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Helicopter golf takes golf vacations to a whole new level

heli-golf-fernie

Western Canadian Golf Tours specializes in “heli-golf”, using helicopters to oversee courses in the Kootenay Rockies area of British Columbia. Golf professionals are on board to define players’ strategy from an aerial perspective before tackling the course on the ground.


The idea of providing a “bird’s eye view” of a golf course originated when founder, Luke Haberman worked for a heli-ski company. Having studied Golf Management and Operations, he was looking for an innovative way of combining his ski experiences with a new emphasis for golf instruction.

 

The helicopter tours are customized to suit both tourists and corporate groups: “No two tours are the same,” says Haberman. Western Canadian personnel take players’ clubs and equipment to the golf club so that everything is ready for the guests when they arrive from their aerial tour of the course at the first tee. Groups are usually threesomes or sixes with either Haberman or a CPGA professional attending as guide and instructor. “Before playing, we do a flight over the course to point out signature holes. We then land on the course, hop out and away we go,” says Haberman.

 

A three-handicap himself, Haberman says that a heli-tour of the course and a guide makes all the difference for golfers, saving them three to five strokes. “Because pros go round with the players they can work on aspects such as their bunker game and solve issues,” he explains. Western Canadian also offers traditional lessons as well as access to practice facilities.


Western Canadian Golf Tours offers various packages, including accommodation, high-end meals, guides, transportation, and home video swing analysis. Haberman has contracts with local specialty restaurants such as the Old Bauernhaus in Kimberley to make dining a signature mountain experience. The 350-year-old Bavarian building was dismantled and transported to Canada in 1989 and now is renowned for its Alpine cuisine. Trips range from a two day tour to the “Ultimate Week Heli-Golf Tour” which includes seven days and nights, CPGA lessons, heli flights, guides, and a visit to nearby thermal hot springs. “The three day tour is the most popular. It’s a question of time over money,” says Haberman.