Tournament day, and I’m looking forward to my first time on one of Metro Vancouver’s most unique courses, Westwood Plateau. This course is located up a mountain about 40 minutes from Downtown Vancouver. Getting to Westwood Plateau is pretty easy, but I had left the house late and was concerned I’d be forgoing warmup, something that I definitely needed after a couple months without playing a full round.
Arriving, the experience was pro – bag drop at the front door and a pre-tee off spread of food, sure not to be bothersome during the round. I already felt like an NBA or NHL player who talks about “game day meals” being geared toward performance.
To top that off, our tee-gift was the P2 Player Pack, a signature bundle that included a Westwood Plateau golf towel, tees, a sleeve of balls and a book full of coupons and incentives to return on another day (did they know I’d be out to get reveng-err….try the course again?) or use at their academy or in the clubhouse.
Solid start to the day – and I hadn’t even picked up my clubs.
Getting comfortable up the mountain and trying to focus on golf was a bit difficult because it’s beautiful. The scenery is distracting. Much like I imagine playing Pebble Beach can mesmerize golfers with the crashing waves off the tee box as they have a narrow fairway to hit. Westwood is different. As the golf course is built around a mountain, the challenges building each hole are obvious, as documented by the course designer. It’s one thing to have a view of out beyond the mountain, it’s another to try and decipher each hole at the same time as Westwood doesn’t fully resemble your typical golf course.
Not your Typical Golf Course
The holes are well marked and most are easy to see where you’re shooting, but on a few, there’s little visual guidance as the elevation change doesn’t allow for you to see the pin or even the approach.
Due to the changes in elevation and inclines in certain places, this course is power cart only. I haven’t golfed much with a power cart since playing golf as a kid in Palm Desert where the power carts are your means of transportation on and to the course. Equipped with GPS and details about the course, the power cart is a helpful caddy.
Many of the holes are impressive, and the most interesting aspect was the blind decline and adjusting (or needing to know) distances of your clubs. On this day, my yardage was off. Probably due to my lack of play, but it didn’t set me up well for Hole 12.
Hole 12: Carved Out of the Mountain
Driving up to Hole 12, you don’t know exactly what to expect since you can’t see the pin until you’re at the tee.
Stepping up to the 142 yard hole (from the White/Griffin tees) should be right within my comfort zone. Usually I’m dialed in with my short irons, but on a day like this when my distances were off and I had to clear a woody gulley to make it on the tee. I went a club up. And it was way too much club.
Thinking my 7 iron would be easy to hit, reach well within the distance with a light and easy swing, I couldn’t have predicted my tee shot. I squared up, aligned for the deep left pin placement and followed with my plan to have a light and easy swing.
The ball hit the sweet spot of my cavity back iron, jumped perfectly off the tee and as I’m pleased with the ball strike, I just as quickly remember the granite not too far behind the green. Carved out of a mountain also means there’s a wall of stone that’s like a backboard in basketball – only forgiving if hit perfectly.
Well, I couldn’t tell you how far the ball went off the tee because it went straight into the mountain…. and like a backboard, the ball ricocheted back towards the green. It turned out to be my best approach of the day.
A solid 2-putt gave me a GIR and a Par. Very pleased with the turn out, if only I had called “bank” off the tee like we do with our jump-shots in basketball to avoid scrutiny.
Wrapping up at The Clubhouse
Getting back to the clubhouse was a welcome sight. Power cart or not, this was a long round of golf. Challenging terrain both for balls in play and for navigating our way around the course, we actually covered most of Eagle Mountain.
The tournament was a great event and the clubhouse served up delicious food before the drive back home. Westwood Plateau is a great experience for anyone wanting a different round of golf and for tournament organizers who are looking to leave a lasting impression. Seriously, give yourself the day and get out there and play Westwood Plateau.
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