Destinations

Laying Low in Abaco Bahamas

Published December 1, 2023 in Bahamas , Mexico/Carribean - 0 Comments

Laying Low in Abaco

By Jane Finn, Photography by Dave Finn as published in the November 2023 Issue of Planet Golf Review

The Bahama Breeze is a popular drink here in the Outer Islands, but for a sailor yearning to set out on a sea of adventure, it’s the wind in your sail, the song in your heart and the skip in your step that gives you the courage and freedom to chart your own course.

Slowing Down to the Speed of Life

It’s late afternoon and a balmy 27° Celsius when we touched down in Marsh Harbour, the nation’s third-largest settlement behind Nassau and Freeport. Still, there’s plenty of time to pick up groceries at Maxwell’s and store our gear aboard our rental boat before heading to Snappas Chill & Grill for dinner. It’s Monday, and the place is hopping. William Albury is tinkling the ivory keys, and as we went our way to the back of the restaurant, the crowd erupts in a passionate, if not precisely harmonious, rendition of Brown Eyed Girl. A local tribute to all the mothers and daughters, sisters, friends, and girlfriends gathered here to celebrate that life is good today!

As we settle in at our table overlooking the twinkling lights of the harbour, I take a deep breath, willing myself to slow down, relax and enjoy being on ‘island time.’ Magically, a Hibiscus Kiss appears before me, and the blackened mahi-mahi and grilled shrimp that follow are equally delicious. Gradually, the busyness of the past several weeks starts to fade, and I soon feel like I don’t have a worry in the world. Gone is the stress of packing, repacking, answering last-minute emails, plane delays, and then racing to make connections. For the next ten days, we are going to disconnect to reconnect. No cell phones, no Netflix, no What’s App, no Mr. Google – only our wits, GPS to navigate the waters and a marine radio to communicate with those onshore. I can’t wait for the journey to begin! Continue reading

A Tale of Two Cities – Surrey & Victoria BC

Published April 4, 2023 in British Columbia , Canada - 1 Comment

A Tale of Two Cities

Jane heads to British Columbia in search of culinary delights from around the world on the Spice Trail, while being protected by a wolf at a sacred site

by Jane Finn, Photography by David Finn as published in the April 2023 Edition of Planet Golf Review Magazine

The snow-covered peaks loom large, piercing the sky before tapering off to meet the sea. As we descend into Vancouver, I have a bird’s eye view of the raw, rugged terrain and dancing lights below. Sandwiched between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, British Columbia’s natural beauty is breathtaking and draws me back time and time again. Undoubtedly, this is one of the best places on the planet to hike, ski, canoe, or golf. Still, on this trip, I want to spend time exploring smaller cities and the diversity of culture, cuisine, history and entertainment that makes BC not only an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise but a world-class destination.

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Canada’s Wine Country – Message in a Bottle

Published January 13, 2023 in Canada - 1 Comment
Canadian Wines

Message in a Bottle – Canada’s Wine Country

“A bottle of white, a bottle of red, perhaps a bottle of rose instead.”

Join Jane Finn as she savours the flavours and philosophy of Canada’s Wine Country.

By Jane Finn, Photography by Dave Finn as published in Issue 20 of Planet Golf Review Magazine

Writing this article was a challenge. Not because I had to sample so many delectable wines to make sure you would be delighted with my picks, but because Canada’s wine scene is as varied and diverse as the country’s landscape. From coast to coast, I’ve had the privilege of meeting passionate growers and world-class winemakers. I’ve walked with them in their vineyards, visited their cellars and spent more than a bit of time in their tasting rooms learning how to pair, serve, buy and enjoy a good bottle of wine. I’ve also gained a whole new appreciation for the vision, grit, and determination it takes to produce award-winning wines by listening to the stories of people who make a life and a living, sharing their labour of love.

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Impressions of India

Published November 24, 2022 in Asia , India - 0 Comments

IMPRESSIONS OF INDIA

by Jane Finn, Photography by David Finn as published in Issue 23 of Planet Golf Review

To read the entire issue visit: https://planetgolfreview.com/PGR-planet-golf-review-magazine-issue_23.pdf

If I were asked to describe India in a single word, that word would be incredible. Jane Finn discovers the many faces of India on her way to a wedding.

