Tales From The Trail

Trio of Canadian’s Commit To PGA TOUR Champions Event At Bear Mountain16-08-16

Canadians Confirmed to Play at PGA Tour Champions Event

Canadians Stephen Ames, Rod Spittle and Jim Rutledge Commit to 2016 Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship

Canadians Stephen Ames, Rod Spittle and Jim Rutledge committed to play the 2016 Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship, to be contested on Bear Mountain Golf Resort’s Mountain Course in Victoria, British Columbia the week of September 19-25, 2016. The event will feature a US$2.5 million purse, with 81 players competing for a winner’s share of $440,000.

Ames, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago but owns dual citizenship in Canada as well, starred on the PGA TOUR through the mid-2000s, earning four titles – including a breakthrough win at THE PLAYERS Championship in 2006, when he dominated the world-class field to the tune of a six-shot victory.

The 52-year-old made his PGA TOUR Champions debut in 2014, and has made 34 additional starts since, racking up nine top-10 finishes and career-best, T4 efforts at the 2015 Mitsubishi Electric Classic and 2016 Tucson Conquistadores Classic.

Ames, who resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, turned professional in 1987 before winning on the Web.com Tour in 1991, and later adding European Tour victories in 1994 and 1996 before earning his PGA TOUR card at Q-School in 1997.

Spittle, a native of St. Catharines, Ontario, took the road less traveled to PGA TOUR Champions. After playing college golf at famed Ohio State alongside the likes of fellow Tour players Joey Sindelar and John Cook, the two-time Canadian Amateur champion took a job in the insurance industry, where he worked for 25 years in his adopted home state of Ohio.

In 2004, Spittle turned professional in advance of his 50th birthday, then earned status on PGA TOUR Champions via a T3 finish at the annual Qualifying Tournament in 2006. Since that point, the 61-year-old has made 151 career starts, collecting 19 top-10 finishes, including a playoff win at the 2010 AT&T Championship. The three-time Ohio Mid-Amateur champion has earned over $3.3 million on the golf course since leaving the insurance industry 11 years ago.

Rutledge will be making a hometown appearance at the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship after growing up in Victoria.

The 56-year-old won six times on PGA TOUR Canada, including three victories in the British Columbia Open. Rutledge’s professional career, which began in 1978, took him through the Web.com Tour, the European Tour and the Asian Tour before settling on PGA TOUR Champions – where he has competed since the 2010 season.

Over the past seven years, Rutledge has recorded nine top-10 finishes on PGA TOUR Champions and over $1.3 million in earnings.

“Canada is a golf-rich country that has consistently cheered for its own through the years at PGA TOUR-sanctioned events,” said Tournament Director David Skitt. “The addition of these three players not only adds to the strength of our field, but also to the excitement heading into tournament week, as Canadian golf fans will have genuine passion in supporting Stephen Ames, Rod Spittle and Jim Rutledge.”

The announcement is the latest in a string of player commitments for the event, including World Golf Hall of Fame members Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Sandy Lyle and Tom Kite, as well as PGA TOUR Champions winners Rocco Mediate, Lee Janzen and Jesper Parnevik.

Tournament week in Victoria will begin with Pro-Ams on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by 54 holes of championship play from Friday through Sunday, with no cut. All three competitive rounds will be broadcast live by Golf Channel to more than 200 million homes in 84 countries and 11 languages around the world.

To register as a volunteer simply visit the tournament website at pacificlinkschampionship.com and click the REGISTER TO VOLUNTEER button to the left of the screen.

Tickets are also on-sale for this premier event and can be purchased at www.selectyourtickets.com. Fans can choose from the daily ticket options or combine tickets with additional golf rounds while in Victoria with Golf Vancouver Island’s PGA TOUR Champions Weekend Package.

