WHISTLER, British Columbia — This BC, Canada treasure is one of the best places on earth for golfers with a skiing problem. So do yourself a favor and immediately book your Canadian golf vacation to Whistler in order to spend an afternoon golfing at the well-maintained Chateau Whistler Golf Club, after you hit the slopes for a morning of snowboarding or skiing.
Locals call of skiing and golfing in the same day the Whistler Phenomenon. And on the same mountain. Here’s how it works: In the morning, take the ski lift up the Blackcomb Mountains. There is plenty of good snow once you get a little higher up in May. Then, after racing through it to your heart’s content, you take the lift back down and play golf in near 70-degree weather at Blackcomb’s base.
“Some people who book a golf and ski vacation here really get into it,” Aaron Patterson, a Canadian Rockies golf expert. “It just makes for a fun day.”
The packages touting the perfect combination of skiing and golf will undoubtedly come sooner or later, so be one of the first to do it before it catches on with the masses. For now, it’s more of an underground fetish, which makes it that much more alluring to some.
“It’s cool because a lot of people still aren’t doing it yet or don’t know about it yet,” said Patterson.
This is essentially shoulder season with plenty of caveats. Most skiers are certain it’s going to be too warm to get anything but pathetic runs in by May in Whistler, BC. Most golfers planning a golf vacation to Canada are convinced it will still be too chilled to do anything but simulate golf in Ireland.
In reality, your chances of good golf and ski weather are very good. A May visit to Whistler is when the temperatures hover in the low 70s throughout the week on golf level. Meanwhile, up in the mountains, it is more than chilly enough.
Just be sure not to get frostbite and sunburned in the same day. Anything is possible with Whistler, BC’s extremes weather.
Go To The Extreme in Whistler, BC
Being somewhat ingenious — or out there — has its advantages beyond the slopes and the fairways. The best time for Whistler, BC extreme days just so happen to fall during times when every plush resort and expensive fine dining spot in the village is trying to draw customers.
And dropping prices to do it. So how low do things get?
The Chateau Fairmont Whistler’s Wildflower restaurant — the only AAA Four Diamond restaurant in town — offers three-course tasting menus in the $30 range.
“We book our golf and ski vacation for this time of year to take advantage of the deals,” Whistler visitor Patty Jeffcott said. “I ski while my husband is golfing, and we each take one day do each other’s thing. So we’ll ski together one day, golf together one day and spend the third day on our own until dinner.”
Whistler Mountain is open until early June for skiing most seasons. It reaches as high as 7,160 feet and has over 100 trails, with the longest measuring in at seven miles.
You can get lost in your own powder in Whistler, BC. At this time of year, you will have spring ski conditions, meaning you want to probably get your runs in during the early, chilliest part of the day when the ice has come in overnight.
That will leave you plenty of time to hit the golf course in the afternoons.
Places to Visit in Whistler, BC
Chateau Whistler Golf Club: This is a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design, but the surrounding Canadian nature steals the show. You climb up the mountain early in the round and get rushing creeks throughout. If you’re lucky — or unlucky, depending on your point of view — you might even get to run into one of the Canadian black bears that live in the woods in Whistler.
“The bears keep their distance when they see golfers, but they are not above dropping some intimidating visual evidence near a tee box or two,” said Richie Charles, a Whistler golf expert. “It’s just not unusual to see a bear munching away on berry bushes, not even paying attention to surrounding golfers.
Nicklaus North Golf Course: Jack works plenty of water into this 6,908-yard course in Whistler, BC. It’s between the River of Golden Dreams — where you may be if you’re picturing a career round here — and Green Lake.
The Canadian mountains loom overhead, still snow covered toward the top this time of year, playing in sharp contrast with the very spring lake scene on the fairways. Douglas Firs complete the postcard-worthy hole. And equally as important, there are plenty of chances to go for it.
Whistler Golf Club: This Arnold Palmer design is considered the course of the people in Whistler, BC. The Whistler Golf Club is also the perfect course to relax after some long runs down a mountain. The golf club gives you nature in an easy-walk package. Its 6,676 yards are made for you to rediscover golf without seats. In fact, if you take out a cart, you’re liable to feel foolish seeing everyone else easily and happily hoofing it.
All in all, a golf vacation with some side skiing (or a ski vacation with some side golfing) is a great experience in Whistler, Canada. And if you book your trip to BC soon, you will still be one of the trendy ones, because it is only a matter of time before marketing companies begin to package and mass market golf and ski vacations to beautiful Whistler, BC.
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.