Tales From The Trail

Golf Trick Shots05-09-14

Golf Trick Shots

Golf can be frustrating. It can also reward you with hours of entertainment and good fun during a buddies golf trip. Need proof? Check out what brothers George Bryan IV and Wesley Bryan, collectively known as Bryan Brothers Golf, can do to entertain themselves on the golf course.

Want more golf trick shots? Check out the Bryan Brother Golf channel on YouTube. Just make sure you have some spare time, you’ll get sucked in watching these amazing shots over and over.

Think you have some tricks in your bag? Share them with us on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. Let’s see what you can do?

Vancouver Island Events You Can Partner With Golf09-06-14

When planning your golf trip, finding the right courses to play or the best place to stay can sometimes be the easiest items to check off your list, especially when you can get all items in one simple quote. But what do you do when you’re not playing one of the award winning golf courses? Why you look to find Vancouver Island events that will fill your off-course time with great food, entertaining music and enjoying summer with other fun people.

Festivals, Events and Celebrations, Oh My!

We understand that often times, off-course activities are just as important as what happens on the golf course. When planning a trip to Vancouver Island, there are a plethora of activities and events that take place throughout the summer. To assist with your vacation planning, we’ve compiled a list of the must-attend events from Victoria to Campbell River. Plan your golf trip around one of these standout events and you will be entertained from sunrise to well past sunset.

North Island Events

 Painter’s Lodge Womens Salmon Fishing Derby | June 19 – 23, 2014

Painters-lodge-events-wd-09Prizes, parties, friends, food, fun! This sounds like the perfect fishing trip. Here’s the catch, it’s for the ladies only. Every June, women from all over North America join in a 4 day fishing extravaganza in Canada’s salmon hotspot. Prizes make it fun, but it’s the camaraderie and friendship that keep the women coming back year after year. More details.

Tapped Beer Festival | July 11, 2014

Beer sampling and seminars, a pig roast dinner, live music and don’t forget the incredible views of Strathcona Provincial Park as your backdrop! This one day tasting event at Mount Washington will give your palette a sample of some great Vancouver Island breweries and a fun afternoon off the golf course. More details.

32nd Annual Filberg Festival | August 1 – 4, 2014

Celebrating the best in Arts, Crafts & Music from across Canada, the Filberg Lodge and Park will once again become home to Western Canada’s largest outdoor arts show. After your morning rounds at Crown Isle, Storey Creek or Quadra Island, make your way to enjoy fantastic food, lively entertainment and the works of over 120 artisans from around the world. More details.

Mid Island Events

Ladies Nine & Wine | Weekly on Wednesdays

Get the girls together for some sips and swings in this popular weekly event at Fairwinds Golf Club. Tapas, wine and prizes plus some helpful tips from the golf pros. More details.

 Seaside Cruizers Fathers Day Show & Shine | June 13 – 15, 2014

SeasideCruizers - gtID12imgID184MidWhen Oprah says it’s one of the top things to do for Father’s Day, you better guess it’s something special. Close to 600 classic cars will line the streets of Qualicum Beach. Cruise nights, show and shine, poker run and more this is a car lovers dream event. More details. 

Canada Day Celebrations | July 1, 2014

The Biggest Small Town Canada Day Celebration in BC can be found in Parksville. The festivities kick off early with a super tasty Pancake Breakfast, followed by the Parksville Canada Day Parade, Live music and entertainment all afternoon followed by a beach fireworks extravaganza! More details.

Coombs Bluegrass Festival | August 1 – 3, 2014

36 years young, the Coombs Bluegrass Festival is the oldest bluegrass festival in BC. Slow jams, workshops and some great parkin’ lot pickin’. This festival was also chosen by RVWest magazine as one of the Favourite Festivals to Attend with an RV in BC.

Canadian Open Sandsculpting Competition | August 1 – 17, 2014

This is how you combine golf and the beach. Play nearby Fairwinds Golf Course or Pheasant Glen then hit the beach and see what stunning creations can be created with sand. Close to 100,000 visitors come each year to check out the amazing sculptures. There are kilometers of beach to explore, or just relax on afterwards. More details.

South Island Events

Victoria International JazzFest | June 20 – 29, 2014

When you get 10 time Grammy Winner Bobby McFerrin or jazz legend Maceo Parker attending, you know you’re in for something special. With over 80 performances scheduled over the 9 day event, there is the distinct possibility you could experience musical overload, not that there’s anything wrong with that! More details.

The Bear Mountain Resort Amateur | July 5 – 6, 2014

This Vancouver Island golf event will test your mettle, but you’ll have a great time doing it! Join this 36 hole, stroke play competition at one of the top golf resorts in Canada. Tournament includes 1 practice round, lunch both days, plus gross & net payouts in each flight. Register and more details.