  • Weekly Pass – Wednesday through Sunday: $99 (includes parking / Official Program)
  • Daily Pass – Friday, Saturday or Sunday: $40
  • Pro-Am Daily Pass – Wednesday or Thursday: $25
  • Champions Club VIP Pass – Friday through Sunday: $200

About The Pacific Links Championship

The Pacific Links Championship is an official event on PGA Champions TOUR featuring the world’s premier golfers aged 50 and older competing for a US$ 2.5 million purse. Tournament play at the Pacific Links Championship will be held on the Jack and Steve Nicklaus Co-Design Mountain Course at Bear Mountain Golf Resort, Victoria, British Columbia, from September 19-25, 2016. All three competitive rounds will be broadcast live by Golf Channel to more than 200 million homes in 84 countries and 11 languages around the world. For more information on the Pacific Links Championship or PGA TOUR Champions, please visit www.PGATOUR.com/Champions

Twitter: @PacificLinksVIC

Instagram: @pacificlinksvic

About Pacific Links International

Pacific Links was founded in 2009 to provide members with a premium golf experience through an innovative international membership structure focused on the Chinese golfer. Pacific Links offers them access to the finest collection of high quality golf clubs in the world. Since 2012, the Pacific Links Network of Affiliated and Reciprocal clubs now stands at over 500 properties located in 20+ countries around the world. With a strong membership base continuing to grow in China, the planned expansion into other parts of Asia and the aggregated population of members from all the participating clubs, Pacific Links is now expanding the brand platform to encompass more than just golf. We are positioning Pacific Links International to be the preeminent Lifestyle portal for China’s HNW customer providing high demand travel itineraries inspired by golf but encompassing concierge services, flights, accommodations, local tourism experience and travel butler assistance. The main feature of a Pacific Links membership is reciprocal access. In the next 10-15 years, PLI will further expand its international affiliate network to over 1,000 clubs in North America, Europe, Australia, Japan and the entire Southeast Asia.


About Bear Mountain Golf Resort

Located on southern Vancouver Island – a region known for its year round golf climate, stellar fishing opportunities and strong local food movement – Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa offers two outstanding courses that combined represent the only 36-hole Nicklaus Design golf experience in Canada. The Mountain Course, a Jack and Steve Nicklaus Co-Design, features impressive landscape and dramatic terrain that lead to breathtaking 180 degree views of nearby Victoria, the Pacific Ocean and the Olympic Mountains of Washington State. The course, a par 71 playing at 6,925 yards, sets atop a 1,100-foot mountain and has been assigned a slope rating of 142 from the back tees. The 18-hole, par 71 Nicklaus Design Valley Course, a spectacular golf setting that is nestled in a pristine natural 102 acres of mature forests, measures just under 7,000 yards. Surrounded by 3,000 acres of parks and hiking trails, Bear Mountain is one of the few golf courses in North America that offers an authentic natural setting so close to a capital city. More than a resort and an incredible community, Bear Mountain is also home to Golf Canada’s National Development team, the high performance training centre of Canada’s National Mountain Bike team, and construction recently commenced on Canada’s largest indoor/outdoor clay court tennis facility supported by Tennis Canada and Tennis BC. The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa rounds out the amenities offering guests a luxurious getaway with outstanding fine dining options, the award-winning Sante Spa, and the Bear Mountain Golf Academy. www.bearmountain.ca

About PGA TOUR Champions

PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of golfers age 50 and older, with the most recognizable and accomplished players in the game – including 34 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame, which compete regularly in its events. PGA TOUR Champions is where Legends play, and is home to The Ultimate Clubhouse. Conceived in 1980 as the Senior PGA Tour, it started with just four events and purses totaling $475,000. The primary purpose of PGA TOUR Champions is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, protect the integrity of the game and generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays. In 2016, the newly-introduced Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs will identify and recognize the Tour’s leading player via a season-long race for the Charles Schwab Cup. The Commissioner of the PGA TOUR is Tim Finchem. Greg McLaughlin is President of PGA TOUR Champions. The PGA TOUR’s website is pgatour.com, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Follow PGA TOUR Champions at facebook.com/PGATOURChampions and on Twitter @ChampionsTour.

