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Good to golf

Special deals, tournaments tee off 2004 season

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Whistler’s golf season is fast approaching, and with it a number of special deals and tournaments on the horizon are targetted at local and regional markets.

Our local courses are raving about some of the best spring conditions in years, with an early melt and good measures of sun and rain.

The Whistler Golf Club will open next Friday, May 6 with their annual Local’s Day. The course will be offering rounds of golf for $49 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. with all proceeds going to a local charity. This year the recipient will be the J.J. Whistler Bear Society, which promotes black bear conservation, public education programs, and non-lethal bear aversion techniques.

This is a popular attraction so be sure to book well in advance by calling 604-932-5886.

If you’re looking to improve your game, the Whistler Golf Club is also offering ongoing spring clinics – five one-hour sessions with club pros for beginners, intermediates and ladies – for $189, including five super twilight green fees.

New this year is the Players’ Club, a membership that can be purchased for $49 and entitles golfers to take advantage of a variety of club specials like two for one deals and offers for free powercarts.

The club will open to the public on Saturday, May 7; spring rates will be in effect until June 3. Rounds are $89 during normal hours, $69 after 4 p.m. and $49 after 6 p.m. Juniors under 18 golf for $39 at any time. More information on rates and special passes is available online at www.whistlergolf.com.

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club opens a week later, on May 14 with spring rates also in effect. The practice facility will open a week earlier on May 7.

Rounds are available from $59 to $125 until June 10, depending on the time of day. Junior rates are $25 at any time of year, not including dinner specials, providing a junior is accompanied by an adult.

The Chateau Whistler Golf Club will also host one of the first Whistler tournaments of the season on May 28, the annual Fairmont Chateau Whistler Foundation Golf Tournament.

The foundation supports local non-profit organizations in the Sea to Sky area, contributing $50,000 last year towards WAG, Whistler Big Brothers and Sisters, the JJ Whistler Bear Society, Pearl’s Place Transition House and Whistler Community Services. In addition, funds went to the Red Cross to assist the victims of last season’s wildfires in the Interior and flooding in Pemberton and Squamish.

The cost is $150 per player or $550 for a team of four, which includes 18 holes of golf, a cart, lunch, dinner and prizes.

For more information, visit www.fairmont.com/whistler.

The Nicklaus North Golf Course will open on May 7 with early season rates also in effect until June 10. The cost is $115 daily, $95 after noon, $80 after 2 p.m. and $60 after 4 p.m. Juniors pay $50 daily, and $35 for twilight and sunset rounds.

For more information visit www.golfbc/courses/nicklaus_north/

The best deals this year can be had with a little advance planning. Many courses offer B.C. Resident rates with advance booking, providing you provide some identification when you show up to play.

Then there’s the Golf Whistler Passport that is available to residents of B.C. and Alberta. The entry fee of $299 gets you four rounds of golf in the area, including a round at each of the Whistler courses and a round at Big Sky Golf and Country Club. That works out to $75 a round.

You can use that package anytime Monday to Thursday from opening day to July 8, for twilight rounds during the high season from July 9 to Sept. 6, and anytime after Sept. 7. On Friday, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, you can only use your passport during twilight hours.

If you don’t want the restrictions you can also purchase a $399 package that allows you to golf any time from Monday to Thursday and during twilight on weekends and holidays.

Both passports also entitle the holder to additional savings at any of the participating courses, including 40 per cent of green fees during the times noted above, 10 per cent off food and beverage purchases, 10 per cent off retail purchases, and 10 per cent off lessons and clinics.

For more information on the Golf Whistler Passport, visit www.golfwhistler.com.

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