June 20, 2014 8:19 am

New Ashburn course set for GOLFest

A view of the course at Ashburn Golf Club

FALL RIVER, NS – A major golf event is coming to the Halifax area in just over a week. It’s called GOLFest Nova Scotia and is the only stop in Canada this year on the “web.com tour” which features the best players one level down from the PGA. It will be held at the new Ashburn Golf Club in Fall River.

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GOLFest Nova Scotia is three events – the Nova Scotia Open, featuring the web.com players, the Canada Cup with six PGA players, and the Junior Canada Cup. It runs from June 29th to July 6th. The club general manager, Gordie Smith, says there’s nothing like watching these players live.

“I think one of the best places to watch is to stand behind them at the driving range and you’ll get a sense that they’re truly some of the best players in the world,” says Smith. He adds, “We’ve got the good fortune of getting Matt Kuchar, Graham DeLaet, Gary Woodland, Mike Weir, and David Hearn. I mean those guys are playing some of the best golf in the world right now.”

The course will play par 71 and just over 6900 yards — a bit shorter than what these players are used to — but Smith says it will have it’s challenges because the weather is cooler and the course not as fast. The course is being groomed daily and even through it’s been a cool wet spring in Nova Scotia, it has allowed groundskeepers to put it in tip-top shape.

“We haven’t had any real dry weather, so the course is going to be in as good a shape as we’ve seen it in many, many years,” says Smith, “so I think that side of it, the players will enjoy the good greens and the good conditioning.”

Corporate tents are being set up near the 18th green. There will be golf towers on each hole on the back nine for television coverage of the 4-day Nova Scotia Open.

Ticket sales have been slowly increasing, but organizers still expect 30-thousand fans to attend the week-long event. “It is certainly is something Nova Scotians are known for – waiting and seeing what the weather is like,” says Grant MacDonald, the Director of GOLFest Nova Scotia. But he notes “in the case of the RBC Canada Cup on June 30th, that will not be a broadcast event, so the only way to see that action is live on course.”

There’s no parking for the public at the golf course, but motorists are encouraged to park in nearby Capilano Estates and Fall River Village where the road is wide enough for cars on both sides.

“We will create shuttle loops in those two communities,” says MacDonald, “and we will make sure we don’t negatively impact the residents.” MacDonald says that shuttle should take just a few minutes for people to get to the golf course. Tickets are sold by any Atlantic Ticket Outlet.

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