Parksville: A Vancouver Island Golf Trip Everyone Will Love30-06-16

A golf trip to Parksville Vancouver Island

Edmonton Sun’s resident golf fanatic Kevin Berkenbosch – aka Bogeyman – recently visited Parksville for a whistle stop Vancouver Island golf trip. What he found was a golfing experience second to none. As he puts it: “Parksville on Vancouver Island offers one of the most peaceful, relaxing and enjoyable golf holidays imaginable.” Which sounds pretty good to us!

Bogeyman managed to play rounds at Fairwinds Golf Club, Morningstar Golf Club, and Pheasant Golf Resort, giving him three completely unique rounds of golf but all with one common factor: a few hours very pleasurably spent indeed! As he reports, “Where Fairwinds was all about the teeshot, Morningstar is all about hitting greens… (while) Pheasant Glen, which will host this year’s BC Amateur Championship, has a much different style from the other two, (being) more open and forgiving off the tee and less punitive of poor shots.” He also reports that “conditions were amazing” and finally, “Golfing in Parksville on Vancouver Island is a world class trip no matter who you go with.” Now, who could ask for more than that?

A huge thanks to Bogeyman for his great review – we look forward to seeing more of him on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail!

Golf in Victoria Gets Wild Off the Tee23-06-16

Golf in Victoria gets wild off the tee

Getting wild off the tee sounds bad. And ordinarily it is. Wild drives that lead off-fairway into dark holes of rough and despair are generally to be avoided at all costs. But here on Vancouver Island, getting wild off the tee is actively encouraged. Of course, we’ve given it a whole different meaning, so tame that swing and prepare to expend any energy saved for some of these fantastically wild-off-the-tee activities in and around Victoria.

Subdue Wild Salmon

Fins and Skins packages on the Vancouver Island Golf TrailPrime salmon fishing season is upon us. Summer brings an abundance of salmon in British Columbia waters, which means fantastic fishing opportunities. Don’t worry – we’re not about to deprive you of your golf by sending you out to sea for days on end. The fishing here is so good that you can spend a morning on the ocean, rod in hand, an afternoon on the course, club in hand, and still come away with a couple of big ones to show for it! (And by big ones we mean fish, not bogeys-plus!) And you don’t even have to venture too far out of Victoria either. Check out our Fins & Skins packages for great fishing / golfing wins right in Victoria. Or plan your own fins and skins getaway by pairing a round of golf at any of the incredible golf courses within 20 minutes of downtown (The Mountain Course and Valley Course at Bear Mountain, Arbutus RidgeHighland Pacific and Olympic View all beckon) with a Victoria-based Adam’s Fishing Charters trip into fishing hot spots. (Top tip: local legend Adam knows where to fish for guaranteed success.)

Wonder at Whales

Whale Watching in Victoria, BCFor the ultimate in thrills (with the exception of that elusive hole-in-one naturally), why not pair your next round of golf at one of Victoria’s courses with a 3-hour whale watching experience? With the largest whale watching and eco-adventure company in British Columbia, Prince of Whales, you can bet your last golf ball you’ll come away in awe and wonder – and that’s before you’ve even hit your first golf ball off some of the most scenic tees in the business on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail! Golf and whale-watching: a truly unique BC experience, and Vancouver Island specialty.

Wrestle with Bears

Bear Mountain Golf Resort in Victoria BCFull disclosure: We cannot recall an actual Bear ever being spotted on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail (well, not that it’s ever been reported to us), so if you are lucky enough to see a Bear of the furry, four-legged variety, be sure to keep your distance but please do take lots of pics to send our way! There is however another Bear that needs to be wrestled on Vancouver Island, and one that will take all of your prowess and finesse! We are, of course, referring to Bear Mountain – 36 holes of Jack Nicklaus-designed golf guaranteed to put a smile (and perhaps the odd grimace) on the grumpiest bear’s golfer’s face. Whether you tackle Bear Mountain’s Mountain or Valley Course, prepare to feed the beast with your best possible golf game.