Symphony Splash | August 3, 2014

Symphony Splash - homeimage-bigA spectacular free event that sees Victoria’s beautiful Inner Harbour transformed into an outdoor floating concert stage where up to 40,000 onlookers enjoy the sights and sounds of the Victoria Symphony. More details.

Brewery & The Beast | September 21, 2014

Described as a unique and memorable culinary experience, Brewery & The Beast takes place in the “Backyard” of Phillips Brewing Company ensuring your afternoon enjoying tasty locally sourced dishes will be washed down with equally enjoyable beverages from this Victoria brewery. More details.

Savour Cowichan Wine & Culinary Festival | September 26 – October 5, 2014

Between rounds on Cowichan Golf & Country Club or Arbutus Ridge, enjoy the flavours of the Cowichan Valley during this week long celebration of the bounty from local farms, and vineyards. More details.

 

We hope to see you out at any one, or more, of these great events. We found a great resource for these and many other event listings, including over 30 different Farmers Markets, at HarboutLiving.ca. Go on and check them out and make Vancouver Island you destination this summer.

Massive Salmon Return Expected to Vancouver Island14-05-14

Fishing Couple

The waters off Vancouver Island are expected to be full of salmon and the fishing to be some of the best in years according to industry insiders, making 2014 a great opportunity to combine a love of fishing with a love of golf for a Fins and Skins golf vacation.

70 Million Salmon Expected Through Discovery Passage.

Painter's Lodge & April Point Resort & SpaIn Campbell River, at the Northern end of the Vancouver Island Golf Trail, our partners at Painters Lodge and April Point Lodge are reporting that plenty of early season 15-20 pound Chinooks are already filling nets and they are forecasting for over 70 million sockeye salmon to pass by these two signature properties by mid July. Reports like this have everyone excited for the great fishing season ahead.

Reading through their fishing outlook forecast further, there are a few highlights that all anglers will be excited to hear.

  1. Large Chinook Returns – big 4 and 5 year old fish are expected to make a return (25-40lbs) this year.
  2. Sockeye Opening in Campbell River – 2014 could mark the biggest Sockeye run ever. That’s great news!
  3. Retention of Wild Coho – there may be opportunities for anglers to retain Wild Coho, something that’s not been possible the past few years.
  4. More Fishing off Cape Mudge Lighthouse – one of the hottest fishing spots in Campbell River is expected to be open more in 2014.

Fins and Skins Packages

What does this mean for you avid golfers? With the addition of Quadra Island Golf Course to the Vancouver Island Golf Trail, a fins and skins fishing and golf package to Campbell River is more attractive than ever. Check out these great package ideas to Campbell River and Quadra Island and haul in a lunker!

Campbell River Golf and Fishing Package April Point Fins and Skins

Vancouver Island Destinations Make RV West Readers Choice Awards06-05-14

Pheasant Glen Morning golfer

Vancouver Island has long been known as a great destination for golf and with the mild climate, beautiful scenery and some great attractions, a top destination for RV travellers as well. RVwest Magazine readers recently voted on their favourite destinations in Western Canada and the US with their readers choice awards, and we are proud to share that a number of Vancouver Island locations made the top of the list.

From favourite RV dealers to favourite pastime while RVing, which it was great to see Golf make the list, these all encompassing awards showcase everything that is important to the RV traveller.

Vancouver Island Highlights include:

Pheasant Glen Golf Course - Parksville, BC

Favourite Snowbird RV Destination, RV park or Campsite BC Coastal:

Platinum: Parksville - Southern Vancouver Island
Gold: Campbell River – Northern Vancouver Island

Favourite Pastime while RVing:

Bronze: Golf

Favourite Event or Festival to Attend with RV in BC:

Silver: Coombs Bluegrass Festival

Favourite Attraction BC:

Bronze: Goats on the Roof, Old Country Market – Coombs

So the next time you’re looking for a great destination to take your RV on a road trip, the Vancouver Island Golf Trail is the perfect destination. 11 incredible golf courses and 265 km of oceanside roadways ensure it will be a memorable trip.

Are These The Best Drivers of 201414-02-14

Best Drivers of 2014

You’re either planning your big golf trip of the year or already got it picked out. Either way, once you hit the course, you want the best gear in your bag so you can enjoy your vacation. While we don’t normally cover golf gear reviews, we understand that our guests love gear so we say, give the people what they want.

Our friends at PGA.com have released a series of videos on new gear, this one profiling the best drivers of 2014.

Are these the best drivers of 2014? Are you going to run out and get one, or keep your trusty big dog with the tattered head cover in your bag this year?

Golf Vancouver Island Hits The Road For Golf Shows11-02-14

Golf Vancouver Island Travel Specialists at Golf Shows

In case you forgot, it is time that you start planning your upcoming golf trips and golf shows are a great place to start that process.

