Bucket List Update – Spring 2017

Bucket List Update – Spring 2017

Will 2017 bring me to exciting destinations like St. Andrews By The Sea in New Brunswick again?  Playing Algonquin was certainly a 2016 highlight.

My decision to expand my personal Canadian public course ‘bucket list’ from about 72 courses to close to 100 was met with mixed reaction.  To be more specific, one person commented that can a list of close to 100 public courses in Canada be considered a ‘bucket list’ or does it simply become just a list?  A fair and valid critique and one best argued over a pint on the 19th hole of many of Canada’s best public (or private) courses.  I am unapologetic about my bucket list and as I mentioned before, there’s a certain degree of self-indulgence in this list of mine.  But arguing for it, the 2015 Golf Facilities in Canada Report cited 2126 public golf courses in the country.  Looking at my current list of 98 courses, this is merely 4.6 percent of that total.  Picking almost 100 from over 2100 ensures strong geographic representation with a quality focus.

With the exception of the territories, my list covers off all 10 provinces.  My additions are not represented in all 10 provinces – at this time.  In 2015 I had played ten courses in PEI to complete my bucket list there.  And while none were added over the winter, I am getting some people mention to me that I should consider adding Belfast Highland Greens, a stunning 9-hole course which plays to a par 37.

Early morning mist and shadows shrouded the second tee at Green Gables in October 2015.
British Columbia can seem like an obvious choice for bucket list courses but getting off the beaten path can open up gems like Talking Rock in Chase, BC.

To-date I have played 31 courses on my list.  There’s a shockingly low number played in my home province of Ontario and I have yet to tee it up at all in Manitoba (which @meximenno is quick is remind me of regularly).

My goals for 2017 are to play Tower Ranch and Gallgaher’s Canyon in Kelowna while in BC on business.  Other courses will likely be in Ontario this year, understanding there’s several great options in Muskoka I hope to access this fall.  Others could be more a one-off with day trip potential to get in 18 or 36 an option for me.  I don’t see other extended travel this summer for me but we shall see.   This is a list I can work on over the years and having the anticipation of quality public golf across the country provides all the justification I need to have added to my list.

Cabot Links 16th
The par 4 16th at Cabot Links remains my favourite golf hole in Canada.  But will I discover a course that possesses a new favourite for me in 2017?

What courses are on your must play list?  Is a list of 100 public courses in Canada too large to be considered a bucket list?  And most important, am I missing any courses?  Check my list and my bucket list map to see where I still have to venture to and play.  With golf season almost here for all of Canada I hope there’s a golfing bucket list adventure planned for you in 2017.

12 thoughts on “Bucket List Update – Spring 2017

  1. Ok Mike, you are returning to PEI, and can crash at my farmhouse and we will play at Belfast Highland Greens a great 9 hole course that I play multiple times every summer, in fact I played 83 holes of golf there last year on the one day (hope to play 100 this year) and then we will go and eat at The Chowder House. Best Day Ever!!!!!! Open invitation – I am there from June – September. Only time I am away is for the Men’s and Women’s Canadian Opens.

    Hope to see you this summer – well I will see you in Ontario regardless.

    Cheers Tiff

    1. Hi Tiff,
      I appreciate the invite but with the new house and a golf membership 10 minutes from home it’s going to be tough for me to get back to PEI this year. Love it there, for sure, as you know. And yes, when you’re back in Ontario let’s make some plans to tee it up again. July 24 is the GJAC (Journalist Association) golf event at a private course in Mississauga so that would be a great place to tee it up the week of the Canadian Open. Your adventures sound as exciting as ever, take care and talk soon!

      1. Hi Mike,

        You have an open invite any year, I have lots of room if you happen to have an entourage.

        I have paid my membership for two years for the GJAC so I am sure I will receive the information and will join you at that event in Mississauga. I’m exited about it already.

        I am currently in Ireland head to Galway for 6 days of golf tomorrow getting more courses on board for the Dawn2Dusk.

        Chat soon.

        Cheers Tiff

  2. Cabit Cliffs looks looks list worthy MJ. Any plans for Cape Breton this year?

    1. Hi Rod,
      Alas, no east coast travel plans for me this year. I’m hopeful the 30th Classic can get us back east in 2018!!
      See you soon in Forest, MJ

      1. Indeed! Looking forward to Forest too. Can one add edit buttons to blog posts? It’s Cabot not Cabit for the record. 😀

    2. Oh, yours!! 🙂 I’ll talk to the WordPress peeps and get them on that. I need to add Cabot Cliffs too. It’s another stunner. Are you going to PEI this summer?

  3. Mike,

    I am happy to hear you will make it out west again and knock off a couple of great courses in Kelowna. I don’t get the argument that your bucket list can’t have 100 courses. Set your sights high my friend. Your list, your rules. Always enjoy reading about your adventures and it’s going to be a fun day when you’re writing about the last course on the list and you’ll be challenged to come up with a new list, or to re-visit your favorites. Beth and I are trying to make a golf trip to Vancouver Island work this spring, so I’m pretty pumped about that since I have never played there and it’s practically in our backyard.


    1. Hi Josh,
      I need to give Bear Mountain another try. I played it when I had my ‘C’ game and it’s tough but fun. They’ve made some changes to it I hear helped the flow of the course I hope those are two courses you can experience. I only played the Mountain course but VI has many great courses to choose from. Sounds like a great trip.

      Cheers, Mike

  4. Mike

    I agree with Josh. Your list is decided by you for our reading pleasure. It also gives you direction and goals to purse your golfing passion. So, I say that you stay the course. Those of us who read your reviews regularly enjoy what we see. On a side note, Trillium Wood in Belleville is comprable to Black Bear Ridge and might be worth of your list. https://www.trilliumwood.com. You keep writing and I will keep reading.


    1. Many thanks, Jim
      And thanks for the heads up on Trillium Wood. It’s a nice area for golf, around Belleville. Hope your season will start soon,

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