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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.
“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.
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.
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
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
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.”
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 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.
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
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.
By Jane Finn, Photography by David Finn
¡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.
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.
As published in November 2020 Issue 17 of Planet Golf Review
Life is full of contrasts, but Westerners are often oblivious to these nuances. In Thailand, you will find cosmopolitan cities and rural villages that dot the landscape, pristine beaches and dirty canals, ancient temples amidst towering skyscrapers, luxury hotels and backpacker’s havens and a vibe that is either enervating or enriching.
Like most travellers, we arrive via Bangkok, a city that never sleeps and the most visited city on the planet, eclipsing London and Paris. It’s hot, humid, congested and chaotic but teeming with life and an energy that invites you to dive in with a ‘beginners mind’ and immerse yourself in the culture. Ninety percent of the population is Buddhist. It wasn’t long before we discover how this will influence every aspect of our journey to the other side of the world, a place like no other that invites you to get lost so that you can find yourself again.