Canadian Rockies Golf’s very own Steven Young, the Director of Golf at The Fairmont Banff Springs, attended the inaugural Hilfiger Parent Child Classic at Kananaskis Country Golf Course and wrote the below article for the Banff Crag and Canyon sharing his experiences at the event.
Two Fairways over
By Steven Young
Sunday afternoon, I had the distinct pleasure of playing in the inaugural Hilfiger Parent Child Classic hosted by the Kananaskis Country Golf Course.
The host for the day was Bob Paley, the course’s Head Golf Professional, along with his staff and family. On hand was Darren Robinson, the properties General Manager, playing with his godson and over 30 family teams who made the trip to support this event.
The day was threatened with poor weather, but mother nature must have had a heart realizing over 30 kids were participating along with mothers, fathers and surrogate parents, and kept the weather at bay all throughout the event. Regardless of the eventuality of the weather, over 30 families arrived ready for whatever weather they faced with some sporting shorts ready to defy the forecasts.
Adults and kids alike enjoyed skill games including a take on the Big Break where participants tried to break eggs posted on signs 20 yards in front of the practice tee. When people were finished with that, it was over to the chip off – two shots at getting your chip shot into the miniature kiddie pool.
During the 9-hole golf challenge, parent child teams played alternate shots while Kananaskis staff members were positioned at intervals around the course to help kids with different shots (and yes some adults leaned in to take note of the instruction).
While there were prizes, they were not related to scores. Best dressed and your knowledge of your child were two key skills that won prizes. It was interesting to note that in some cases surrogate parents had better knowledge of their partner’s child than actual parents had of their children. A key game had participants acquiring keys and then trying them in a lock that only one key would open. Bucket draws saw happy winners earn donated prizes and the coin toss eliminated participants through selecting heads or tails until one person was left. That person won a day in the life of a firefighter!
A barbecue dinner followed golf that was outstanding and well complimented by French fries, salads and a hearty dessert table. Any barbecue dinner that ends with Nanaimo bars is a hit in my book! The only problem we faced was the selection of our table. Sitting at table 7 – normally a lucky number – turned out to be unlucky as we watched participants pass by with mouthwatering food while we awaited our table number to be called. It was worth the wait though.
The event had a second purpose along with the fun and enjoyment families enjoyed while spending time together. It raised both awareness and funds for www.bullying.org a non-profit web site set up to assist with this issue.
The website was created by Mr. Bill Belsey, a teacher and resident in Cochrane, who was on hand to share insight and bring awareness to bullying. For many years Bill has been speaking on this issue and providing people resources and educational opportunities to become better prepared to assist themselves and others with bullying. The website explains the organizations purpose as being,
“…to prevent bullying in our society through education and awareness. We provide educational programs and resources to individuals, families, educational institutions and organizations. We make available online learning and educational resources in order to help people deal effectively and positively with the act of bullying and its long-lasting negative consequences.”
It is hard not to get emotional about bullying as you hear Mr. Belsey speak on the issue. The website contains more than just information, it provides a safe community for kids and parents to communicate and receive support and express themselves. One of the strong messages shared is that bullying is not just a school problem but a community health issue. It happens not only in schools, but in the work environment, on-line, in relationships and in our old age.
As the evening came to a close I had the chance to thank Darren Robinson for a wonderful event and find out more about what Kananaskis is planning for the summer.
The May rates are $58 weekdays and $68 on weekends. All season long junior aged golfers play free during twilight times when accompanied by a paying adult (this is part of the facilities focus on families this summer). The course will be hosting ‘event nights’ and people are encouraged to go to their website, www.kananaskisgolf.com, to receive more specific information about the events and relevant dates.
Having just been there I can confirm they are in good spring condition and from speaking with golfers there, “the course is getting better and better by the day”.
Kananaskis is run by great people and staffed with fun, happy professional staff glad to see people when they arrive and sad to see them leave. The scenery is captivating and the courses a fair challenge to all golfers. Don’t miss your chance to get some early golf in at Kananaskis and please make sure you say hi to the Paley’s when you are there!