Posted by: Feet Banks
A picture may be worth a thousand words but sometimes that just ain’t enough. As #WhistlerUnfiltered continues into the summer The Insider will periodically select images from the archives and dig a little deeper to find the story behind the photo (and the thousand words).
This week we hit the links with Phil Chambers from the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club to talk about his new caddy, one of Whistler’s resident black bears.
Insider: What’s going on here? Is this bear on the payroll?
Phil: This was last week on Hole 11. There was a group up here from Texas and I stopped in to see how they were doing right as this guy walked out onto the green and removed the flag for them.
Insider: Does this happen a lot?
Phil: We see bears on the course almost daily but this one seems to like to get more involved than some of the others. Each bear has its own personality and sense of humour. This guy got a lot of media attention back in 2010 doing this exact same thing.
Insider: How stoked was the group from Texas?
Phil: It adds such intrinsic value to the guest experience. This bear, after he finished with the pole he actually went over to that ball in the shot and ate it, spat it out, and carried on his way. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment for most people.
The same bear (and a buddy) frolic on the course back in 2010.
Insider: What is the official rule on bears moving your ball during play?
Phil: We have a local rule: drop no nearer than the bear. You get improved lie on that.
Insider: Are there ever any problems having bears on the course?
Phil: Problems are extremely rare. One of the things all the courses in Whistler pride themselves on is education in regards to respecting wildlife and their habitat. Here at the Chateau we are one of the first courses in Canada to achieve the Cooperative Sanctuary Program certification from the Audubon Society.
Insider: What does that entail?
Phil: It’s the way we treat the wetlands and being mindful of what we use to treat the turf or what seeps into the wetlands. It’s just maintaining a culture of environmental respect and eventually that becomes the norm. This sort of natural experience is such an integral part of Whistler. Wildlife is really important to each and everyone one of us here.
Insider: You are also a frequent #WhistlerUnfiltered contributor. Are you stoked that it’s carrying over into the summer too?
Phil: Absolutely. I click on it almost every day and love seeing how beautiful and different Whistler is through each and everyone’s lenses and phones. We all see and experience the world differently so it’s amazing to see such a varied kaleidoscope of images. It’s the real Whistler.
Like the looks of this? Get up here! The #WhistlerUnfiltered summer contest offers a chance at winning one of three all-inclusive, five night Whistler adventures for two. (And Whistler offers Bear Viewing Tours all summer long.)