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golf

A Sports Lover’s Guide To Winnipeg

As the birthplace of athletes from Terry Fox to Cindy Klassen, It should come as no surprise that Winnipeg is a major sports city. This year, as proud hosts of the 2017 Canada Games, there’s no better place To Find activities for every breed of sports fanatic. On your mark, get set, explore!

HEALTH START
Start a day of exploring right by fuelling up with these eats locals love. Grab a cold pressed juice from Green Carrot Juice Co (3 locations) to replenish electrolytes, or sip on a protein-packed smoothie. Manitoba-made GORP Energy Bars, found at most of the city’s health stores, will imbue your day with energy. Carbo-loading is the name of the game at The Original Pancake House, where stacks of buttermilk flapjacks rival Ryan Cochrane’s breakfasts.

 credit Joey Traa, Sport ManitobaCALLING ALL FANS
The Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame inside the Sport Manitoba building celebrates the Canada Games with an exhibit exploring the event’s 50 year run (pictured). Photos and artifacts from every province and territory in Canada—including medals and uniforms from the first Canada Games in 1967—are on display. For budding atheletes, the Children’s Museum exhibit Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action provides a place to play. Get the little ones moving with activities like virtual surfing, a kung fu session, and a strength-building climbing wall.

WATER WATER EVERYWHERE
For a landlocked prairie province, we love our water—and Manitoba boasts more than 110,000 lakes. Diving, swimming, sailing, and rowing competitions are sure to whet your desire to make a splash yourself.

  • Get inspired by a day trip to Gimli. After taking a dip in the lake, head to the New Icelandic Heritage Museum to see an exhibit of stunning sailing photos (Jul 1-Aug 30)
  • Go swimming in the Pan Am Pool, or take a trip to Kildonan or St Vital Park to enjoy outdoor heated pools and splash pads for kiddos
  • Sit back on a guided tour of the Assiniboine river from Splash Dash Water Tours—or grab a paddle and explore the waterway by canoe
  • Get the blood pumping at Adrenaline Adventures with cable wakeboarding and beach volleyball
  • See a birch bark canoe used by this land’s first inhabitants at the Manitoba Museum
  • Prep for a day of sun and fun by picking up cute swimwear at The Hula Hut and Bra Bar
  • If you can’t make it to one of the province’s beautiful lakes, try local lakefish in one of the city’s regional themed restaurant. The Cornerstone serves pickerel in a French-influenced lemon butter sauce, while Fergie’s Fish and Chips at The Forks perfects the classic deep fry

GOLF GURUS
Think you picked up some pro tips from watching the competitors in action? Better hit the greens.

  • Practice on virtual golf simulators at Winnipeg’s only indoor Golf Dome
  • The mini golf course at Thunder Rapids is perfect for pint-sized putters
  • Lush 323 acre La Barriere Park boasts a 5700 foot long, 18-hole disc golf course
  • Golf balls emblazoned with the Winnipeg Jets’ logo from the Jets Gear Store display Winnipeg pride on the course

SUPER CYCLISTS
Between a thriving bike culture and slick city trails and paths, Winnipeg makes it easy to emulate your favourite mountain bikers, cyclists, and triathletes.

  • No bike, no problem—rent a ride from one of the city’s cycling shops. White Pine Bicycle Co at The Forks is centrally located, while Woodcock Cycle has the added perk of coffee from The Yellow Derny Cafe, inside
  • For a leisurely pedal, try out a bicycle built for two (or four) at Bee2Gether Bike Rentals at The Forks or Assiniboine Park
  • Take an art tour and see the city by bike at the same time. The Winnipeg Arts Council’s ArtRide (Jul 30) takes a scenic spin through St Boniface and St Vital. The Downtown BIZ’s A Moveable Feast tour (Aug 8) features stops at five different restaurants

PLAY BALL
Hundreds of ball players are fighting for gold during the Canada Games. Fans hit a home run of their own at these spots to dine, shop, and play.

  • Dine on Indian and Hakka cuisine while overlooking the diamond at Clay Oven at Shaw Park
  • Root for the home team by picking up swag at the Goldeyes Dugout Store
  • Batting cages at Grand Prix Amusements offer a chance to practice your swing
  • Hone your pitching skills on skee ball machines at hip sports bar Underdogs (pictured below)

    Credit Gary Barringer

    Credit: Gary Barringer

Tee Off at Muskoka’s Best Golf Courses

Muskoka’s best golf courses offer stunning scenery, challenging terrain, and the opportunity to make cottage-country memories that will last a lifetime.