Bond Over Brews

Victoria Ale TrailAs most golfers agree, there’s very little that beats a cold one after a hot round. And in Victoria you are spoiled for choice. Beer in Victoria is steeped in history, going back to the early 1840’s. More importantly, the city’s craft brew scene is steeped in excellent atmosphere and full-on flavour. With several micro-breweries, including Vancouver Island’s first craft brewery, all within walking distance around the city’s harbours and downtown core, the Victoria Ale Trail offers an authentic taste of the local scene. So why not let your hair down and get a little wild (just a little mind you) on some of the local brews after your next round in the region. Cheers to that.

And that, folks, is what getting wild off the tee should look like. See you on the wild side!

Vancouver Island Golf Vacation: Nothing Better!08-06-16

Nothing beats a Vancouver Island Golf Vacation

Vancouver Island Golf Vacations - Nothing Better!Golf Vacations Magazine Associate Editor Terry Ross recently took a trip to Vancouver Island, on the trail of hot golfing vacations. Seems he found what he was looking for.

In the resulting cover story and 7-page feature spread, Terry tells a story of unparalleled golf and relaxation. In his own words, he found “a variety of scenic and recreational opportunities – not to mention some of the best golf anywhere on courses designed by renowned architects like Jack and Steve Nicklaus, Les Furber, Graham Cook and Bill Robinson.” He also believes – as do we, naturally! – that “Vancouver Island has come to be known as THE golf resort area for all of Canada because of the quantity and quality of the golf choices, the temperate weather and ease of access from most major areas of North America.” Indeed, Terry, indeed.

You can read Terry’s full story here or download the PDF version here. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank both Terry Ross and Golf Vacations Magazine for the wonderful feature and look forward to hosting them on our glorious Vancouver Island Golf Trail again in the near future. There is so much more golf to be played here – one vacation just isn’t going to cut it!

Father’s Day Golf Adventures on Vancouver Island18-05-16

Father's Day Golfing Adventures on Vancouver Island

Father’s Day is fast approaching. (Ahem – it’s June 19th, for those of you who need reminding; you know who you are!) Fortunately, for those of us whose dads play golf, gift ideas are stress-free and plentiful. The saying “Thanks for making it so easy to get you a Father’s Day gift due to your psychotic love of golf” isn’t a Father’s Day card favourite for nothing!

This is even truer on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail. Here, Father’s Day golfing gifts and experiences are so vast and varied, even dads who aren’t complete golf-psychos are covered. Tee up one of these unique Vancouver Island experiences to try out with Dad this Father’s Day for the best Father’s Day gift by par. Erm, far.

Disclaimer: We hold no responsibility for setting the bar so high that next year becomes a problem.

Gone Fishin’

April Point Resort

April Point Resort on Quadra Island

You know what’s better than spending an afternoon on the golf course with your old man? A morning spent on the water with your old man and a couple of rods, followed by an afternoon spent on the golf course with your old man and a set of sticks.

June is the beginning of peak season for sport fishing in the waters off Vancouver Island. There is an abundance of salmon while halibut of up to 600 lbs have been caught in the local waters during the summer season. Which means Father’s Day is the perfect time to book one of our Fins and Skins Packages including both golf and fishing! Whether you start your day in Victoria’s inner harbour or further north in Campbell River, we’ve got a package built for some serious Father’s Day-gift bragging rights.

Even if the big ones and the birdies get away from you, this is a Father’s Day adventure your dad will speak of for years to come.

