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Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - North Shore News - A29


Bowen Island a gem of a course High-quality course a great getaway for golfers Mark Hood Contributing writer

THE 2011 PGA golf season was well underway and the year’s first major tournament, the Masters, loomed. Yet in Vancouver, it had been wet — very wet — and the year-to-date golf activity had been confined to a mere nine holes at a frosty Gleneagles on New Year’s Day, so we could tell friends in Calgary and elsewhere we had played. Golf is a sport for optimists, and with hope in my heart I booked a Saturday morning

NEWS photo Mark Hood

BC’s Most Scenic Golf Course

Now Open for the 2011 Season visit for rates & specials

SEA TO SKY GRILL serving lunch, dinner and weekend breakfast HOURS OF OPERATION:

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THE Bowen Island Golf Club, opened in 2006, offers stunning rainforest, water and mountain views.

tee time at the Bowen Island Golf Club. The weather reports were inconclusive at best, but the commitment was made. As the day approached, forecasts shifted and Saturday was looking highly suspect. Regardless, our group assembled early on the appointed morning and loaded up for the trip to Horseshoe Bay. I was joined that day by friends Dan Rothenbush of North Vancouver’s Lady Jane Landscaping, Lance Olsen of Jordan’s Interiors and Larry Verigin of the North Shore News. We arrived at the ferry terminal with plenty of time. The cost for the vehicle and passengers was around $70, but it’s a return trip fare and works out to less than $10 per person each way. As we crossed to Snug Cove, the clouds began to dissipate. Fresh snow glistened in the hoped-for sun along the peaks that line the eastern shore of Howe Sound. Perhaps, at last, the sun would make a guest appearance. See Club’s page 30

A30 - North Shore News - Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Club’s philosophy puts playing experience first From page 29 Once ashore, we made the 15-minute meander to the course through Bowen’s eclectic landscape of wilderness, farmland and semi-urban development. At the course, all was ready and we bundled up into power carts to begin our round. Bowen is a very walkable course, but as I tend to pack camera gear to shoot photo and video accounts of the trip, a cart is a bit of a necessity for me. If you’ve never played the Bowen Island Golf Club, you must add it to your 2011 list. Opened for play in 2006, it’s a gem of a course and a great destination for a day or weekend out of town. While the idea of a golf course on Bowen had been mooted for decades, it wasn’t until the 1990s that the idea resurfaced in earnest. Community consensus was imperative and the club’s founding members and directors came up with a

plan that would add a great community facility with minimal impact on the island’s ecosystem. Golf courses need water and lots of it. While plenty of it falls from the sky in these parts, Bowen is essentially a big rock with a limited aquifer. To ease concerns, a massive reservoir was included in the plans. Here, more than enough water is stored to see the course through any hypothetical dry months, and it provides a haven for many of the wild aquatic fowl that call the coast home. Located beside the fourth fairway, it supplies the irrigation needs of the course and adds an additional hazard on a tight par-3. The founders also engaged the design services of course architect Russ Olson, the guiding hand behind Calgary’s River Spirit Golf Course, Sandpiper in Agassiz and the restoration and enhancement of clubs throughout B.C., such as Hazelmere, the Sunshine Coast and Whistler.

Today, this 3,003-yard, nine-hole locals’ course is getting set to burst into full bloom. They’ve done things properly here: adding incremental improvements and tweaking as they go, rather than slamming grandiose architectural eyesores into the middle of the rainforest. This year, perhaps as soon as late May, the next phase of the course’s evolution will take place, as the rustic Hilton pro shop is set to be replaced with a new facility. As a result of a wellsubscribed fundraising drive, pending permit approval, a new structure will be erected that will include a 230-squarefoot pro shop, a 960-squarefoot clubhouse and a covered external veranda. It’s a modest but modern layout that fits the club’s philosophy perfectly: the playing experience is paramount and almost all resources go to ensuring the course is in tip-top condition. That Saturday after all the See Grounds page 31

Bowen Island Golf Club

TOKEN SALE 4-One hour sessions of CPGA instruction for only

Buy a ten token card and receive


a FREE SLEEVE of Noodle balls. balls.


A great way to start the season! Good for beginners to learn the basics and intermediates to refresh the fundamentals. All aspects of the game will be addressed from putting and chipping to iron play and driving.

Buy a fi fifty fty token card and receive

a FREE 15 PACK of Noodle balls.

NEWS photo Mark Hood

ABOVE, a water reservoir situated beside Bowen’s fourth fairway supplies the course’s irrigation needs. More than enough water is stored to get the course through hypothetical dry months. The reservoir also provides a haven for many wild aquatic fowl. At right, a rendering shows a potential design plan for a new 960square-foot clubhouse.


Monday April 11

6 pm or 7 pm

Tuesday April 12

6 pm or 7 pm**

All-Day Rates in April During the Month of April the Bowen Island Golf Club will be promoting all day rates for Adults, Seniors and Juniors who choose to play Monday through Wednesday. Regular rates apply Thursday to Sunday. For those of you who have not travelled to Bowen recently you will be delighted to hear that Gold Card Seniors receive passenger travel for free Monday thru Thursday, which makes the round of golf even cheaper. Call the proshop to book your tee time today. 604-947 GOLF (4653) Seniors also enjoy a half price powercart rate Monday thru Friday. Our snack shack is closed until Spring, so pack a lunch or dine at one of our local restaurants.

