Vancouver Island’s Awesome 18 Golf Holes

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Written by Anna Batts, Golf Writer/CanadaGolf.com posted on Mon, Feb 21st, 2011

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VICTORIA, BC – There is no shortage of great golf courses, and as a result exceptional golf holes, to play while on your golf vacation on Vancouver Island, BC. And for a golf course to actually be considered great, it must have a number of holes that can rightfully be considered spectacular: In design, playability and challenge. Because of the natural BC beauty of Vancouver Island, North America’s No. 1 island destination for six years running, there are plenty of spectacular holes.

No matter what you consider a must in a great golf course, Victoria, BC’s Vancouver Island has it for you – so here is our list of the top 18 holes on Vancouver Island.

No. 13 on Bear Mountain’s Mountain Course

This great Vancouver Island par-4 embodies the tough, demanding nature of this spectacular Jack Nicklaus layout. The downhill fifth might be more scenic, but this waterside beauty, is more unique. A rock wall, aiming bunker, leaning firs, lake, and a wildly contoured green make it one of the top holes in Victoria, BC.

No. 7 at Victoria Golf Club

Skimming Vancouver Island’s water-worn rocks along the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Victoria, BC, the 369-yard, par-4 seventh, which is named “Mount Baker” in honor of the awing backdrop, at the famed Victoria Golf Club is sublime. Gorgeous, graceful, and potentially lethal, the 7th is capped with a vicious green that Ben Hogan called one of the most difficult he had ever encountered. So beware before you book this course on a relaxing golf vacation.

No. 7 at Morningstar Golf Club

Throughout the 1990s this long, mean-spirited par-4 left numerous Canadian Tour Players beat up and licking their wounds on their quest to secure a card on Vancouver Island. At 464 yards from the tips, it’s got plenty of length. But the trio of bunkers on the left and dense woods on the right is what really makes things tough.

No. 16 at Storey Creek Golf Club

Storey Creek, with its appealing, away-from-it-all aura, has many holes that belong on the highlight reel. But no hole better sums up Storey Creek’s charms than the 16th. Isolated, tree-lined, and extremely ticklish, this downhill 408-yarder, which features a ball-snatching creek protecting the front of the green, is always a treat to play in BC.

No. 17 at Storey Creek Golf Club

Vancouver Island’s towering fir trees that hang over the green and an intimidating rock wall defending the front and right side of the green give this hole a powerful sense of place at Storey Creek Golf Club. Beautiful, serene, and dangerous, the amphitheater-like setting at this sweet, 183-yard par-3 makes it the truly great hole that it is. Storey Creek’s slogan, “a course in nature,” is certainly apropos.

No. 17 at Olympic View Golf Club

Famous for the amazing 60-foot waterfall that tumbles behind the green, the 17th at Olympic View Golf Club is more than just a picture-perfect postcard hole on Vancouver Island, Victoria. This 400-plus yarder requires a couple of fearless shots to set up a run at birdie.

No. 16 at Royal Colwood

Called “Cathedral,” the par-4 16th at Royal Colwood is a one-of-a-kind hole, something that cannot be duplicated anywhere. Massive fir trees line a lush but rather tight playing channel. This is the epitome of “tree lined.” But claustrophobia has never felt so good. It is an amazing hole.

No. 5 at Victoria Golf Club

Dubbed “The Bay,” you’ll have to go a long way to find a par-4 as fun as this one. In fact, this little charmer on Vancouver Island is one of the greatest short par-4s in Canada. The tee shot needs to fly over the bay to set up the dicey approach to the severely sloping perched green. This is a very special Victoria, BC hole and one you could never, in a million years, become bored of playing.

No. 11 at Royal Colwood

A long, demanding par-3 here at Royal Colwood on Vancouver Island with a green framed with bunkers and sitting snug in a cauldron of flowers and giant fir trees, the 11th at Colwood is a 93-year-old relic that has brilliantly stood the test of time. When A.V. Macan designed it in 1913 it must have been brutal. Now, even with today’s equipment commonly brought on golf vacations here, it’s just really, really tough. The ideal tee shot is a strong draw that skirts the guarding bunkers and one-hops near the stick. But, at 236 yards from the back tee, good luck. It is easily one of the best long par-3s in not only Victoria, BC but all of Canada.

