By Shane Reynolds
I recall a conversation with my father during my college days as I tried to explain to him what a career in recreation and leisure services was all about. He was a traditional blue collar man and it was difficult for him to grasp what had led me to pursue a career in outdoor recreation. I attempted to educate him on how important it is for people to have avenues to re-create themselves, spend time in the outdoors and reconnect with nature, and how important leisure is to living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. He was a golfer and thoroughly enjoyed fishing and ultimately connected the dots to understand that professionals were involved in providing these opportunities for others.
A very rewarding aspect of working in the club business and particularly at Cordillera Ranch is traveling with our members. I’m currently organizing two golf outings for our members in the late summer and fall.
The first trip will be primarily a men’s group as we travel to Montana to play two of the top ten golf courses in Montana and enjoy some fly fishing with an old high school friend who owns a fly shop in Missoula and guides on many central Montana rivers. We’ll play the Northern Pines Golf Club located in Kalispell, MT as well as the Whitefish Lake Golf Club in Whitefish, MT. Northern Pines was built in 1996 and designed by Andy North (two times U.S. Open Champion) and Roger Packard. It is a combination of Links golf, native grasses and rolling fairways. The back nine follows the scenic Stillwater River. I am also working on another option to play a top private course in Montana, Iron Horse Golf Club.
In addition to some great golf, we’ll fish some outstanding water. Depending on the experience level of our participants, fishing opportunities will be on the Bitterroot River, the Big Blackfoot River, Rock Creek or the Clark Fork River. When Montana fly fishing comes to mind most people imagine the Blackfoot River. This iconic river is what a trout anglers dreams are made of. Deep pools, boulder gardens and staggering cliff faces make up one of the most beautiful river settings in the country, and is home to pristine populations of Westslope Cutthroat Trout and Native Bulltrout, as well as healthy Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout.
The Blackfoot River is full of fish that love to eat dry flies. The big stone flies are the big meal on the Blackfoot — Salmonflies and Golden Stones are a feast for these eager Cutthroats. Big fluffy dry flies are the summer ticket; no small flies here. Blackfoot River Fly Fishing and A River Runs Through It … what else can be said.
The fast flowing, cold and clean water of Rock Creek is home to more trout than you can cast a fly at. Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout and the Native Bull Trout all call Rock Creek home. Dry fly fishing is how The Creek got its reputation, but during the early fall the numerous Brown Trout in the creek love to attack streamers. Big Horn Sheep, Bull Moose, Bald Eagles, Salmonflies and more trout that you have ever seen come together for a perfect fishing day in Montana. It all sounds good on paper, but you really just need to join our Cordillera Ranch group to experience it.
In addition to some of the finest golf and fishing in Montana, we’ll visit Glacier National Park — one of Mother Nature’s finest works on the planet!
Our second trip this fall will be to the Garden Island of Kauai for an unforgettable week of golf, adventure and sightseeing. Kauai is the oldest and furthest northwest of the Hawaiian Islands and known for its amazing tropical vegetation and flowers, hidden beaches, waterfalls and the wettest spot on earth, Mt. Waialeale, which receives around 431 inches of rain per year and feeds seven rivers on Kauai.
This amazing ALL INCLUSIVE trip will be in November and includes all meals, drinks, lodging, gratuity, ground transportation, golf and adventure outings. We’ll play three of the best golf courses in Hawaii, starting with Prince Golf Course in Princeville on the north shore which has been called one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. With its setting above the Pacific Ocean affording views to the majestic mountains of the north shore of Kauai and the ocean, it’s any golfer’s dream to play on. Ranked as Golf Digest’s #1 Golf Course in Hawaii and one of America’s Top 100 Greatest Courses, the Prince Golf Course is an 18-hole Championship Course situated on pristine land on the Central and Eastern Plateaus. This par- 72 course climbs slopes and careens down hills for a demanding layout that calls for golfers’ most accurate placement.
The second course we`ll play is the Kauai Lagoons Golf Club in Lihue. Featuring 18 Jack Nicklaus Signature holes, the fairways offer stunning island vistas at every turn, creating a relaxing atmosphere in the midst of a challenging game of golf. Kauai Lagoons Golf Club has recently made enhancements to its crown jewel — the Kiele Course. The new Kiele Ocean 9 boasts more ocean holes than any other course in Hawaii with the front nine located in Mango forests and the back nine on the ocean.
The third and final course we`ll play is on the south shore. The outstanding Poipu Bay Golf Course is backed by lush emerald mountains and sculpted from a rolling plateau eight stories above the Pacific Ocean. Nestled among the gentle contours of Poipu Bay, you’ll discover the remains of Hawaiian heiau (places of worship) and ancient stone walls. If this does not provide enough challenge, Mother Nature presents you with one beautiful distraction after another. Even the most focused golfer will be challenged by the breathtaking views.
When we`re not enjoying the fine resort, golf and local restaurants on Kauai, we’ll have plenty of wonderful, adventurous and unforgettable activities planned for the group. From kayaking the many rivers on Kauai, to enjoying some of the finest beaches and snorkeling in Hawaii, to visiting the islands most cherished landmarks, the trip is certain to be a full week of fun and relaxation. We`ll visit the famous Na Pali Coast on a sunset cruise, stop by a few waterfalls and visit the Grand Canyon of the Pacific known as Waimea Canyon.
For more details on either trip, please visit The Club website at www.clubsofcordilleraranch.com or call Shane.
Shane Reynolds is the Recreation Director. He can be reached at email@example.com or 210.616.6051, or the Cordillera Ranch Outfitter Center at 830.336.4823.