Tee-off time, Halifax: Ashburn set to host its ‘biggest event by far’ with GOLFest

Kristen Lipscombe, Metro Halifax
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Truro’s Eric Banks will be one of two amateurs playing in the upcoming Nova Scotia Open – a Web.com Tour event. The tournament also marks the second anniversary of his open-heart surgery to repair a hole in his heart. It’s been a long road back for Banks, but the future is looking bright. File.

METRO HALIFAX

Thousands of fans on site, millions of viewers watching on television, and of course, some of the top-ranked golfers from around the world taking to the greens.

This week’s GOLFest Nova Scotia is “the biggest event by far” that Ashburn Golf Club has ever hosted, general manager Gordie Smith said, adding the “new course” in Windsor Junction is all set for tee off.

GOLFest action kicks off Monday with the RBC Canada Cup, featuring the likes of 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir and seven-time PGA Tour winner Matt Kucher as Team Canada takes on Team World in “an intense 18-hole competition.”

Competition continues Tuesday with practice rounds featuring players from the Web.com Tour, a PGA development event., while the Web.com Pro-Am event takes place Wednesday and the Nova Scotia Open runs Thursday through Sunday.

Clinics, speakers and other special events are also part of the week-long golf celebration.

“The golf course is fantastic,” Smith said. “It’s probably the best condition I’ve seen it.”

Last week the course was “a little dry, and we wanted the rough to get a little thicker, so we certainly put some fertilizer down, and I think it will thicken the rough up,” he said.

“And the forecast looks good,” Smith said.

Monday shows a high of 27 C with sunny skies, with a range between 22 C and 25 C through the rest of the week.

“It’s a beautiful facility, we’ve got a fantastic range, which I think the players will enjoy,” Smith said.

“The test is mostly in the greens – it’s going to be a challenging putting week for some of them,” he added. “But I believe the scores will be low.”

Hosting GOLFest is also a bit of a test for Ashburn Golf Club. The venue has hosted national amateur events, but “nothing even close” to the golf that will be played this week.

“This is four days of television coverage on the Golf Channel and thousands of spectators, so it’s huge,” Smith said. “I would really like to get the impression of the players, of the golf course and the facility … and how it holds up to par.”

What’s on “fore” GOLFest

Monday – RBC Canada Cup

Tuesday – Nova Scotia Open Practice Round (Web.com Tour).

Wednesday – Nova Scotia Open Pro-Am

Thursday – Nova Scotia Open (Round 1)

Friday – Nova Scotia Open (Round 2)

Saturday – Nova Scotia Open (Round 3)

Sunday – Nova Scotia Open (Final Round)

Fore more: GolfFestNovaScotia.com

Organizations: Ashburn Golf Club, RBC, Team Canada Nova Scotia Open Golf Channel

Geographic location: Canada, Nova Scotia, Windsor Junction

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