180 Holes of Golf and a 16-Year Whistler Tradition
Golf is generally considered a peaceful and relaxing endeavor but when Steve Loverro and his buddies plan their annual 6-day Whistler golf vacation, they do it full-tilt.
“We play 18 holes on travel days,” Loverro explains, “and 36 on the four days in between. It started as a trip for my Dad’s 76th birthday back in 1998, and after a couple years friends just started coming along.”
The ten-round, 180-hole “Whistler Open” covers all four of Whistler’s world class courses. “What’s great is every course is different,” Steve says. Big Sky has the bent-grass, the Chateau has the elevation and the granite domes. The courses are all challenging and so unique but also so close together. It’s like a new location every day. And the people up here, the friendliness, is just phenomenal. At each course they remember us and treat us really well.”
While the Whistler Open is primarily a friendly game, there is more than bragging rights at stake. “Most of us are in the 9-13 handicap range,” Steve says, “so we have all kinds of side bets and games going on— closest to the pin, low net, nine game. We have multiple side games going on in each foursome and in the overall group too. We don’t play for much, just enough to have a good time and make fun of the guy who lost 12 balls on the first day.”
Steve’s father passed away in 2003 but the Whistler Open continues in his memory and is always booked around his birthday, May 31. “He and I did our trip five years in a row,” Steve says, “It was something that we both really cherished.” In recent years the group size has grown but Steve says that 4-8 seems to be the ideal number. “A tight group works best. This year 7 golfers participated, including one first-timer.”
“It’s awesome to bring guys in for the first time. In L.A. if you see a coyote on the course you get excited, but coming up here and seeing the bears…I think that is probably the most spectacular thing, to be so close to the wildlife and the air is so clean. You don’t even have to do anything and you feel healthier just looking around. Even this year everyone is talking about next year.”
All photos courtesy Steve Loverro
Feel like rustling up some buddies and partaking in your own marathon session of Whistler Golf? Get all the info and package deals on group golf in Whistler at Whistler.com.