Northern BC Tom stayed at the Sandman Inns. You can find the Sandman Inn chain at: www.sandmanhotels.com
 
 

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