Golf Vancouver Island Travel Specialists at Golf ShowsOur travel specialists are packing their bags and taking all the Golf Vancouver Island knowledge on the road to answer your questions about the incredible golf vacation opportunities we offer.

If you haven’t been to a golf show in awhile, they offer an excellent chance to try the latest club technology at the driving ranges, find a great deal on the latest trends in clothing and learn about the best golf destinations, direct from a real live human, all under one roof.

Please make sure to visit us at a golf show in your area. We will be bringing along some special show deals and each show will have unique contests where you could win your very own Vancouver Island Golf Vacation.

Vancouver Golf Show

When: February 15 & 16
Where: Pacific National Exhibition (PNE)
Website: vancouvergolfshow.com

Show Hours

Saturday, February 15: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, February 16: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Seattle Golf Show

When: February 28 – March 2, 2014
Where: CenturyLink Field Event Center
Website: seattlegolfshow.com

Show Hours:

Friday, February 28: Noon – 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 1: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, March 2: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Edmonton Golf Show

When: March 8 & 9, 2014
Where: Edmonton Expo Centre, Hall B
Website: albertagolfshows.com

Show Hours

Saturday, March 8: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, March 9: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Calgary Golf Show

When: March 22 & 23, 2014
Where: BMO Centre, Hall B
Website: albertagolfshows.com

Show Hours

Saturday, March 22: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, March 23: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Vancouver Island Ranked In Top 25 Islands In The World25-11-13

GVI-Blog-Feature-11-26

Top 25 Islands In the World

In one of the most comprehensive public traveler opinion polls, the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards have recognized Vancouver Island as one of the top 25 Islands in the world. After compiling over 79,000 survey participants and over 1.3million votes, the Readers’ Choice Awards recognize the “Best of the Best” of travel destinations, hotels, cities, islands, cruise lines and more.

Vancouver Island Golf TrailHome to one of Canada’s best golf trails, The Vancouver Island Golf Trail, reader comments about Vancouver Island ranged from “captivating” and “so much to see and do” to “lovely scenery and lots of wineries to visit” and we couldn’t agree more. The top scores from the survey were recognized for Scenery, Friendliness and Atmosphere. This isn’t the first time Vancouver Island has been recognized in the Readers’ Choice Awards, with multiple placings in previous years.

Victoria Ranks 3rd in Top 5 Cities In Canada

As part of the same survey, Victoria – the popular southern end of the Vancouver Island Golf Trail, was ranked as one of the top 5 cities in Canada, along with Vancouver and Quebec City in 2nd and 1st respectively.

This “beautiful harbor town with great food” was recognized for it’s wide variety of activities and great dining with many commenting that Victoria is a “hidden treasure.”

For those looking for something not listed in many guides, the Victoria Ale Trail is something that every connoisseur of fine micro-brew beers should make sure they check out.

 

 

Top 10 Golf Gift Ideas For 201416-11-13

Top 10 Golf Gift Ideas

Top 10 Golf Gift Ideas For 2014 

Do you have a golfer on your gift list, or maybe you’re looking for the perfect “self-gift”, and not sure what to get for Christmas or any other gift for 2014? We’ve scoured blogs, golf forums and our office team and compiled what we think should be your Top 10 golf gift ideas for 2014.

Comfortable Golf Shoes

Top 10 Golf Shoes - EccoGolf shoes no longer look like someone added some cleats to the bottom of some old rental bowling shoes. With choices ranging from a classic look to running shoes, imagination is the only limitation when it comes to some new kicks for the ol’ dogs. Some of the hottest shoes are those that looks like regular street shoes, Ecco Golf Street are the perfect example. 

The Most Talked About PutterTop 10 Golf Gifts - Smart Square Putter

Cleveland Golf has just released what it is calling a true game changer for anyone seeking an edge on the green and is bound to be on every golfers’ list of must have cool tools to have in the golf bag. The innovative Dual Axis Alignment allows you to frame the ball and provides instant feedback when the putter is misaligned at address. The result is a faster, more reliable alignment with every putt.

Customize Your SticksTop 10 Golf Gifts - Putter Lounge

Now that you have a great new putter, time to make it look even better and stand out from the rest of the field. Send your beautiful new club, or the classic you’ve had for 20 years, to the Putter Lounge and give your putter or high-end wedges some love. Send your existing club to the lounge and they will give it customized milling and anodizing to make your club a one of a kind art-piece.

