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Holes in the Sky

Many players prefer Whitefish's North course to any other in the state, not so much because of the course, which is idiosyncratic and memorable, but because being there inevitably turns into a convivial, sunlit time of pleasure. Towering evergreens, hillside lies, tough true greens, a gentle breeze off Whitefish Lake, good companions--what more is there to want?

After lunch, I'd head up to Glacier National Park, heart of the American alps, on the Going-to-the-Sun Highway, which twists and rises through spectacular country--a big, tranquil lake, mountain goats on the cliffs, Bird Woman Falls dropping hundreds of feet from the lip of a glacial cirque. At the top of the rise, the Highline Trail from Logan Pass hangs on a precipitous slope thick with wildflowers. End the day in Waterton Park, in Canada, resting at sundown on a south-facing balcony over Waterton Lake, gazing on the stony peaks of paradise from the spectacularly positioned Prince of Wales Hotel.

Before making your way back to Glacier Park International Airport, in Kalispell, ride the tour boat down the length of Waterton Lake. (I once saw a grizzly rummaging in the huckleberry bushes near the shoreline.) Or you could hike to Wall Lake, just out of the park, under great cliffs where there won't be any tourists (and where I saw the only wild wolverine I ever expect to see). Or, last gasp, play the sweet-looking course in Waterton, which bilingual signs call the TERRAIN DE GOLF. I've never tried it. But, by the time you read this, I will have. Maybe I'll keep going north to the old British courses at Banff and Jasper. Maybe these times won't be deducted from the sum of my days, and this run of summer will never end.

Isn't it pretty to think so?

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