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Local courses tops in Canada



Once again all three Whistler golf courses and one Pemberton course have been recognized as being among the top 100 courses in Canada by Score golf magazine.

The list, which is compiled every two years, is chosen by an industry panel which includes players, industry people and writers. They rank each course on a general set of criteria, then send in their rankings as ballots to the magazine. A computer program analyzes the ballots, tabulates the results, and determines the order of the list. Prior rankings don’t count, and as a result courses can go up and down dramatically on the list, appearing and disappearing.

Still, Score editor Bob Weeks justifies the existence of the list. "The list that is presented in this magazine will garner a lot of attention, both favourable and not," he wrote. "Very few, I believe, will agree wholeheartedly with the results. And that is precisely why we do this: to generate discussion, to get people thinking and to stimulate conversation about courses."

The Nicklaus North Golf Course was the top Whistler entry on the list, in 23 rd spot. Designed by Jack Nicklaus and built in 1995, the course was ranked ninth nationally in 2000.

But while it ranked highest of all the local courses, it received some less than flattering commentary from the panel. "Sets up well for all skill levels," wrote a reviewer. "A great test of golf, but on a somewhat bland piece of land. It doesn’t have the scenery to match up to the other courses in the area."

No commentary was offered for any of the other local courses.

Next on the list, at 34 th , was Big Sky Golf and Country Club in Pemberton, which was designed by Bob Cupp and opened in 1994. In 2000, Big Sky was ranked 22 nd .

The Chateau Whistler Golf Course, which opened in 1993, was 53 rd in the list, down from 39th in 2000.

The Whistler Golf Club was the only local course to move up in rank, going from 80 th in 2000, a year it was undergoing renovations, to 71 st this year.

St. George’s Golf and Country Club outside of Toronto was the top ranked course this year.

The Capilano Golf and Country Club was the top course in the province, ranked third overall. Predator Ridge in Vernon was next for B.C. in 16 th place and Radium Resort Springs Course in Radium was 20 th .

Other B.C. courses on the list included the Victoria Golf Club in 25 th ; Gallaghers Canyon Golf and Country Club of Kelowna in 41 st ; Fairview Mountain Golf Community of Oliver in 42 nd ; Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community of Courtney in 43 rd ; Greywolf Golf Club of Panorama in 44 th ; Salmon Arm Golf Course in 50 th ; Harvest Golf Club of Kelowna in 52 nd ; Morgan Creek Golf Course of Surrey in 54 th ; Northview Golf and Country Club of Surrey in 59 th ; Marine Drive Golf Club of Vancouver in 63 rd ; Trickle Creek Resort of Kimberley in 72 nd ; Rivershore Estates and Golf Links of Kamloops in 74 th ; Storey Creek Resort of Kimberley in 87 th ; and the Dunes At Kamloops in 96 th .

In addition, Score compiled a list of the top 18 "Women Friendly Courses" in Canada. Big Sky in Pemberton topped the list, and Score’s female panel members offered the following explanation: "Has definitely recognized the importance of becoming women-friendly. All facilities and programs geared toward women have been created to make us feel comfortable throughout the facility."

Chateau Whistler received silver medal recognition for "Best Scenery," and a bronze medal for "Best Food" at the halfway house.

Whistler was also ranked sixth in Canada on Score’s list of the top Golf Resorts, and tied for silver in the "Best Canadian Golf Destination" category.