The Range Finder With A JoltTop 10 Golf Gifts - Bushnell Tour v3

The Bushnell Laser Rangefinder Tour v3 has got a kick! No, this rangefinder doesn’t shock you every time you measure distance from the trees, although maybe that might help that wicked duck hook. What this fine piece of technology does do is reward your steady hand when you have locked onto the flag with a reassuring vibrating burst. Combine the award winning PinSeeker technology, and this is will be the goto measuring stick in your golf bag.

Fins And Skins

Adams Fishing Victoria

The ultimate player deserves the ultimate golf experience and there is nothing better than combining a round of golf with a day of saltwater fishing in some of North America’s most abundant fishing waters. Haul in a lunker slab of halibut after slaying one of the incredible southern Vancouver Island golf courses or take a shot at the most incredible fishing experience – rowing the Tyee Pool for 30+ lb Salmon in Campbell River before your North Island round. No matter how you slice it (hopefully that’s not a problem you have to work on), fishing and golfing go together like, well, fins and skins!

Surf The Turf

Not a fan of driving around like Miss Daisy in a golf cart, but think walking is too slow? How about flowing over the course with your own custom four-wheel drive, motorized turf surfer from GolfBoard. Outfitted with 9-inch turn tires, lithium-ion batteries, wireless hand-held controller, and bag mount/stability handle, this is the personal cart caddy of the future. Get one of these course skateboards and getting to your ball will be a fun experience – regardless of where you hit it.

If the GolfBoard isn’t swanky enough, you could always try for Bubba Watson’s hovercraft. It’s only $65,000.

Get Some Self-HelpTop 10 Golf Gifts - SkyPro

Want to get immediate feedback on your golf swing sent straight to your iPhone or iPad? The SkyPro is a tiny sensor that mounts to your club shaft below the grip, and monitors your golf club motion during a swing. The sensor includes a 3-axis accelerometer and gyroscope and connects to your iOS device via Bluetooth. This is the perfect gift for the techy golfer on your list.

 

Good ‘Ol Fashioned LessonTop 10 Golf Gifts - CPGA Lessons

Want to really make a change to someone’s game? Get them registered into lessons with a CPGA instructor. Technology is great, but the trained eye and skillful analysis by an instructor can shave multiple strokes off your game and add to the enjoyment of the game. Every member course of Golf Vancouver Island has CPGA professionals available for private, group and specialty golf clinics. Now is the time to get in the groove for 2014!

Golf Trail Card2014 Vancouver Island Golf Trail Card

Have a golfer friend on Vancouver Island? Give them the gift that gives them the thing they love the most – GOLF! 11 Rounds of golf along the Vancouver Island Golf Trail for less than $30/round, the Golf Trail Card is an incredible way to explore the top golf courses on Vancouver Island. This popular card has limited numbers remaining so get it today and you have one hell of a stocking stuffer.

Go Golfing

The best gift you can give any golfer is get them golfing. Even better, go golfing with them. If you are “buying for yourself” play a solo round. Don’t make an excuse, just go golf!

Golf Tips To Keep You Playing Year Round21-09-13

Seasonal Golf Tips from Jordan Ray

Vancouver Island boasts year round golf which is amazing for Canada. Admittedly the weather is not always as pleasant in winter as summer, but if you are prepared to play in varying conditions from a little liquid sunshine to the real sunshine, late fall and winter golf will be much more enjoyable.

Golf Tips For Fall

Dress Properly

If you are open to playing all season, and trust me it is not all that bad, get yourself a good pair of rain gloves that get stickier the wetter they get. This will help ensure your clubs don’t slide out of your hands when the moisture is high. It would also be worth investing in a good jacket and rain pants; Galvin Green, Sun Ice, and Adidas all make great ones and it may seem like an investment but your body will thank you when it is still dry at the end of the round. Just remember that should it be an inclement day, it is better to be golfing in it than shoveling it! 

Get Professional Help

Look at the winter as the ideal time to work on your game. Perhaps see your local PGA of Canada Professional to help you with that pesky slice, usually they offer terrific deals in winter like the Bear Mountain Academy does here. It is not a great idea to change your swing the week before your club championship so look at the winter as an opportunity to start prepping early for the coming season. We all know the kid that crammed for the final exam the night before, you might have even been that kid and sometimes the test results were pretty good. With golf that is usually not the case, start “studying” early and you will pass all those summer golf exams and perhaps win a few drinks off your buddies.

Course Conditions Change 

A couple general golf tips for winter, the ground is wet and the air is heavy don’t expect to hit your 8 iron 150 yards like you do in the summer, club up. Same for off the tee, the ball is not going to roll like the summer on wetter ground so either consider playing a tee box further forward or adjust your overall expectations and expect your final score to be a couple shots higher. Overall, just enjoy the great outdoors and don’t be afraid to post your golf pictures for the rest of the country to enjoy.

 

By: Jordan Ray – Head Golf Professional – Bear Mountain Golf Resort