Rich in history and steeped in tradition, India is a country of contrasts. It’s spicy with a bit of bite like the chili chicken I would grow to love on this trip. It’s a mix of congested cities, rural settlements, and large tracts of uninhabited land where wild animals roam free. It’s also a spiritual hub where mind, body and soul align if you allow it. Here, the threads of architecture, culture, and ritual weave together to create a tapestry as stunning as the silky, rainbow-coloured sarees I admire wherever I go.

Before I even land, India engages all my senses. As we descend into Mumbai, the plane’s cabin fills with the scent of camphor, incense, and cooking fires. It’s just after dawn, and the soft morning light shines upon the encampments nestled up against multimillion-dollar condos. From my window seat, I can see that even though it’s early in the day, throngs of people line the streets, and traffic appears to be moving at a crawl.

Everything about India evokes my curiosity and my desire to explore. Still, I admit to being a little intrepid about what I will discover, not only about the country but also about myself on this trip. Continue reading

Moe Norman – A Canadian Golf Legend

Published May 29, 2022 in Canada , Ontario - 1 Comment
Moe Norman swing

The unique, quirky, uber-talented Moe Norman

By Paul Knowles

Moe Norman is a legend among golfers everywhere. Moe, who passed away in 2004 at the age of 75, was renowned for consistently making perfect golf shots. His swing has been praised and admired by hundreds of golfers up to and including Tiger Woods himself. Moe was also known as the quirkiest good golfer ever – an introvert, described as “slightly autistic” as well as “a savant.” His skill was unquestioned, but his struggles with learning disabilities and self-esteem robbed him of the success he could undoubtedly have achieved on the biggest stages of golf.

He was born in Kitchener, Ontario, and during his finest playing days, was primarily associated with Rockway Golf Course, the municipal course in the heart of Kitchener. But in his later years, Moe was mostly found hanging around Foxwood Golf Course, west of Waterloo, because Moe liked to spend time with his friend, advisor, and advocate – Gus Maue, at that time owner of Foxwood.

You can find dozens of Moe Norman anecdotes through a simple search on the internet. And in the works is a Moe Norman movie, the project of Canadian moviemaker David Carver, who told me that some big Canadian names are on board: famed Canadian comedian and actor David Steinberg and his wife, Robyn Todd “are executive producers, and Wayne and Janet Gretzky are co-producers.” Carver hopes to start production of the movie this fall, depending on the availability of a still-to-be-named director and actors.

This movie will tell the Moe Norman story to the world. But Gus Maue has a store of other, more private, and poignant Moe Norman stories – and he sat down to share some of them for this article. So, this is not an exhaustive, biographical piece – it’s a collection of powerful stories about Canada’s quirkiest – yet internationally revered – golf legends, a man who Gus simply describes as “a golf genius.”

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Surfing Portugal’s Silver Coast

Published April 21, 2022 in Europe , Portugal - 4 Comments
Silver Coast Portugal

SILVER SURFER

Jane Finn discovers a 60’s vibe while searching for hidden gems along Portugal’s Silver Coast

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Words by Jane Finn Photography by David Finn

As published in the April 2022 Edition of Planet Golf Review Magazine. To read the entire issue click here

I ease the car onto the Vasco da Gama bridge, admiring the bluebird sky above that’s mirrored in the cool, blue waters of the Tagus River below. It’s November, and Portugal is enjoying “St. Martin’s Summer.” The sun is beaming, and my heart does a little skip as I leave the hustle and bustle of Lisbon behind, feeling like an explorer, embarking upon a quest to uncover the secrets of the largely undiscovered Silver Coast.

In a little over an hour, my husband Dave and I are checking into the luxurious, five-star Evolutée Hotel at the Royal Óbidos Spa and Golf Resort. Stepping onto the balcony, I can taste the tangy, saltiness of the sea in the afternoon breeze as I catch a glimpse of the wild Atlantic Ocean in the distance. It’s too late in the day to play a round, but there’s plenty of time for a Mandalay massage before heading into town.

Óbidos Castle

Moorish Fortress and Castle Óbidos

Óbidos is delightful during the day but even more enjoyable in the evening after the tour buses have departed. Driving west towards the ancient town, I can’t help but be impressed by the well-preserved Moorish fortress that dominates the skyline. It feels like a place where time has stood still. As I step through the Porta da Vila gates, I’m immediately transported back to an era of intrigue where royalty reigned supreme. It was here that with the help of the Knights Templar, King Afonso I defeated the Moors to reclaim Portugal.