BY IAN CRUICKSHANK

The Rocky Crest Golf Club is one of Muskoka's many excellent golf courses

The Rocky Crest Golf Club is one of Muskoka’s many excellent golf courses

I remember the moment exactly. It was 2:27 p.m. on a bleak February afternoon. I was being pinched by deadlines, outside the snow was piling up faster than the provincial debt and I was already late for a meeting on the other side of the city. I was about to curl up in the fetal position and slide permanently under my desk, when I spied a photo pinned on my bulletin board next to the computer.

It was a shot taken last summer at the first tee at the Lake Joseph Club. Three pals and I are looking down the valley, smiling, almost giggling, like we’d just gobbled down too much cake and ice cream. It was no special occasion—just summer up north by the lake, about to tee off on one of our favourite courses. At that moment I realized that I could get through the snow, the darkness and the deadlines as long as I knew Muskoka golf was on the horizon.

RELATED: Check out more of Muskoka’s best golf courses in our comprehensive guide.

When ClubLink unveiled the Lake Joseph Club in 1997, it changed the landscape of cottage golf forever. Designed by Toronto’s Thomas McBroom, “Lake Joe” was the first course to combine a country club level of service with the stunning local topography. McBroom routed his rolling layout above the broad banks of Lake Joseph, notching the greens into the hillsides and accenting the tree-lined fairways with flashes of granite.

McBroom is also behind the aptly named Rocky Crest Golf Club in Mactier, a course that incorporates the best of Muskoka, highlighting the landscape’s rocky underpinnings. At the sixth hole, a long par five, he peeled back a layer of scrub and dirt to reveal an intimidating granite canyon.

The Muskoka Bay Club

The Muskoka Bay Club

The Grandview Golf Club in Huntsville is a bold enterprise that winds past creeks, beaver ponds, and bungalow-sized rocks and into the heart of the forest. What ultimately makes Grandview unique is its dual nature—you can play it brawny or brainy.

The Rock has a definite edge, just like its designer, six-time major winner Nick Faldo. The first half-dozen holes push through the woods and around the slabs of granite. Later in the round, the course opens up with some spectacular rocky vistas.

Muskoka Bay Club boasts one of the prettiest layouts in the country. The Doug Carrick-designed course free falls from rocky topped tees through heavily treed valleys, then rises to elevated greens that slope away to sand.

Ian Cruickshank is a golf and travel writer who has written about the game for the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Golf Digest and Maclean’s magazine.

6 Places to Enjoy the Outdoors in Calgary

Enjoy Southern Alberta's big blue skies and warm weather this summer. Courtesy Blue Devil Golf Club.

Take in Alberta’s big blue skies and warm summer weather (Photo: courtesy Blue Devil Golf Club)

Alberta’s mountain parks are well known recreational destinations, but a wide variety of warm-weather outdoor fun can be had in and around Calgary. (more…)

Father’s Day Activities in the Canadian Rockies

By JENNA NEWTON and KATE DEGLOW

hiking-moraine-Zizka

(Photo: Banff Lake Louise / Paul Zizka)

Father’s Day is around the corner and you need to find that perfect activity-filled day to let Dad know you love him. Take a breath and calm down. We have the 4-word solution that all dads love: DAY IN THE MOUNTAINS. It may rain, but remember that there’s no such thing as inappropriate weather, just inappropriate clothing. So get Dad to dress right and take on whatever the mountains throw at him while partaking in these activities.

 

(more…)

Two Great Golf Apps that Will Help Improve Your Game

Linkside love: GolfLogix (left) and Everyday Golf Coach can help improve your game

Improve your game with technology. Golf apps can help you master specific courses and your swing. GolfLogix (pictured on the left) allows players to zoom in on individual holes and hazards. Among the international database of courses are the Muskoka Highlands, Parry Sound Golf & Country Club, Deerhurst Lakeside course, Muskoka Bay Club and the Lake Joseph Club. Everyday Golf Coach (on the right) is from PGA pro Noel Rousseau and features 32 videos that focus on your swing. A Swing Analyzer function allows you to diagnose specific issues, while videos for your iPhone and iPad help you to apply specific principles. Everyday Golf Coach is available for iPhone, and GolfLogix is available for BlackBerry, Droid, iPhone, Palm and most other devices.

 

Golf in the Garden City

Olympic View Golf Club

With its excellent selection of courses and facilities—from picturesque par-3s to world-class courses carved from the West Coast forest—the south Island is a golfer’s paradise.