No. 11 at Bear Mountain

This awesome Vancouver Island replica of the famous island-green 17th at the TPC Sawgrass is Nicklaus’ tribute to the diabolical Pete Dye.

No. 19 at Bear Mountain

This has to be one of the best holes in the world not on an official scorecard. Hanging on a rocky finger of land between the 14th and 15th holes at Bear Mountain, this 141-yard “extra” hole, “gambling” hole, “tie-breaker” hole, or whatever you want to call it, has the most precarious setting for a hole on Vancouver Island.

No. 17 at Arbutus Ridge

At 214 yards from the back tee, this water-laced Victoria, BC terror is about as difficult a hole Vancouver Island. Pop it up – you’re wet. Hit it thin – you’re wet. Pull it – you’re wetter. Slice it – well, we don’t want to go there. Our advice: Close your eyes, say a prayer, and hit a good one. If you succeed, it’ll be the gem of your golf vacation experience to Canada.

No. 17 at Pheasant Glen Golf Resort

Rising star Pheasant Glen is one of the new holes that comprise the finishing run (par 5, par 4, par 5), making for a memorable dash to the clubhouse (the best on Vancouver Island) that’s perched on the hill. The 17th, a 427-yard man-maker, has it all. A bold tee shot challenges the bunkers on the right and sets up a tough approach to a peninsula green. If you miss, miss short. There’s certainly nothing lame about this hole.

No. 9 at Morningstar Golf club

Before playing the ninth at Morningstar – a long, sweeping, par-5 with trouble everywhere – you’ve got to take a look at what’s overhead. Suspended on spindly branches 100 feet directly above the tee is an eagle’s nest, a beautiful site found in Victoria, BC. Back to golf, a 538-yard double-dogleg peppered with water hazards – and complete with a crazy go-for-broke option from the tee – the ninth is about as memorable as holes gets on your golf vacation to Vancouver Island, BC.

No. 17 at Cordova Bay

Don’t let all that wet stuff in front of the green play with your mind. Just just that mid-iron to go into the soft, velvety green, sink the putt, and chalk down your deuce on this dreamy Vancouver Island golf course. Easier said than done at Cordova Bay, because this is one of the most intimidating holes you’ll play on Vancouver Island. On busy days over 100 balls will find a new home in the giant lake fronting the green. If you’ve never played a shot with your knees knocking, just go straight to the 18th tee.

No. 8 at Gorge Vale

At 601 yards from the back tee, the par-5 eighth at Gorge Vale on Vancouver Island is certainly a three-shot hole for non-professionals, and most pros on a visit to BC as well. Although, in summer big hitters can smash one down the hill and potentially get to the green in two shots. A mis-hit can catch the lake short of the green, though. As pretty as it is intimidating, this par-5 on the popular BC Gorge Vale layout is definitely one for the postcard.

No. 17 at Duncan Meadows

The 491-yard 17th at Duncan Meadows has ruined many scorecards of those that arrive to Vancouver Island for a golf vacation. In order to get through it unscathed, all you have to do is avoid the nasty creek and daunting forest off the tee, catch your lay-up on the bolts, hit a laser-straight short-iron into the green, and stroke a couple of nimble-fingered putts. No big deal.

No. 18 at Crown Isle Golf Resort

Crown Isle’s stellar route concludes with a wicked dogleg left par-4 that can break your heart with one shaky swat. The courageous souls that venture to Vancouver Island will try and blast one over the bunkers on the left to set up a short-iron approach. The meek and mannerly will play safe to the wider right side. If you take an extra club on the approach you’ve got a chance to get it back to the hole on the massive, undulating green. Par makes the pint on the patio taste awfully good.

Great Golf on Vancouver Island

No matter how you do on these holes, they are sure to be memorable and will stand out on your golf vacation to Vancouver Island, BC. Be sure to book in advance because golf packages feature these courses all of the time.

Golf Canada’s West is the official golf course, tee time and golf packaging company of Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies. Call them at 877-323-3633. For additional information be sure to check out GolfTheRockies.net. For more BC and Alberta vacation and tourism information, please visit Banff National Park.com and Banff Travel.com.

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