Brew Romance

Victoria Ale Trail

Beer + Golf = Perfect Twosome

Golf and beer have long been the ultimate twosome (much like you and Dad). A cold brew in hand after a great (or not-so-great) round? Probably one of the best feelings in the game. Other than that incredible birdie, of course. Or eagle. Or hole-in-one. Or that 300-yard drive you nailed. We digress – but you see where we’re going with this. Now imagine pairing your round with an entire Ale Trail… That’s one Father’s Day gift experience we – and no doubt your dad – can really get behind.

Spend your morning playing any one of the courses five courses within a half-hour drive from Victoria, then spend your afternoon discovering Victoria’s Ale Trail.

Victoria is home to several micro-breweries – all within walking distance around the city’s harbours and downtown core. From Vancouver Island’s very first craft brewery, the multiple award winning Vancouver Island Brewery on Government Street, to smaller brewpubs like Canoe Brewpub & Restaurant, Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub or Buckerfield’s Brewery at Swans, both you and Dad are sure to find at least one brew you can both agree on – even if you can’t agree on each others’ scorecards.

Into the Wild

Wild off the tee on Vancouver Island

Get wild off the tee on #VIGolfTrail

Not everyone is into fishing. Some even find it – gasp – boring. If your dad is one of these why not get a little wild off the tee with him?

Pair your round of golf with a side of whale watching. Is your Dad even more adventurous? Victoria boasts some of the world’s best scuba diving, just blocks from downtown. True story. Tee it up in the morning and hit the fairways, then suit up in the afternoon and hit the seafloor.

Or just hit the beach after your round for a spot of sun and sand. Vancouver Island boasts some of the best bunkers – erm, beaches – anywhere.

High Tech Hitting

Don’t have time to get away from it all to spend some quality time with your old man? No worries – we’ve got your Father’s Day gift covered too with some fancy new golf gadgets guaranteed to improve his game and ensure he forgets you had to bail on playing golf with him on Father’s Day!

Zepp 2 Golf Sensor Give Dad the gift of a better swing. (Top tip: Just don’t tell him it’s because his swing sucks.) This small yellow clip attaches to the golf club and measures everything from speed of rotation to the angle of backswing. The accompanying app allows Dad to compare his swing to that of a professional! It will also diagnose areas he can improve, with a range of pro golfers providing personalised feedback based on the results.

Self-V Fairway Headcover

Videotape your swing – no help required!

Self-V Fairway Headcover Also on the swing side of things, the Self-V Fairway Headcover allows Dad to videotape his swing on the golf course, when there is no-one around to do it for him (ahem – like his son or daughter on Father’s Day). This handy-dandy product from Swing Snap Golf has a phone placeholder in its headcover: all Dad has to do is set his golf bag at the angle he wants to tape his swing, press play on his phone’s camera and he’s all set.

BioMech Putting App So your dad swings like a king but his putts? Well, that’s another story! Here’s something that will have him holing birdies no problem. Developed by the team at BioMech Sports, this app features a sensor that clips to the shaft of any putter to measure an array of elements in the putting stroke, including face angle, swing path and acceleration. The app then analyzes any flaws in real time and can be programmed to instantly alert the golfer with lights or a tone when you make a wrong move, like decelerating.

PowaKaddy 2015 FW3 Your dad may still play golf better than you, but he’s not getting any younger and, unlike the pros, he doesn’t have a caddy on hand to carry his clubs around for him. This electric caddy can be set to trundle up to 45 yards all by itself while he plays his shot.

Finally, if all else fails, just remember that nothing beats a few hours spent bonding on the golf course with Dad. And with the Vancouver Island Golf Trail right on your doorstep – with 12 phenomenal courses to choose from – we’d say you and your dad are pretty much all set for a great golfing Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all the golfing Dads, Dads of golfers and golf-mad Dads out there. We hope at the very least you get a round of golf in on the day – whether as an adventure with your kids or as an escape from them!

