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Feeding the need

Dan Trevisan wants to satisfy the golf junkies, golf nuts, and golf addicts in this town.

Dan Trevisan wants to satisfy the golf junkies, golf nuts, and golf addicts in this town.

Trevisan, head professional at the Squamish Valley Golf & Country Club (SVGCC), has managed to do this by keeping the 18-hole layout open as much as possible throughout the winter months - and keeping his golf-crazed members and guests happy.

"Around here, you never know what kind of weather you're gonna get, so it's nice for people to be able to take advantage of the nice days in the winter and come out and play," said Trevisan. "It's a great way for golfers to shake off the cobwebs and get some exercise."

For the past six years during the winter months, the grounds crew at SVGCC have set up the golf course in reverse. Players tee off in front of the 18th green to start, and work their way around finishing on the first tee box. Instead of cutting permanent greens, holes are cut in the tee boxes.

"It's really easy for us to set up, and it keeps people away from the greens," said SVGCC general manager Larry Cornwell. "We can accommodate our membership and it's just a fun way to play."

For the general golfing public who want to take a break from sliding around on the snow in the winter, the green grass of a golf course is a very welcome sight. Golf bums need to be out on the course as much as possible, no matter how bad the weather gets, to see a well-executed shot fly towards the target. Aside from playing golf, they simply like the walk and the beauty of the surroundings.

"It satisfies my urge to play," said Lucinda Wuntyme, who drives from Whistler when it's cold and foggy to play the backwards track.

"It's such an awesome course too. The views of all these powder-coated peaks under a perfect-blue sky are amazing. It's the very reason I live here. It satisfies my need to play every day."

Another bonus of winter golf is the solitude one experiences while strolling down a fairway with no one else around. Trevisan may see 20 to 30 golfers tee it up on a sunny winter day, a far cry from the 300-plus on an average day in the summer.

"It's a pretty active place we live in, and being able to play golf in the winter just adds to it all. They can come here and escape. It gives people another sport to play when they're not up playing in the mountains or on the trails."

Many cars have pulled into the parking lot with wet snow still dripping from skis on the roof rack, and the trunk loaded with golf clubs. Keeners can carve fresh tracks in the morning in Whistler, then take a 40-minute scenic drive down to Squamish and play a quick 18 in the afternoon before the sun sets behind the mountains.

"There's no where else like it in the world. You get the best of both worlds here," said Cornwell.

A big hit in March and April when the days become longer and sunnier, being able to ski and golf in the same day is a privilege few people in this world can lay claim to, but many want to experience.

"We had one family from Minnesota who read about golfing and skiing in the same day, so they though they would do it here," said Trevisan. "It was such a beautiful day, they couldn't believe they were actually doing it. They were blown away."

Aside from skiing, curling and squash have also accompanied golf in pursuit of the perfect multi-sport day at the SVGCC. The club hosts an annual Tri-Club event each fall, where teams of four compete in a squash, curling and golf extravaganza.

"There's always different events going on here - it's a pretty fun place. The whole area offers so much - there's always something for people to do."