Butcher’s Block in Chestermere

Butchers Block

Butchers Block

I like meals that you can share with a friend or with your spouse. On my last golf outing to Chestermere, we settled in for some dinner at the clubhouse at Lakeside Golf Course. It was a pleasant day for golf with some friends but after being rained on and bitten by mosquitos, it was time to chow down.

On tap, there’s always a nice selection of beer but I wanted Sapporo, a nice bodied beer from Japan. To complement it, I ordered the Butcher’s Block for $55. On Friday’s, the price comes down to under $50 and it is worth every penny of it. The meal comes with an ultra tender 8 oz steak, cut up in slices, a rack of ribs smothered with a bbq sauce and half a rotisserie chicken. You also have a pick of 2 sides which include a salad, sweet potato fries, regular fries, mushrooms or cooked vegetables.

I’ve ordered this meal twice this summer and both times, it was delicious. If you are in for an all-meat dinner then I would highly recommend it. The ribs are fall off tender and the chicken is nicely seasoned and cooked to perfection. My favourite is still the steak and I would eat that by itself if my wife didn’t beat me to it.

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A little Cajun in Elbow Valley

Cajun Burger

Cajun Burger

If you want to burn your mouth off then you have to try the new Cajun burger at the Elbow Springs Golf Clubhouse. Actually, it wasn’t that hot but I have to admit, it was scary when they served it to me. The first thing to see is all the jalapeno pepper slices on top and very little of anything else.

The menu at the clubhouse has changed for the better. There are more items on the menu and there is a clear distinction between lunch items and dinner items. Gone is the steak sandwich served over garlic bread and replaced with 3 new steak dinners in the $25 to $30 range.

From the new menu, the Cajun burger is worth trying. It is 100% Alberta beef and is served with a good dose of homemade chili and topped with fresh jalapeno peppers (as pictured). Instead of the usual relish, they use guacamole on the bottom side of the bun. This makes it really messy to eat but then, that’s what you expect from a burger of this size.

With the burger, you get a choice of sides that range from soup of the day to yam fries. I recommend the soup, salad or regular fries but for the yam fries, I think they slice it too thin. I felt like chewing into cardboard for some reason.

I hope you get a chance to play here and try out the new menu. Even if you don’t play golf, come out and try this burger. If you like spicy then it is worth the drive here.

 

Lucky in May

Golf Courses Opened?

Golf Courses Opened?

Here’s something to be envied about. I received an email from the SilverRock Resort in La Quinta, CA informing me that the green fees in April will be reduced by 35%. If you have played there before then you would know that this is quite a saving because the regular green fees are $185 per person. It’s a nice course to play on and it has some history too. Back when Bob Hope was around, SilverRock was home to the Bob Hope Invitational golf tournament. After Bob Hope passed away, the tournament was renamed to the Humana Golf Challenge and the tournament was moved to PGA West and the La Quinta Resort courses.

I am envious that SilverRock can afford to reduce the rates when our local golf courses haven’t even opened yet. If we are lucky, driving ranges will be open in April but I have a sneaky feeling that the courses won’t open until after the long weekend in May. By then, SilverRock would reduce the rates further to 50% off.

Beware! Hawk stealing Sunglasses

Beware Sign

Beware Sign

If you’re golfing at Lakeside Greens in Chestermere, be sure to take your sunglasses off your hat and put it away because there is an aggressive hawk that lives in the trees near hole # 2 and 3. There has been a lot of sightings and the marshal tells me that a large red tail hawk has been seen swooping down at golfers to take their sunglasses off their heads.

It looks like the hawk likes the Ray Bans more than the other brands. Rob who plays at Lakeside regularly tells us that his brand new pair of Oakley’s were lucky because the hawk swooped down and knocked his sunglasses off his head. The hawk didn’t take them like he did with his friend’s Ray Ban.

Manny who also plays at Lakeside Greens tells us that the hawk will leave golfers who don’t have sunglasses.

Golf Balls for Sale

Mesh of Golf Balls

Mesh of Golf Balls

Summer is out and Fall is in. For those golf die-hards, be sure to bring plenty of golf balls if you decide to play a course with lots of trees because it will be hard to find your balls if it happens to roll underneath a leaf. There is no coloured ball that you can buy that is going to be easier to spot in the leaves. Forget the yellow ones. They will just blend in nicely like a chameleon. Forget the orange ones too. Some leaves turn orange and reddish brown. If you’re going to insist on a coloured ball then choose blue, silver or stay with white.

Losing a golf ball these days is ridiculous. Why not spend $20 at Wal-mart and buy yourself a mesh bag of 40 balls? They are used balls but what the heck?! If you lose one, so what?

Btw, all city courses in Calgary (McCall Lake, Confederation Park and Shaganappi) have a sale on driving range balls – save $4 off a jumbo bucket when you purchase tokens after 3pm. Regular price is $12.75 so with the sale, it’s only $8.75.

D’Arcy Ranch – No Horsing Around

D'Arcy Ranch Golf Club

D’Arcy Ranch Golf Club

Don’t get fooled when you drive through the gates at D’Arcy Ranch in Okotoks and think that golf is easy as you drive through a flat piece of land. The late Jerry D’Arcy used to own this ranch and it was used as a quarter-horse operation. The maintenance shack was used for horse shows when Jerry was around. And by the way, Jerry was the president of the Calgary Stampede during the 1974-1975 season.

Hole # 1 is not an easy starting hole. It’s a straight fairway but there’s lots of trouble if you slice your tee shot right. It’s better to be straight or left. Hole # 2 is where they used to race the horses. Now, it’s a dog-leg right par 4 with a steep cliff in the back. Hole # 3 is a beauty. If not the signature hole, it should be. From the blue tees, golfers think it’s an easy birdie hole but when they have to navigate their shot avoiding the pond to the right, it’s a different story.

There is a large ravine that carves the whole course up. If you like elevation, hole # 3 is one of the holes that you can drop one club down. Another is hole # 16 and 18 where a good drive down the middle will reward the player because hitting the slope will cause the ball to trickle closer to the green, making the second shot easier.

It’s challenging but fair. The greens are in awesome shape and the twilight deals are hard to beat. For $53, you can spend time at the range, play 9 holes then sit down for a steak dinner.

 

Closed Shaw-Nee Slopes

Shaw-Nee Golf Course

Shaw-Nee Golf Course

We no longer have a community golf course in the southwest, affectionately known as Shaw-nee Slopes to many of us who loved golfing there. In October 2011, Shaw-Nee Slopes closed for redevelopment of the Shawnee Evergreen Community.

Looking at the developer website, they are planning to build houses on the land. But a lot of the natural areas such as the ponds will probably remain intact to allow new residents to take in the beauty of natural tree lined green space and the wildlife that frequents the area.

The developers are correct when they said it is a bittersweet development. If you were a semi-private member of the golf course or played at this beautiful  golf course then your feelings are probably closer to being bitter. I know I am bitter and sad that we need more inner city land for more houses in Calgary.

Million Dollar View

Driving Range at Shaganappi Point

Driving Range at Shaganappi Point

You can go to any driving range in the city but there is only one range that has the One Million dollar view, Shaganappi Point. The range has a spectacular view of Calgary’s city core. Located just 7 minutes from the core of the city, the Shaganappi Point range is owned by the city. Jumbo buckets go for $12.50 and smaller buckets go for $6.50. The jumbo bucket has 100 balls, enough for you to practice your drives and your irons. The smaller bucket is good to warm up on before a game.

Shaganappi Point has a full 18-hole course and the Valley 9 for beginners or players that don’t want to invest 4-5 hours for a 18-hole round.