Vancouver Island’s Bear Mountain Resort named host of 2016 Pacific Links Championship06-05-16

PGA Tour Event On Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island golf resort to host PGA TOUR Champions event in September, 2016

From Media Release May 6, 2016

PGA Tour Event On Vancouver IslandPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – PGA TOUR Champions and Pacific Links International announced today that the 2016 Pacific Links Championship, originally set to be contested in Tianjin, China, has moved to Bear Mountain Resort in Victoria, British Columbia. The tournament dates will remain September 19-25, with the field increasing from 60 players to 81 players, and the purse remaining $2.5 million.

“Bear Mountain Golf Resort is an incredible property, offering not only great golf, but an impressive variety of activities and accommodations,” said Mr. Du, Owner & Chairman of Pacific Links International. “Western Canada is a prime travel destination with attractions that include the internationally prized wine region of the Okanagan Valley, the cosmopolitan coastal city of Vancouver, Vancouver Island and to the east Jasper and Banff National Parks in the Canadian Rockies. We are proud to showcase Bear Mountain and the entire travel destination of spectacular British Columbia by bringing this special event to Victoria.”

Tournament play at the Pacific Links Championship will be held on the Mountain Course at Bear Mountain Resort, which opened for play in 2003.

The Jack & Steve Nicklaus co-design sits just minutes from Victoria’s downtown harbor, and is one of two Nicklaus Design courses at the resort. The Mountain Course sits at the base of Mount Finlayson, and features panoramic city, ocean and mountain views throughout.

“We are delighted that PGA TOUR Champions and Pacific Links have chosen Bear Mountain to host this event, and at such an important time of the year in the Tour’s schedule,” said World Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Nicklaus. “Players and fans will find that this is an incredible backdrop for golf, with gorgeous mountains framing the resort and spectacular vistas from many holes. It also made for a terrific canvas on which Steve and I could create a challenging but memorable resort golf experience. I hope the competitors will enjoy the experience as much as Steve and I did designing it.”

“Bear Mountain is honored to be a part of Pacific Links’ PGA TOUR Champions event,” said Dan Matthews, President and CEO, Ecoasis Developments LLP. “Hosting The Pacific Links Championship at Bear Mountain will enable us to showcase Canada’s only 36 holes of Nicklaus Design golf and go a long way in supporting our goal to demonstrate why we are fast becoming the finest golf resort community in Canada.”

The tournament will give PGA TOUR Champions two events in golf-rich Canada during a four-week stretch, pairing with the Shaw Charity Classic on September 2-4 to provide an exciting late-season run up to the inaugural Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs this fall.

In addition to the Pacific Links Championship, Victoria serves as host of the Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist, a Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada event operated by the Island Open Golf Society for 33 years. The event’s past champions include Steve Stricker (1990), who is set to make his PGA TOUR Champions debut in early 2017, and current PGA TOUR Champions member Mike Grob (2006). Victoria native and Tour member Jim Rutledge has served as the event’s Honorary Chairman since 2014.

“Pacific Links International has been a wonderful partner for PGA TOUR Champions, and we are confident that Bear Mountain Resort will provide a championship-caliber setting for one of our premier events,” said PGA TOUR Champions President Greg McLaughlin. “The passion for golf is strong in British Columbia, and should make for a wonderful tournament week atmosphere for our fans and players.”

From 2012-14, PGA TOUR Champions held the Pacific Links Hawai’i Championship at Kapolei Golf Club on Oahu. Following the 2014 tournament, Pacific Links announced it was moving the 2015 tournament to Tianjin, China, to be played at the company’s flagship course in Asia, The 27 Club. Tragically, in August, a factory explosion in the port area of Tianjin forced the cancellation of the event, with officials making the decision just weeks prior to tournament week out of respect for the hundreds of victims of the tragedy.

Pacific Links and the PGA TOUR remain committed to holding a PGA TOUR Champions tournament in Tianjin, but due to ongoing challenges in the city associated with the explosion, the joint decision was made to move the 2016 event to British Columbia.

