West Coast is the Best Coast: Golf Travel to Canada
By Adam Stanley
The Valley Course at Bear Mountain Resort
Travelling to Canada for golf has never been easier – or more affordable – and with plenty of options from coast-to-coast, it’s an easy destination to consider for your next golf trip.
A quick flight from almost all of the major cities in the United States, and a straightforward enough drive from most places in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest, you can take advantage of mountain golf, ocean golf, and classic parkland-style golf courses across the country.
Food options abound - boasting local, fresh ingredients – while wineries dot the landscape, the craft beer scene is booming, and the cultural experiences are second-to-none at some of the world’s buzziest cities.
That said, all those opportunities merely enhance the great golf that exists north of the border.
Over the next month, we’ll showcase from West to East each of the four big regions for golf adventures with our neighbors to the north. Oh Canada, indeed!
Starting on Vancouver Island and the British Columbia capital, Victoria, the Vancouver Island Golf Trail features 13 distinct courses along the island’s coast. Stunning topography, elegant landscapes, and Instagram-worthy views come into play at each layout.
Victoria is a mecca for food, drink, and culture as well – the go-to hub city for any Vancouver Island adventure.
Rob Larocque, a 25-year PGA of Canada member, is the Director of Golf at Bear Mountain, about 20 minutes from Victoria’s stunning harbourfront downtown. It’s Canada’s only 36-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed club with the Valley Course and the Mountain Course offering two distinct playing opportunities. The Mountain Course’s stunning par-3 14th has views of the mountains, the sea, and downtown Victoria – and the hole wasn’t even originally on the initial layout. It was a settle-your-bets hole, at first, but thankfully someone with the right creative idea decided to add it to the layout.
Vancouver Island has been ranked by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine as the top North American Island for eight years, and the rest of the golf offerings are proof of that.
The 13 courses on the island spread from Victoria to the Cowichan Valley to Parksville and Qualicum Beach to Courtenay and Campbell River. Victoria’s airport is a mere hour-long flight from Seattle, and it's even faster by ferry.
There’s so much great golf on Vancouver Island, that it’s almost easy to forget that there is plenty of incredible golf on the mainland, too – starting with Vancouver itself.
Arguably the Western hub for culture and celebration (and the host city of the 2010 Winter Olympics) Vancouver is non-stop when it comes to great eating, adventuring, and golfing. Not to mention, just an hour from Vancouver, is Ledgeview Golf Club – the home course to PGA TOUR winners Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor.
The further West you go from Vancouver and through British Columbia’s wine region (Kelowna) and towards Kamloops, Vernon, and more you get some of the most stunning areas in the country for golf. There are top-ranked courses all across the province.
There’s Sagebrush Golf Club (overlooking Nicola Lake in the B.C. interior), Greywolf (nestled against B.C.’s Purcell Mountains), Tobiano (located in the northern Sonoran desert region), Predator Ridge’s 36 holes (taking advantage of some beautiful mountain topography), and Big Sky and the Fairmont Chateau Whistler in the Whistler mountain region.
You know what they say: the West Coast is the best coast.