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PUBLISHED: 11:23 AM on Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Going green
Haines golf course up to par for first season opening

  Photo courtesy of Alaska Mountain Guides A pair of golfers enjoy their time at Valley of the Eagles golf course in Haines, which is now open for its first regular season.
It's a swing at the golf industry in Haines with the opening of Valley of the Eagles golf course.

The course opened this week after more than seven years of preparation, said owner and Haines resident Stan Jones.

Because the land is classified as wetlands, it took seven and a half years to secure permits to build the course, Jones said.

Last year the driving range was opened, then part of the course.

"We had six holes open then nine, and I didn't think the course was hardly ready to play at that time, but people wanted to play so we let them," Jones said.

Jones said he started the course because he owned property and wanted to do something "environmentally friendly."

"I'm crazy. Other than that, I'm fine," Jones said.


  Photos courtesy of Alaska Mountain Guides Salmon and trout rearing streams are located on at the course at Valley of the Eagles golf course in Haines. The nine-hole course is now open to the public. For more information, go online to www.hainesgolf.com.
To help people pick up the game, former PGA golfer David Canipe will serve as golf pro at the course. Canipe had heard Jones was looking for a golf pro through his brother.

"Before you knew it, we reached an agreement and I came up here," Canipe said.

"To me the first thing I noticed was how flat the course was for what I envision Alaska to be."

The links-style course is undergoing isostatic glacial rebound, which means the area is riding about .9 inches a year in relation to sea level because of glacial melting and decreased weight pushing the earth's crust, according the course's Web site.

Jones said he has received much support from the community of Haines, and is glad to offer a course for locals as well as tourists."

Many people are happy it's happening. There's not a tremendous number of golfers in Haines, but we've had people from Haines and Juneau play and think it's a nice course," Jones said. "Now we're trying to continue to make it better. It's a matter of doing things so more people can play it."

Jones said he offers rentals and some tour companies have included the course in a package for visitors.

"It's a beautiful golf course setting. The area is like Juneau's. The course is flat and affected by super high tides, but that shouldn't be a problem in the summer," Jones said. "It's a place to come and have fun and enjoy it."


Jones said he wants people to be able to access the course if they have an interest in playing and will pick people up at the ferry terminal or airport if that's what it takes.

"If people want to golf, we'll make things work," Jones said.

Canipe said he would like to see people from across the state visit Haines to try the course.


"If you play it at least once and have a good time, I think you'll be hooked," Canipe said. "I think we're helping bring a new sport to the state."

For more information on the course, go online to www.hainesgolf.com.


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