New Proposed Rules Could Make Golf More Fun!

In what most would consider a surprise move the USGA and R&A have proposed sweeping changes to the rules of golf. For these governing bodies who have so staunchly defended the traditions of the game forever it’s amazing to me that they could be so forward thinking.

Growing the game, one of the catch phrases used by industry types for the past decade has proven to be a more difficult task than one would think. Changes to the rules that loosen the strict playing conditions golf is known for can only help. People need to have fun when they play and eliminating penalties for things like soling your club in a bunker or inadvertently moving your ball as you prepare to hit it should result in a more relaxed, fun experience.

Golf must attract younger generations to thrive and although I’m sure the older traditional players will be leery of any changes it’s time. Music playing on carts, relaxed dress codes and now relaxed rules would certainly have Old Tom Morris turning in his grave but progressive thinking is what the game needs right now.

Canadians Flourishing on Tour!

Two different Canadian winners on the PGA Tour and it’s not even spring yet! Adam Hadwin joined MacKenzie Hughes as a tour champion by winning the Valspar Championships at Innisbrook Resort this past weekend. Adam dominated the rest of the field for most of the weekend playing near flawless golf until one bad swing almost derailed his efforts. Making double bogey on the 16th hole on Sunday erased his 2 shot lead and I think we all had visions of another blown opportunity but no, he composed himself beautifully and it was his playing competitor Patrick Cantlay who felt the pressure and hit 2 bad shots on 18 opening the door for Hadwin.

I talked in a previous post about how great it was going to be to have 2 Canadians to watch at Augusta, make that 3! It’s really impressive to watch these young players develop and we have to give credit to the RCGA long term development program initiated in the early 2000’s that now has young men and women playing and excelling on development tours and the big tours too!

It’s Been a Snowy Winter!

 

As I look out the window of my office here at Kokanee Springs things are still pretty white! The snow has been relentless here in the West Kootenays over the last few months but it looks like we’re finally going to get a break. A week of temperatures in the high single digits and a bit of rain will make all the difference and it looks like that’s exactly what’s in store. We can’t wait to get the season started and we’re still confident that our Opening date of April 14th is safe.

Superintendent Colin and his crew are going to have their work cut out for them but every year presents its challenges and they rise to the occasion every time! Plans are in place to get the greens cleared of snow by the middle of next week and start the annual routine of preparations for opening.

We’ve had an outstanding pre-season sales drive and are looking forward to our best year in quite some time. If you haven’t booked your 2017 visit yet what are you waiting for! Come on out and join in the fun, play a little golf, kick back and relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility that only Kokanee Springs can offer.

Another Season Set to Begin

With most of the country locked in winter’s firm grip it’s hard to get too excited about golf right now. That being said the PGA tour gets started this week and the LPGA later this month. As I wrote about in my last post Canadian golf fans have plenty to be excited about. Mackenzie Hughes will make his 2017 debut at the Tournament of Champions this week in Hawaii and a strong contingent of Canadian players will get going in the coming weeks. Brooke Henderson will try to duplicate her amazing season last year and will be joined by the largest group of Canadian women to play on the LPGA tour in recent memory when the tour kicks off in the last week of January.

It’s going to be an exciting year at Kokanee Springs Resort as well! The BC Mid-Amateur Championships for men and women are being held at the Resort during the first week of July and we are thrilled to be hosting these fine players. We hope that everyone gets the chance to visit this season and look forward to seeing you all!

Something to cheer about!

 

What a great day and year for Canadian golf! It was just an hour or so ago that Mackenzie Hughes a Canadian rookie on the PGA tour won the final event of the fall in a 4 way playoff eventually beating Camilo Villegas on the 3rd playoff hole. Holy cow, who saw this coming? I can’t wait for April and the Masters, it will be exciting to have a Canadian to cheer for again. Mackenzie earns a 2 year exemption, an invite to the Masters and  about a million bucks, that’s a pretty good weekends work!

The LPGA tour also had their final event this past weekend and our own Brooke Henderson acquitted herself nicely finishing tied for 24th. What an incredible season, 1.7 million in winnings good for 3rd on the money list, 3rd in player of the year voting, 8th in the world ranking and an astonishing 15 top ten finishes in 30 events. Brooke won twice during the season including her first major championship.

2017 is going to be a fun year for golf fans, great young Canadian talent on both the PGA and LPGA tours. It’s been a long time since we’ve had this much to get excited about!

Wow, it's fall already!

Here I sit on Labour Day trying to figure out how the summer went by so fast! We’ve had a busy season so far at Kokanee Springs with a ton of new clients experiencing the Resort for the first time. The weather wasn’t the best but seeing what some of our neighbours in Alberta have put up with I guess we shouldn’t complain!

