FORE!!! Golf season is in full swing. Are you ready?

FORE!!! Golf season is in full swing. Are you ready?

Joanne Elves

The game of golf is either an art form - or a gong show. Those that have mastered the swing and can smack that orb on the perfect arc are amazing. For the rest of us, we need to practice. But that’s the best part. Alberta and British Columbia are covered with fantastic golf courses that are either looking at oceans, trees, mountains or big beautiful prairie skies.

Being part of the gong-show crowd, I asked my daughter who is part of the swing-like-you-mean-business crowd for a few good tips to improve my game. Interestingly, her tips were more about attitude than skill. Take a look.

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  1. Keep your head down. By that I mean don’t listen to people who tell you to keep your head down. Unless it’s a pro talking, don’t listen. Keep your head in Your Game. Tune out distractions, focus on you.

  2. Listen to your body. Stay hydrated with whatever drink from the cart you want - but go for the water first. (And don’t forget to tip the cart driver! adds the ex-golf course employee.)

  3. If your wrist/ankle/ego hurts, take a break. Shake up the bad vibes and replace it with positive Zen. Regroup your body by taking a break from a hole. Breath deep and appreciate your surroundings. Don’t sacrifice future games on a bad start.

  4. Find balance. And that’s a big one. Balance between hooking and slicing. Balance between holding up the game and being impatient with those ahead of you. Balance the rule book and ‘gimmies.’ Balance the use of ‘foot wedges’ and honesty. And, balance in your swing and follow-through.

  5. Strengthen those wrists. Yep, your wrists. Those little rotations need strength to control the swing and control the aim.

So now that we’ve improved your game; where are the top courses to play? Here are our top picks.

Golf in BC

Predator Ridge between Vernon and Kelowna offers spectacular natural rolling landscapes backdropped by Lake Okanagan. After a round of golf, check into the Sparkling Hill Resort and let the amenities at the KurSpa replenish your body for tomorrow's early-morning tee time. Did you know Predator Ridge is also home to incredible biking? Learn more here.

Just up the valley is the Salmon Arm Golf Club. Started in 1928 as a six-hole course, it is now a true gem with two stunning golf courses. With the evenings so long, check out the twilight rates. Want to dance after your round? Learn about the Salmon Arm ROOTS&BLUES festival.

On Vancouver Island, check out the Eaglecrest Golf Course just north of Nanaimo. Built in 1971, it's narrower and has giant trees that seem to be in the way of duffers like me. But, as I’m told, relax, focus and everything will be fine. After a game, head back to Nanaimo and head for the Dinghy Dock floating pub for apres grub. After you're done on the links, why not take a trip to Tofino for the Carving on the Edge festival. Learn more.

Golf in Alberta

That brutal flood in 2013 that swept through Kananaskis wiped the slate clean or should I say made a mess of everything. Reopened this spring, the Kananaskis Golf Course is better than ever. And, that means everyone who has waited five years to play has dialled in for much of the tee-times. With that said, tuck that one in the back of your mind and plan for evenings or early mornings this season or wait for next season. Not far from K-Country are three courses in Canmore, including the breathtaking Stewart Creek course that will blow your socks off.

Check out this hidden gem in Southwest Alberta. The Crowsnest Pass Golf Course in Blairmore tests even the best with long fairways, water hazards, sand traps and maybe a cross-wind or two. (Hey, there is no denying there is wind there…embrace it). While in the area stop in at Frank Slide or the Bellevue Underground Coal Mine tour.

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