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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Hey! I found a tee time!

Last night around 9:30pm as Richard and I were talking about what golf courses I had booked for the weekend, I mentioned that I had tried to book some other courses earlier in the week, but there were no tee times...then I got a brain wave! Why not try for tomorrow? Sure enough I found us a 9 hole tee time at 9:52am. A perfect time...not too early, and not too late...and a leisurely 30 minute drive south on the Coastal roadway.

The course I booked was Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club established as a 9 hole course in 1913. This hidden gem was designed by an Irish man named Vernon Macan, who was a leading golf course architect in the Pacific Northwest. Brigadier General Noel Money moved his family from England in 1914 to manage the golf course and an associated hotel. The golf course attracted many notables including Hollywood stars Errol Flynn, Shirley Temple, Spencer Tracey, Bob Hope & Bing Crosby. The course was eventually purchased by the Town of Qualicum Beach in 1981 and preserved as the “Memorial Golf Course”. It is the fourth oldest course in B.C. The views of Mount Arrowsmith, the Coastal Mountain Range and the Georgia Strait from the golf course are amazing!

It was +2C when we teed off and somehow it didn’t feel cold to me. I didn’t have to wear rain pants or a rain jacket to stay warm. We were paired up with a local member who showed us around the course which was handy.

First hole behind us...a par 5. We both made 6.

The course has a really interesting layout. The first 3 holes were on one side of the road with the club house, and then we crossed the road to play 5 holes, crossing back to play the 18th, a par 3.

Nice par 3 and it was playing long, across a gully. Made a par!

18th green...nice bunkers...made a 4!

It rained a bit on us while we played, but the course was full of golfers and the rain didn’t disrupt our play at all!

We found out the members get to book 8 days in advance and the public 7 days in advance. The pro in the pro shop said if we want to play there we should check like we did last evening. A day or 2 in advance members will release their times so just keep checking online for the next time we want to play.

We played in exactly 2 hours, with no waiting on the course. It was lunchtime when we were done, and given it was my FIRST TIME WALKING A GOLF COURSE since June, we decided to celebrate and have lunch at the club. I was so proud of myself for finally getting to walk a golf course...even if it was 9 holes!

There was great social distancing in the restaurant with only 2 other groups in for lunch and well spread out in the restaurant. We liked the fact that all people had to mask in and provide their name and phone number in a log before entering, as well as hand sanitizing.

The special today for lunch was fish tacos, fries, salad or soup for $15. Richard decided that was for him. I had the BLT on a delicious brioche bun with homemade chicken veggie, rice soup. Delicious!

Richard loved the fish tacos! Apparently they are a huge member favourite and when Covid hit they couldn’t find a chef to work the kitchen, so instead of having the fish tacos on the menu every day, they are now just a Thursday special. So it was our lucky day for fish tacos!

We both agreed we would be back to play Qualicum again. It reminded us of our home course Bridgewater Country Club in Fort Erie, with its parkland style golf holes. Being built around the same time in the early 1900’s both courses have a very nice vibe to them. We both agree we like old golf courses and for the price at $28 for 9 holes, with $4 for a pull cart, it was a good deal.

After lunch we drove up the hill into the town of Qualicum Beach. I was in desperate need of a pedicure so I spent the next hour getting my feet taken care of. I have to say that it was one of the best pedicures I’ve ever had! The shop was empty and the place was immaculately clean with heavy plastic hanging between and in front of each treatment area. A really good experience and since we are here for 4 months, a place I will go back to patronize.

When we arrived at Fanny Bay 2 days ago we discovered that a propane truck will come and deliver to the RV park, but unfortunately the truck had just delivered on December 1st, so we have missed out on this month’s propane delivery. The options we have for heating Newman are either propane (we have a tank onboard), or we use electric baseboard heaters (we have 2 that we bought before leaving home). The RV park charges each tenant for electricity separately and provides us with an electric bill at the end of the month. Our neighbour Jim told us that his electric bill was $205 for the month of November! We found that when we use the electric baseboard heater, the RV doesn’t stay as warm as when we use our furnace (propane). So today on our drive back from Qualicum Beach we stopped in at the Esso Station 6 minutes down the road in Bowser to see if we could fit Newman next to the propane tank to fill it up. The owner of the Esso station said “no problem” as lots of RVs stop for propane at the pump. So that’s what we are going to do when we need propane. Drive to Bowser instead of trying to heat with baseboard heaters. It’s pretty funny to think Richard just cannot run into town to do this errand without me, like he would do at home in Fort Erie. If he leaves to fill up Newman, I’m homeless!

And tonight....the famous Fanny Bay Inn (FBI) salt and pepper wings are on the menu for dinner. Richard may also have a bowl of their seafood chowder in his future too!!!

We’re finding it doesn’t take much to fill up our days and its dark by 4:30pm so it feels late even though it isn’t late. Let’s get past December 21st please so the days will start getting longer!!!!

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