Crown Isle Golf Course in Courtenay, BC, has near-perfect conditions year-round
Not only is golf-course hopping on Vancouver Island's Golf Trail easy, you're guaranteed to experience some of the best golf North America has to offer
In almost every community on Vancouver Island there’s a golf course that has become a gathering place for locals and an attraction for tourists. The Vancouver Island Golf Trail, extending from Victoria to Campbell River, includes some of the most exhilarating golf-through-nature walks in BC. In fact, Golf Magazine ranks this BC golf destination “one of the best golf deals on the continent.”
Working out an itinerary for a golf trip to Vancouver Island depends entirely on what you like to do after golf. Fishing, hiking, whale watching, wine tasting, gourmet dining, swimming, surfing or just sitting on a log on the beach are all wonderful options after a day of golf at any of the Vancouver Island golf courses.
The Vancouver Island Golf Trail includes 11 courses, many of which are built through old growth forests and teeming with wildlife, ocean views and magnificent mountain backdrops. The trail package includes six rounds of golf (including power cart) and six nights of accommodation from $649 per person.
Golfing the Northern End of the Vancouver Island Golf Trail
On a mission to make the most of all the region has to offer, I took three friends on a six-day trip which included six rounds of golf, fishing, whale watching, wine tasting and fresh seafood meals caught from the nearby Strait of Georgia.
We opted to start at the north end of the Vancouver Island Golf Trail. After catching a 5 pm ferry from Vancouver, we drove two hours north to Campbell River and were checked in to our room at The Painter’s Lodge and down to the bar for a nightcap before 9:30 pm.
The next morning our fishing guide Russ had us in the boat and across the strait to his favourite fishing hole at the southern tip of Quadra Island before 6 am. Russ promised a pool of Tyee salmon would be waiting for us just under the boat, and that we should be prepared “for big fish jumpin’ in the boat.”
Sure enough, we caught three salmon before a pod of killer whales skillfully chased away our next intended catch. By 9 am we were back on dry land and headed for a 10:30 am start at what has often been referred to as “one of BC’s finest courses.”
Storey Creek Golf Course
Designed by golf course architect Les Furber, Storey Creek Golf & Recreation Society was built by community volunteers with little budget, and became one of the best golf courses in the province.
Storey Creek has a par of 72 and measures 6,699 yards through old and second-growth forests of stately cedar. Furber designed an interesting series of holes; five par fives and five par threes help make up the card, and Storey Creek should be on every golf enthusiast’s bucket list of courses to play in BC.
Crown Isle Golf Course
After a full day of fishing, golf and good food, we got up the next morning and drove an hour down the Island Highway to Crown Isle Golf Course and Residential Community in Courtenay.
Near-perfect course conditions on a mature golf course always add up to a great golf experience, and Crown Isle Golf & Resort Community (Graham Cooke & Associates’ design) is usually the best-conditioned course on Vancouver Island and is playable almost year-round.
Pheasant Glen Golf Resort
After another night of good food and drinks we continued back down the Island Highway to Qualicum Beach and the Pheasant Glen Golf Resort, where we found a well-designed championship course with greens putting as fast as Augusta National.
Fairwinds Golf Club
This is a course where you should leave the driver in the bag and play for position. Pars and birdies are the reward when you think your way around this course. It’s not long but it’s challenging and it’s good.
Morningstar Golf Course
With two rounds left to play, our journey continued on to Morningstar Golf Course, another Furber design, which has hosted both the Canadian Professional Golf Tour and provincial amateur championships.
This is another course where length takes a backseat to accuracy and a deft short game.
Cowichan Golf & Country Club
Finally, after our last 18 holes at Cowichan Golf & Country Club, it was time to see a different kind of outdoor wonder: a vineyard. We made the short drive to The Blue Grouse Vineyards for a sampling of its popular Pinot Noir and Black Muscat, and that’s where we ended our six-day adventure.
Your golf tee times, hotel and after-golf activities can be booked online. Advance booking on BCFerries is the key to getting the trip off to a good start.