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Destination Guide: Victoria, British Columbia

Destination Guide

Destination Guide: Victoria, British Columbia

VICTORIA, B.C. - Perhaps no other city in Canada offers a better combination of good, affordable golf and a downtown, with such style, such personality as Victoria. The climate, which isn't as wet as you might be led to believe, allows its golf courses to stay open year-round, another bonus.

Victoria is a big city - it's regional population is more than 300,000 - with a small-town feel. It's clean, green and relatively safe. Victoria is considered not only Canada's most walkable city, but its residents are also the fittest, according to government statistics. This town loves its outdoors. Vancouver Island's temperate climate and dramatic natural landscapes, combining the mountains and the sea, make outdoor pursuits a way of life.

Come summer, golf plays just as big a part as cycling or hiking. Some of the province's best courses are less than a half-hour's driving from the city center. Three of the best courses on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail - Bear Mountain Golf and Country Club, Arbutus Ridge Golf and Country Club and Olympic View Golf Club - call Victoria home, along with another local favorite, Cordova Bay Golf Club. Combined, they add up to a fab foursome for players.

Bear Mountain Resort, and its 1,300-acre real estate development, has grown from the vision of former pro hockey player Len Barrie, who is backed by a number of his NHL pals. The Jack/Steve Nicklaus-designed Bear Mountain Golf & Country Club has a slope of 152, one of the highest in Canada. Even the Bear himself took a mulligan during a visit earlier last year.

Few courses in Canada can match the wow factor of Bear Mountain, but Olympic View Golf Club comes close.

A 50-foot waterfall roars behind the 17th green, visible from the tee 417 yards away. The scene overshadows what is an outstanding strategic layout with highlights at every turn. The 335-yard 12th plays mind games with players as water runs along the left side of a thin fairway. The par-5 18th climbs upward toward the clubhouse, where the views from the patio alone are worth the greens fee.

The 6,168-yard Arbutus Ridge Golf & Country Club has a docile start, but makes up for it with a worthy finishing stretch, beginning at the downhill par-4 12th hole. The peninsula green at the 214-yard 17th hole demands your best swing of the day.

Cordova Bay, which is not a member of the golf trail, best serves the locals because it's playable and priced right. Play it first as a warm-up round. Otherwise you'll be disappointed. It just doesn't have the personality of the other three.

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Courses

Course Spotlight
Course City Rates from
Course City Rates from
Green Acres Golf Course
Tee Times
Victoria $6.99
Juan De Fuca Parks Golf Club
Tee Times
Victoria $4.99
Mount Douglas Golf Course
Tee Times
Victoria $9
Metchosin Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Victoria $10
Ardmore Golf Course Sidney $15 - $45
Prospect Lake Golf Course Victoria $15 - $22
Highland Pacific Golf Course Victoria $45 - $64
Bear Mountain Golf & Country Club - Valley Victoria $69 - $129
Cordova Bay Ridge Golf Course Victoria $15
Olympic View Golf Club Victoria $23 - $85
Bear Mountain Golf & Country Club - Mountain Victoria $75 - $149
Arbutus Ridge Golf & Country Club Cobble Hill $22 - $82
Bay at Cordova Bay Golf Course Victoria $45 - $118
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