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Gus Maue – The Legendary Canadian Golf Professional

Published January 24, 2022 in Canada , Ontario - 1 Comment
Gus and Audrey Maue

Gus Maue: A life in golf… and he ain’t done yet

By Paul Knowles

A chat with Ontario golf icon Gus Maue is never really over – his supply of fascinating stories about golf and golfers is unending. We talked about a slew of golfing greats who have crossed paths with Gus – Arnold Palmer, David Feherty, Raymond Floyd, Al Balding, Moe Norman, and many more.

So, when Gus called me the day after our interview, to tell me about some important characters he had forgotten to mention, I wasn’t surprised – until he told me who these “characters” were. Their names were Willie and Bowdy. Willie was a black Labrador Retriever. And Bowdy was a yellow lab who gained national attention for his ability to find and retrieve golf balls.

Gus Maue has been involved with several golf courses, both as the pro and as owner – over the span of his storied career. One such – Foxwood – is located west of Waterloo. Foxwood is now part of the Golf North chain, which acquired it from Gus 19 years ago – but during the years Gus owned and operated the course, his pet dogs lived on the property. Continue reading

Queensland Australia – Of Beauty Rich and Rare

Published November 30, 2021 in Australia - 1 Comment

OF BEAUTY RICH AND RARE

Jane Finn heads to Australia and discovers the rich and rare wonders of Queensland

Australia is an island, a country and a continent. The perfect destination for the young and the young at heart. A place as diverse as the topography, the people, the plants and wildlife that inhabit it.  I loved sophisticated Sydney and pretty Adelaide, driving the Great Ocean Road, navigating the Snowy River Mountain Pass, and sampling world-class wines in the Mudgee, Barossa and Hunter Valleys, but it was Queensland that captured my heart.

Described as both the Sunshine State and the Northern Hinterland, these contrasting and differing perspectives dance together to weave the kind of magic that causes you to spread your wings and take on bold new challenges. I find myself embracing the philosophy, ‘the more you do, the more you can do!’ to ensure I remain an intrepid traveller – at home and abroad.

Crossing over the border from New South Wales into Queensland, we head north along the Gold Coast to Surfers’ Paradise, Australia’s equivalent of Miami but with a much more laidback vibe that is underscored by welcoming energy. The two-kilometre stretch of golden sand beach and rolling surf is lined with skyscrapers and condos that dominate the horizon, but it is at sea level where all the action takes place.

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Born To Be Wild – Costa Rica

Published October 1, 2021 in Costa Rica , Mexico/Carribean - 1 Comment

BORN TO BE WILD

Jane Finn immerses herself in nature and discover why Costa Rica may be “The Happiest Place on Earth!”

By Jane Finn, Photography by David Finn

As published in the April 2021 edition of Planet Golf Review

¡Pura Vida! ¡Pura Vida! In Costa Rica, whether you’re traversing a mountain trail, hiking in the jungle, relaxing by the water or ordering shi-frijo for lunch, you’re bound to be the recipient of this distinctive Tico greeting. Two simple words that translate as “Good Life,” but how do you define it?

Is it catching the perfect wave, thundering across a deserted beach on horseback or playing a round of golf beneath a jungle canopy? Is it meeting new people, savouring the local cuisine, volunteering or a combination of all or some of these pursuits?

For me, ¡Pura Vida! means doing more of what you love to do. Walking your happy path, wherever it may lead, and on this trip, it led us to the magical, majestic Pacific Coast.

I have to admit as I touch down in Costa Rica, I am not too impressed with San Jose. It’s boisterous, crowded and sprawling.  Where is the peace and serenity, the nourishment I crave to feed my soul? However, within minutes of leaving the city, I get the answer to my question.  Zipping along the highway en route to Jaco, the buildings that lined the narrow city streets soon give way to green, verdant rainforests, and the rallying cries of scarlet macaws replace honking horns, welcoming me to a piece of paradise on earth.

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Challenge Golf in Costa Rica

Published September 14, 2021 in Costa Rica - 2 Comments
Challenge Golf

Challenge Golf: Empowering People of All Abilities

by Jane Finn

As published in the April 2021 Issue of Planet Golf Review

I have listened to hundreds of TED Talks and paid big bucks to hear motivational speakers, but it has been a long time since I have been as inspired as I was after having lunch at the 18th & Greene with José Quesada.

José is a natural redhead, a spitfire, a bundle of energy, and a force to be reckoned with, who happens to be the PGA Director of Golf for Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort whose commitment and contribution to the game far exceeds his position. When José is not dreaming up innovative events or making improvements to an already exceptional course, he finds ways to make golf accessible to anyone who wants to play.

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