Westwood Plateau, Canada

Westwood Plateau, CanadaOne of the best public golf courses, this facility near Vancouver is a treat for the eye like few others.

One of the great joys for Indian golfers visiting North America is the quantity and quality of golf courses where you don’t have to be a member to play. All you do is call, book a starting time for your game and show up! One of the best such facilities in Canada is to be found outside the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver, on the west coast. Just a 45 minute drive east of the city, 1,300 ft up in the hills, is the superb golf course called Westwood Plateau. Soon after it opened, it was named the best new public course in Canada and has won all types of Michael Hurdzan, set out to create a visual treat that would challenge the competitive player but still be comparatively easy for the average golfer to enjoy.

The only thing more spectacular than the layout of the golf course itself are the views of the surrounding densely wooded mountains with snow-capped peaks and the valleys that stretch into the distance. This par 72, 18 hole course is only 6700 yards in length from the championship tees, considered short by 2010 standards. However with the elevation changes, the dense trees bordering the fairways, there is plenty of challenge and the surrounding spectacular scenery makes up for any disappointment felt by a golfer having a bad game.

The other nice feature of Westwood Plateau is the US$ 125 green fee includes the use of a buggy with GPS as well as continental breakfast, a golf gift, bottle of water and range balls. This type of offer proves very popular with golfers heading out for a day of fun. Unusual to see at a public course but a nice touch which makes you feel at home and gives you the feel of “belonging” right from arrival.

And fun is what you get right from the gentle par four first hole with a strategically placed sand bunker on the right and water on the left to the spectacular par threes on the 4th and 6th holes where the greens are angled challengingly behind deep sand traps and you have to factor in the elevation change while gauging the length of your ball flight. Of course there are no caddies so for Indian golfers, you have to be used to doing all the hard work of smoothing the sand bunkers, replacing grass divots after your shot and selecting the club as well as the line of the shot on your own. The GPS system on the carts helps tremendously as it gives you tips on how to play the hole besides the exact distance to the flag from anywhere on the course and to cross the water hazards and bunkers.

Every hole presents a new challenge for a visitor but you need to keep your camera handy to capture the memories of a lifetime!