Wednesday April 13 6 pm or 7 pm


Thursday April 14

6 pm or 7 pm

Small shop service big store prices

Monday April 18

6 pm or 7 pm

Tuesday April 19

6 pm or 7 pm**

All the brand names — Titleist, Ping, Cobra, Taylormade, Adams and more. We will match Golf Town prices

NEW RANGE BALLS ADDED. Fully stocked pro shop with the latest Taylormade clubs available for demo.

Wednesday April 20 6 pm or 7 pm Thursday April 21

6 pm or 7 pm

Classes run once a week for four consecutive weeks. **Ladies Only

Adults $24

Seniors $20

Juniors $13



(604) 987-7767 Open 9-9 Weekdays | 8-9 Weekends

315 Seymour Boulevard, N. Van. Just east of highway #1 exit #22 off Mt. Seymour Pkwy., Located just behind Superstore 604-947-GOLF (4653)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - North Shore News - A31




Soft Feel 12pk

Big Bertha 12pk




From page 30 rains of March, we put it to the test. Clouds still hovered menacingly, but the sun was making an effort to join our foursome. The first hole, a 390-yard uphill par-4, runs the length of

a wide trough with a bunker on the right at about 250 yards from the tee. We shook off the rust and began. Initial shots were acceptable considering the winter layoff, and we began our assault on the green. Greens here have always been exceptional

and the grounds crew take justifiable pride in keeping them that way. The practice green in front of the clubhouse was soft and the pace was a little slow, but that was to be expected given See Island page 32




NEWS photo Mark Hood

Grounds crew exceptional


Burner Stand Bag

Decibel Stand Bag

THE second hole is the first of the course’s two par-5s.






Burner Plus 8pc Steel

Burner Plus Ladies 8pc Grp

RH Only

RH Only







Diablo Edge Drivers

C-Groove Putters

Mens & Ladies



6999 Ecco


Ladies Casual Pitch

Sport Era

Assorted Colours



Saturday, April 9 Only Hourly doorcrasher specials see for details Only five lots remaining


Free Brazza Coffee and home baked cookies 1st come 1st serve. Doors open at 9:30am

Assorted Colours




40 60 %



Sale ends April 17th or while supplies last - limited to in stock items only


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Colette Maeers 1.888.243.1071



your golf store on the North Shore

800 - 801 Marine Drive | North Vancouver | 604.980.8899

This is not an offering for sale. An offering can only be made by way of a disclosure statement

A32 - North Shore News - Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Island club a worthy addition to local options From page 31 the weather we have endured. What we didn’t expect was a putting surface that was very fast. Our initial shock gave way to more considered attempts and we tried to learn our lesson early. By the time we reached the second tee, the sun was out in full glory. We attacked the first of the two par-5s on the course with growing excitement: we had picked the nicest day in almost a month. As we made our way around, the greens were consistently fast and the course consistently playable. If you can think of a better way of capping a soggy work week than with a round of golf played with good friends in the sunshine, I’m open to hearing about it. Earlier, I mentioned the reservoir that runs down the right side of the par-3 fourth. It adds an interesting level of visual intimidation to a testy 190-yard hole. To the left, there are trees and some ferns, but it opens on the third fairway and mistakes can be improved upon. To the right, it’s death, and as most golfers

tend to slice, the contortions you go through to avoid the water can be numerous. The green on No. 5, a 370-yard par-4, was a Rubik’s Cube of subtle breaks and shifts. Pin placement made reads maddeningly difficult and we each watched in stunned amazement as putts that should have dropped meandered just a little too far left or right. We made up for it on the 126-yard sixth. This uphill par-3 features a left-sloping green largely obscured by the elevation. Lance got the party started with a corker that rolled to within three feet of the pin. Larry also made the green, but drifted left out of sight. Dan made it three-for-three on the putting surface and while I fell just short, we were all in good position for par or better. Dan and Lance locked up birdies and Larry and I happily settled for pars. From the seventh tee box, the highest point on the course, back down to the ninth green, playing that day was an absolute treat. Large, magnificent raptors soared on the breeze across a clear blue

sky. It was early April and we were golfing. It was so much fun we did it again and played a full 18. I continue to be impressed by the quality of the course and the people behind it. The Bowen Island Golf Club is a worthy addition to the many choices available to North Shore golfers in the Howe Sound/Sea-to-Sky corridor. If you haven’t tried it, make this the year you do. Weekend green fees are $26 for nine holes and $40 for 18. Power carts, pull carts and clubs are all available to rent and there is an ironsonly practice range if you want to warm up before you play. They also have a seniors special available Monday to Wednesday where it’s just $25 to play all day. For more information, visit Videos of the courses featured in Tee Time will be posted on the North Shore News’ website. Bowen Island is the first for 2011. Go to and click on the link to the Tee Time section on the home page tool bar. Find the video of your choice and check it out.

Join us! Putt, Play & Party

NEWS photo Mark Hood

WRITER Mark Hood’s fellow players, Larry Verigin (left), Dan Rothenbush and Lance Olsen, tee off from No. 5, a 370-yard par-4.

Open - Monday - Friday 8am - 9pm Saturday & Sunday 7am - 9pm



The 4th A nnual


2 for 1

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presented by the

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Tee Time April 6, 2011  

A special feature of the North Shore News