Well, here we are and summer is just around the corner, only a few more days until it’s official. Time to slather the sunscreen on the dimpled dome and get out and hit the course, then the beach with a couple of cold ones, and finally park myself in front of a big screen and take in the US Open! Man, what a weekend.
Yeeowza!! How did we get here and why am I in this handbasket? It would appear I’ve been a little tardy on the posting about golf on Vancouver Island. It’s been a crazy spring what with all the golf and parties. The most recent excursion with the crew from Classic Rock 101 from Vancouver was quite the experience. Bro Jake and Mike Eckford know how to have a great time, and I knew I was in trouble the moment we met for lunch at Crown Isle Golf Resort, it was “Game on” with some fine Island brews.
Now where was I, oh yeah, I want to tell you how friggin awesome golfing on Vancouver Island is. There is an amazing selection of hotels and fine dining establishments to keep the palate satisfied, and the golf around here is top drawer, but most of all it’s the memorable people. During said recent road trip, we covered the Island from North to South (isn’t that how it always goes…) and everywhere we went, the people were so friendly, funny and accommodating. (Side note: Check out some of the pics on Classic Rock 101′s Instagram page – they’re awesome.) It’s one of the best thing about golfing on Vancouver Island. It must be something in the air.
But I digress. I’m pretty jacked about this summer, I mean the weather on Vancouver Island is always pretty mild, but when the summer roles around… that’s when it gets smokin! There are some crazy fun golf tournaments I’m planning on playing in, some casual rounds during the many feature nights at the various courses and of course, sampling the fine beverages that originate here. If you don’t know what I’m talking about – read up on the Victoria Ale Trail or the killer Island Wineries.
I’ll try and be a little more frequent on this posting thing. It doesn’t appear to be my strong suit but I’m stoked about sharing more about this great place I get to call home. If you want some insider information, drop me a line, ask me on Twitter or Facebook and of course, make sure to check out my Golf Trail adventures on YouTube. I’ll give you a sample right here.
So that’s me Mr. B, signing off for now. Remember, keep you eye on the ball, and your balls on the fairway.
Last course on the trail and I’m up in wine country again just south of Duncan at Cowichan Golf and Country Club. I’ve brought my 16 year-old and his buddy along. They’ve been practising at the driving range and at a short apr-3 course near our house, but it’s one of their first ventures out onto a full-length course. Is it going to be boom or bust? Read More »
I’ve heard of the wineries in this part of the Island and – I’ll admit to looking it up – there are 9 of them within easy driving distance from this golf course, but I haven’t heard that much about the golf courses. That’s about to change with Arbutus Ridge, about 40 minutes drive up over the Malahat from downtown Victoria. Read More »
The Mountain Course. Didn’t do too well when I was here previously attempting to conquer the Valley, and now am back setting the sights a bit higher at the Mountain. But a lot of golf has flowed through the clubs since then and so am feeling fairly confident on arrival.
After the usual faultless and friendly signing in, I head off to the driving range. It wasn’t incredibly successful, alternating fat and thin with some solid shots, but a definite lack of consistency. A few practice putts were OK though, greens not too fast and you were able to give it a good tap. Not sure that was usual though as they showed signs of having been tined recently and any Jack Nicklaus courses I have played before have always had speedy and undulating greens. Read More »
Sunday morning and the last course of the weekend is Fairwinds. Up early this morning and arriving at the course with not too much time to spare, but that’s OK. Hopefully, the swing is still locked in from the previous two days and shouldn’t take long to warm up.
We’re playing off the white tees at 5700 yards. The first is a par-4 dog-leg to the left and I asked the marshal if it was reachable if you cut the corner and he said it was but you were in deep trouble in the forest if you didn’t make it and not many people tried. So I played safe and hit a four iron into the fairway bunker. It was a fairly short wedge from there to the green though and I managed to save par. Read More »
Saturday afternoon and it’s a day at Storey Creek. Beautiful weather, feeling fine and this is going to be a good day. Storey Creek brands itself as “a course in nature” and I pick up a booklet before the round which shows the course layout and each hole down its own alleyway of trees. Better keep the ball straight.
After a bucket of balls, and hitting the ball quite well, I proceed to the first tee feeling quite confident. We decide to play off the white tees at 5880 yards. I wanted to play the blue at 6250 but got voted down. First hole is a slight dog-leg left and a drive, 9-iron, chip and two putts later I’m +1. Played the second in a similar manner. The third is a straight forward par-3 belied by a 6-iron, chip and three putts. Not happy now. I’m definitely discontented after another double on the par 5 4th hole and time for a deep breath – 6-over after 4. Read More »
The first is a dog leg to the right and I pulled the ball left and left my second short, chipped over the green and then chipped in. Solid par four, ha, ha. Is this a good sign? Two pars later and feeling good I was on the par-3 4th with water short and right thinking this was going to be a good day. After hitting it into the rushes, think I could play it and hitting it six inches and finding I couldn’t and ending up having to sink a 12-footer for a double, not so good any more.
The course was fairly flat and wide open, though not so much that you could hit it onto the next fairway – to do so would involve hitting over some fairly large trees in most cases. I wish I could discuss the condition of the fairways more, and they did look good as I was walking down them, I just never got to play off them, generally just being a few feet off in the semi-rough though.
Back from the weekends golfing. Some good, some bad, some just awful – my golf that is, not the courses. At least I didn’t win the hideous trophy awarded to the person who failed to get it past the ladies tee the most times. I would probably have won if there was a trophy for the one who missed the green the most with a wedge or sand wedge from 80-120 yards out. It was so bad, particularly on Sunday, that I considered laying up further back to give myself a longer club in, but then I thought that I couldn’t continue to miss. Unfortunately, I was wrong there, up to and including the last hole we played. Read More »
This weekend, I’m going to make good progress on the rest of the courses on the trail. It’s a weekend golf trip, something I haven’t done for what has to be close to 25 years. We’re driving up from Victoria on Friday and playing the mixed links and forest of Morningstar, then back for a barbecue with, no doubt, other unhealthy food to go with it. The old-growth natural environment of Storey Creek on Saturday and then golf by the ocean at Fairwinds on Sunday on the way back to Victoria. Read More »