Bad day, good round

Even in the rain, a hole-in-one is a good day

by Dan Williams

Mel Dies, general manager and CPGA head professional at Fernie Golf and Country Club, talks enthusiastically about the course,  comparing it to the golf haven of Kananaskis Country in Alberta. 

“We have spectacular scenery and the course is in awesome shape,” he said.  

There have been some recent upgrades to the course, with three new tee boxes, better driving range access and a cleaned-up water hazard at Hole 13. Dies described the course as being fairly flat with a view of the surrounding mountains from every hole. The large clubhouse deck is a place to take in the vistas and swap close hole-in-one stories at the end of your round. The course is accessible for all skill levels and can be a challenging course for the better players.

The Fernie Golf and Country Club boasts two signature holes. Hole 3 is a par three at 218 yards, while Hole 8 is a long-shot par five with the international ski hill dominant in the background for those who dream of cold, white powder after the golf season.

Golfers dream and visualize how that hole-in-one will play out: typically, on a clear, blue day, with no wind and the sun at your back. When asked if he had any good hole-in-one stories, Dies related a shot that he witnessed, but it was actually a friend that had made it. On this particular day—while dodging dark skies, rain and hail and following a triple bogey on the seventh hole from the back tees at 173 yards with a seven-iron—Wayne Sotski teed off. 

“It was a great shot that I watched; (it) landed just short, then rolled straight into the hole," said Dies, adding that Sotski said this was the one good shot and bright spot of the day and it would keep him coming back for years to come—a statement that all golfers can agree upon.

Described as “the coolest town in North America” by Rolling Stone magazine, Fernie has a thriving arts scene, its own brewing company, a college campus and folks that come to live and play from around the world.

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