If your Victoria visit will include a turn around the links, here is a selection of some of the city’s finest courses. For more ideas, contact Tourism Victoria at 250-953-2033 or stop by the Visitor Centre, downtown on the Inner Harbour. (more…)

Hot Shopping: Duffer’s Paradise

Founders Club golf bag and clubs

With more than 100 high-quality golf courses within a reasonable drive from downtown Toronto, it’s easy to hit the links this summer. Before you go for the green, however, make a trip to Golf Town, which offers everything from clubs to apparel and high-tech gadgets to improve your game. Featured this season are ladies’ Swarovski hat clips that double as ball markers, plus Founders Club “Believe” club sets—each purchase helps support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Gentlemen ball strikers can pick up a TaylorMade R11 driver or Nike Method Core putter. Golf Town’s indoor simulators allow everyone to test new clubs for the right feel and fit before you buy.

Weekend Roundup, August 27 to 29

Summer activities are still burning bright this far into August. Take in the sights, do some shopping, and be sure to get in a round of golf!

Take a swing at the Ridge at Manitou golf club

Friday, August 27
Rifle through antiques for treasure at the annual Bracebridge Antique Show & Sale, on today through Sunday. Great finds amongst the jewellery, furniture and quilts!

Kick back, relax and enjoy pizzas, pasta, steak and fish on the dockside patio at the Cottage Waterfront Grill in Huntsville.

Saturday, August 28
They say Marty Curtis is the Michelangelo of butter tarts. Find out for yourself by ordering the Canadian staple at Marty’s World Famous Café. Other filling options abound, from grilled cheese sandwiches to tempting Muskoka apple pies.

Discover some of the country’s best ales, lagers and stouts at the Muskoka Beer Festival. The 19+ event presents an opportunity to sample more than 75 different craft brews, see a wakeboarding show, and participate in a number of other activities.

Sunday, August 29
Whether you’re a seasoned duffer or a relative newcomer to the game, the Ridge at Manitou offers an excellent Muskoka golf experience. Following your round, enjoy the hospitality in the clubhouse lounge and its breathtaking view of Manitouwabing Lake.

Stay young at heart with a trip to Applause! Toy Store. (Or just treat your children.) This toy heaven in Bracebridge is filled with games, toys, puzzles, art supplies, and an interactive kids play area.

Weekend Roundup, July 30 to August 2

July is not going down without a party first. Take particular note of numerous jazz concerts as you celebrate this Civic Holiday long weekend!

North Restaurant chef Alain Irvine serves up the flavours of the Muskoka region

Friday, July 30
Don’t miss the Huntsville Jazz Festival, running this weekend only!  Juno award–winner Alex Cuba opens tonight at the Algonquin Theatre.

Prepare for an evening packed with family fun, shopping and entertainment at the Bracebridge BIA Midnight Madness event.

Saturday, July 31
Indulge in one of Muskoka’s best meals at Gravenhurst’s North Restaurant. Chef Alain Irvine’s fresh, seasonal cuisine is sure to please.

Continue the jazz extravaganza tonight at the Festival of the Sound. The 16-piece Dave Young Big Band performs the renowned bassist’s original compositions and breathes new life into old standards.

Sunday, August 1
Find swing of a different kind by booking a tee time at the exceptional Ridge at Manitou golf course.

Dash into the 1950s tonight as the Lincolnaires offer a nostalgic set of early rock ‘n’ roll classics for Music on the Barge.

Monday, August 2
If the greens are still calling, tee off at the Muskoka Bay Club’s naturally beautiful 18-hole course. On site, the newly renovated Clifftop Clubhouse boasts a pro shop plus indoor-outdoor bistro with tantalizing dining options.

Step aboard the Island Queen for its Sunset on the Bay Musical Cruise. Watch as the sun dips under the water while vocals and instruments provide a musical lullaby.

9 Must-Play Golf Courses

Tee off at the signature holes—and courses—of Canada’s hottest golf destination.
By Brian Kendall

Muskoka Bay Golf Club

GOOD TO GO Stunningly beautiful, but not crazily long
or difficult, Muskoka Bay Golf Club’s 441-yard first hole—launched from a rocky perch high above the fairway—is an ideal opener.

CANADIAN CLASSIC Affording panoramic vistas of the surrounding Lake of Bays, the par-four sixth at Bigwin Island Golf Club is renowned as one of Canada’s most scenic holes.

ROCKY RIDE The par-three seventh at Taboo Golf Course is chiseled through a long and craggy chute of striated pink and grey granite. Miss left or right and your ball bounces into orbit.

