Wider Horizons

Your backswing is still in mid-February, your short irons have never met a bunker they didn’t like and don’tgold course even get you started on your putting. OK, because Dave English, program chair of Lethbridge College’s Professional Golf Management program, isn’t here to fix your broken-down game. He’s here to tell you where to take your game where no one knows you and where you can become lost in the moment of golf’s majestic settings.

Scotland: well, naturally. The cradle of golf boasts numerous fabled links courses where you can ensnare yourself in the same grasses and traps that have brought low the greats. English on Scottish: “St. Andrew’s and Carnoustie are phenomenal experiences for any fanatic.

But you have to go realizing the differences from North American courses. These are sculpted by nature, the sea and the wind and you must appreciate the history.”

Northern Ireland: Royal Portrush. Never heard of it? Not surprising. But Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington have: they’re members. Located on the North Antrim Causeway, it became, in 1951, the first Open course from outside the mainland United Kingdom. “It’s called the Emerald Isle for a reason. Portrush is by the sea.

Go to appreciate the people, the culture and the history.”

Middle East: The Creek, Dubai. Overlooking the marina of the United Arab Emirates capital, this 18-year-old course might not have the history of British golf, but it’s a key slice in the city’s attempt to become a world tourism centre.

The clubhouse is fashioned after ship’s sails; the fairways are lined by dates and palms. “It’s a piece of beauty in the middle of the desert. You’ll taste the culture of the Middle East.”

United States: Pebble Beach, Monterey, Calif: “I played Pebble Beach on a beautiful, sunny day with no wind, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Every hole had a “wow” moment. If you get a caddy, they’ll show you the must” spots for photographs. You don’t really see on TV how small and sloped the greens are.”

A must-see: the spot on 17 where Tom Watson chipped in to win the 1982 U.S. Open.

Other English-approved courses: Oak Hills, San Antonio, Texas; Old Works, Anaconda, Mont. (“It’s a reclaimed mine with all black sand. The mine is still there; you tee off on one hole from a slag heap.”) And, finally, in southern Alberta: “Paradise Canyon; simply the best.”

Wider Horizons
Lethbridge College
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