Fall is fantastic here at Kokanee, I was checking the Weather Network website today and the 14 day forecast is excellent. Nothing but sun and getting warmer, if you haven’t visited at this time of year you really should. The air is clear, the summer crowds are gone and you can feel the pace of life here in the Kootenays relaxing, as we often say if you can’t relax here you can’t relax anywhere!

The trail systems around the community have really caught on this year, bikers and hikers are finding out about our hidden gem and taking advantage. The fall fishing season is underway and people are catching lots of rainbow trout and don’t forget about the golf course! Our long time clients are telling us the course is in better shape than they have ever seen it, kudos to Colin and his crew.

Come on out and experience Kokanee at this wonderful time of year and spend a few days on “Kootenay Time”!

Something to cheer about!

It’s been a while since Canadian golf fans have had something to get excited about and wow do we ever have that now! Brooke Henderson has literally burst on to the scene in the past 12 months. Although she was the top ranked amateur women in the world at 17 years of age she had flown under the radar for the most part.

In the past 12 months she has won 3 LPGA Tour events including her first major championship and rocketed to #2 in the world rankings. She has finished in the top ten an astonishing 11 times in this calendar year and sits second on the LPGA money list. Quite a list of accomplishments for a kid still only 18 years of age!

The best thing about Brooke is her typically Canadian style, big smiles, modest behaviour on the course and totally proper interview presence. She seems like such a super girl and the fans love her, we can all be proud to have Brooke representing our great country in the upcoming Olympic Games and all of the events she plays around the world!

 

Is it time to recharge?

Well, we’re in full swing now. It’s been a good start for us here at Kokanee, lots of guests and people enjoying the great golf course that I know most of you have played many times. There seems to be something a bit different this year though, so many of our regular clients and friends have had such a difficult year and they are looking for something more. Tranquility, peace and the chance to get off the grid even if it’s only for a short time is what I’m hearing most often.

People are talking about how comforting it is to come back to something so familiar and laid back. Kokanee Springs is a unique place, it is quiet and it is peaceful, we don’t have the trappings of many of our “glitzy” competitors and right now that seems to be resonating with a lot of people. As I often tell people “forget neon lights, we don’t even have street lights!”, the amazing natural beauty, the deer wandering around the course without a care in the world and the absence of all the distractions of city life are providing people with the break they need.

Life in the West Kootenays’ is therapeutic and might be just what you need to recharge your batteries. We’d love to see you so come on out and get off the treadmill!

 

 

It's Almost Show Time!

There’s nothing like the excitement around a golf course the week before opening, every department is down to crunch time. This is especially true at a facility like Kokanee Springs where many of our staff come to us from other parts of the province and country. New staff members are checking in, getting their rooming assignments (we offer staff accommodations), going through orientation and training and getting to know one and other. It’s awesome to see the enthusiasm and excitement, for some it’s the first time away from home so there’s a look of “what have I gotten myself into” on some faces!

We’re only 4 days from opening as I write this so the learning curve is pretty steep for most of the new people we have. Whether they are in housekeeping, food and beverage services, golf services or maintenance there is a lot to learn and not much time to learn it. Great leadership from our department heads and pure determination from the group will have everything ready for you when you visit.

The next time you’re here and you interact with a member of our team, take a minute and ask them about how things are going, I know they would appreciate it and who knows they could be from your home town!

 

Spring is in the air!

Spring is in the air! If you follow our Facebook page (and if you don’t you should!) you will have seen some of the pictures posted there showing grass throughout the property. Unusual for February to say the least and the weather looks favourable as far as the long range forecast goes. Superintendent Colin is even talking about cutting shortly!

Everyone is busy ramping up for the season, interviews are ongoing as we put this year’s team together, menus are being recreated, the golf course is being cleaned up after a relatively easy winter and pro shop stock is starting to arrive. Before you know it April 15th will be here and golf balls will be flying!

If you’re not doing anything on the weekend of April 15th come on out and help us celebrate the start of a new golf season. We will be sending out an email very soon with the details and it will also be on the website under packages and you won’t believe what a smoking hot deal we are offering! Golf, music, great food and fun are on the menu so don’t miss it.

We are excited to announce that Kokanee Springs has been selected as the host course for the 2017 BC Men’s and Women’s Mid-Amateur Championships. It will be fantastic to have 150 elite level players test their skills here at the Resort and in 2018 we turn 50! It’s going to be an amazing couple of years and we hope you will all make it out to the Resort soon.