Meadow Gardens Golf Course - It's A Beautiful Place To Be
Bryan Outram (Inside Golf)
It's certainly not a new idea to embark on a redesign of an existing golf course or facility, but few are able to complete the metamorphosis with the same result a caterpillar does when it reemerges as a beautiful butterfly.
Since its rebirth in August of 1994, Meadow Gardens Golf Course in Pitt Meadows, B.C. can easily lay claim to successfully making that transformation.
The drive into the property is nothing short of inspiring and not unlike you might expect to encounter as you arrived at a world class golf resort located in Florida, Palm Springs or either of the Carolinas.
Renowned golf course architect Les Furber did an amazing job of utilizing the natural surroundings to create a very walkable and challenging but imminently playable layout with four sets of tees ranging from 5,519 yards to over 7,000 yards from the back blocks.
General Manager Frank Asin and his team have developed a facility that truly offers a full-pull experience for the golfer or even casual visitor dropping in for a great meal and spectacular view to accompany the outing.
As Asin outlines, "Some of the things that we offer are location, the facilities, the amenities, the condition of the golf course. We've spent a lot on the facilities over the years, such as the Loft lounge and restaurant upstairs. It's a great place to come and just hang out, without having to drive to downtown Vancouver. The service is great, the food is great and the view is fantastic during the day as well as in the evening."
There are also 3 separate banquet rooms with total seating of up to 400 people within the confines of a 35,000 square foot clubhouse, so hosting tournaments and corporate events is not a problem here.
Whereas the facility offers a very enjoyable 18-hole golf course with a nice practice/warm-up range and two practice putting greens, probably one of the most exciting and unique elements available on site is the Performance Golf Academy run by PGA of Canada High Performance Coaches Brett Saunders and Scott Rodgers.
GM Asin states that, "What we would like to do is attract young families and with the partnership that we've established with the Performance Academy we definitely see the importance of growing the game. So the Academy is helping introduce juniors but also through the juniors hopefully they will introduce their families and in that way make the facility much more attractive to them. People want to spend quality time with their families and in this way we feel they will see the value at Meadow Gardens."
One of the most fascinating programs offered here is the Precision Putting Studio that Saunders and Rodgers have put together, which has become a staple training facility for a number of Canada's top amateur golfers and is catching the eye of many professionals as well.
Their motto at the Putting Studio is "See it. Roll it. Hole it." One golf magazine editor paid a visit to the studio recently and was amazed at what could be learned regarding how players think they see the line for a putt and what they are actually seeing. A few small but very effective adjustments later resulted in dramatic early results.
But perhaps one of the biggest and most important goals of the Performance Golf Academy is reaching out to young golfers and helping them realize that golf can be 'fun' and it's not a game to be afraid of, but embraced and enjoyed for life. The First Swing Junior Development Program includes 'SNAG Golf' which has shown to be a great way to introduce young kids to golf and focuses on the fun element.
As Rogers says, "The kids really enjoy it and we're excited because we're going to combine the SNAG with some athletic stuff, some agility and basically just movement skills, play a bunch of games, run through some cones, that kind of thing. Our vision is to develop it, to get the kids involved and then the parents kind of come along after them. We can shut the range and put a five hole SNAG course out there and have some fun, get the Barbeque going and just get back to having some fun with the game."
To learn more about the Saunders Rogers Performance Programs e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org