INTO THE ABYSS From the dizzying heights of the eighth tee at Lake Joseph Club, golfers must hit a precision iron shot to a valley green dwarfed by a giant wall of pink granite.

NINE TO GO A thrilling conclusion to a roller-coaster-ride front nine, The Rock Golf Club’s dogleg par-five ninth challenges golfers to bite off  they dare.

Deerhurst Highlands

DOGLEG RIGHT Muskoka’s golf boom began with the 1990 opening of Deerhurst Highlands Golf Course, where the par-four 10th launches from a towering granite-slab tee box before twisting right toward a multi-tiered green.

BOGEY HOLE Perhaps Muskoka’s most feared hole is the 16th at South Muskoka Curling and Golf Club, a par four demanding a pinpoint approach over a ball-hungry gully to an undulating green.

HERCULEAN EFFORT High-handicappers beware: the carry over bedrock and water from the back tees at North Granite Ridge Golf Club’s par-five 17th hole is a knee-buckling 220 yards.

GRAND FINALE With a green at the par-five 18th that appears suspended like an emerald infinity pool above Manitouwabing Lake, The Ridge at Manitou Golf Club offers a magical ending to every round.

Weekend Roundup: May 28 to 30

The Muskoka region melds the glory of nature with modern convenience and amenities. Experience it all this weekend!

Saturday: Spend time at Muskoka Wharf

Friday, May 28
On your way north, stop in at Bayfield Mall to stock up on necessities. More than 70 stores—including Winners, Canadian Tire, Price Chopper and Pharma Plus—help ensure you’re prepared for any situation.

Take in stunning greens, tall trees and expansive Muskokan vistas while challenging yourself to a round of golf at North Granite Ridge.

Saturday, May 29
Head to Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst to stroll along the boardwalk, investigate the the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre or indulge in dining and shopping. Kids can frolic in the playground and water-play area.

Enjoy modern artists’ interpretations of works by the Group of Seven and Tom Thompson—more than 40 pieces are displayed at Huntsville’s Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery.

Sunday, May 30
View Ontario wildlife at indoor facilities and while venturing across 50 acres of walking trails. The Muskoka Wildlife Centre is an interactive learning park for all ages where furry woodland creatures make for a memorable trip.

Browse the shelves of The Bookcase, an independent bookstore housed in a Huntsville historic building, and pick up a new tome or an old favourite to read on a quiet cottage-country evening.

Weekend Roundup: May 21 to 24

The Victoria Day long weekend marks summer’s unofficial start in the picturesque Muskoka region. Take your pick amongst concerts, shopping, spas and dining events that are sure to make your stay memorable!

Friday: Jim Cuddy and his Blue Rodeo bandmates hit the Kee to Bala stage (photo by Alison Cathrae)

Friday, May 21
Fulfill your lifestyle goals while perusing the many health, food, fashion and home decorating products and services at the Muskoka Lifestyle Show, running all weekend long. Door prizes and free gifts for the first 50 visitors are offered every day.

Rush out to catch Blue Rodeo at the Kee to Bala concert hall and discover for yourself why they’re one of Canada’s most beloved bands.

Saturday, May 22
Breathe in the fragrance of fresh produce at the Bracebridge Farmers Market. Browse the various stands, speak with the local vendors and choose from a wide variety of tantalizing fruits, vegetables and local delights.

Make a return trip to the Kee to Bala as Xavier Rudd & Izintaba top off the Victoria Day weekend with a concert hosted by Jesse Penwright, and featuring special-guest opener Justin Nozuka.

Sunday: Relax on Lake Rosseau

Sunday, May 23
Re-create the cottage experience at the Cottage Waterfront Grill. Bask on the dockside patio while indulging in your choice of pizzas, pastas, steaks and fish dishes.

Feel like a queen at the Spa at the Rosseau. Enjoy a view of Lake Rosseau while indulging in a massage, manicure, pedicure, facial or hair treatment.

Monday, May 24
Celebrate Victoria Day with a plethora of activities at Deerhurst Resort: rent a fishing boat, participate in a family scavenger hunt, stroll a scenic trail, or play a round on one of two excellent golf courses. To end the day, several dining options offer sustenance, including upscale Eclipse with a view of Sunset Bay and the lobby bar with extensive martini options, wines and light entrées.

Enjoy the cozy cottage feel of Spencer’s Tall Trees. The restaurant offers a lovely view of Hunter’s Bay, plus regional delicacies and an award-winning wine list.