Tournament week in Victoria will begin with pro-ams on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by 54 holes of tournament play from Friday through Sunday, with no cut. All three rounds will be broadcast on Golf Channel.

For more information on the Pacific Links Championship or PGA TOUR Champions, please visit www.PGATOUR.com/Champions.

Golf Vancouver Island Hits The Road For Golf Shows09-02-16

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 just for visiting our booth.

Editors Note: This post was originally published in February 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness

Vancouver Golf & Travel Show

When: February 15 & 16, 2016
Where: Pacific National Exhibition (PNE)
Website: vancouvergolfshow.com

The Vancouver Golf & Travel Show is the largest consumer golf & travel show in Western Canada with over 125 exhibitors, travel destinations, manufacturer’s representatives and demonstrators. It is owned and operated by Cascadia Events and is supported and endorsed by the PGA of British Columbia and British Columbia Golf.

Show Hours

Saturday, February 13: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, February 14: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

LA Golf Show

When: February 27 – 28, 2016
Where: Los Angeles Convention Center – Hall K
Website: lagolfshow.com

One of the largest golf shows in the US, the Southern California Golf Association presents the LA Golf Show. Offering shopping, test facilities, guest speakers and of course some of the best destinations in the world for a golf vacation, including British Columbia, this is a show not to be missed in you’re in the Los Angeles area.

Show Hours

Saturday, February 27: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, February 28: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Seattle Golf Show

When: March 4, 5 & 6, 2016
Where: CenturyLink Field Event Center
Website: seattlegolfshow.com

The Seattle Golf & Travel Show is the largest consumer golf & travel show in the Pacific Northwest with over 200 exhibitors, golf destinations, equipment manufacturer’s and demonstrations in attendance. Endorsed by the Washington State Golf Assocation, The Pacific Northwest section of the PGA of America and the Washington State Golf Superintendents Association.

Show Hours:

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

Edmonton Golf Show

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

The Edmonton Golf Show is presented by the PGA of Alberta. Kids 12 and under are Free and entry fees for two adults is only $15. Many, many specials and activities to experience during this two day golf and golf travel show.

Show Hours

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

Dallas Golf Show

When: March 11-13, 2016
Where: Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas
Website: dfwgolfshow.com

The three-day event is a celebration of Dallas’ vibrant golf community! By bringing unbeatable values on products and services, thousands of dollars in prizes and giveaways, and fun interactive events to the DFW market, we have created a unique event in North Texas for golf enthusiasts.

Show Hours

Friday, March 11: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m
Saturday, March 12: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, March 13: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Calgary Golf Show

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

The Calgary Golf Show is presented by the PGA of Alberta. Kids 12 and under are Free and entry fees for two adults is only $15. Many, many specials and activities to experience during this two day golf and golf travel show.

Show Hours

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

Haggin Oaks Golf Expo

When: April 29, 30 & May 1, 2016
Where: Haggin Oaks Golf Course, Sacramento, CA
Website: hagginoaksgolfexpo.com

Billed as America’s Largest Demo Days, this three-day event is not to be missed for those in the Sacramento area.

Show Hours

Friday, April 29: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m
Saturday, April 30: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m
Sunday, May 1: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m


Vancouver Island Spring Golf14-01-16

Spring on VI by Deanne Gillespie

January. Bleurgh.

Never fear; Spring is near. Well, on Vancouver Island anyway. Did you know that the average temperature on the Island come February hovers around 9°C? Even better, in March it’s more like 12°C! (Most days.) Head east to Alberta and Ontario, and you’re looking at around 5. (Maybe. On a really, really good day.) As for the Prairies… Well, the less said the better.

Of course, with all this bounty of beautiful, snow-free weather comes something else to smile about: Spring golf.

As one of the very few destinations in Canada where golf courses are actually open, golfing on Vancouver Island offers the pent up, mid-winter golfer everything he or she could wish for. Lush green fairways. Barely a blade of winter kill to be found. Sunny skies. Temperatures that often allow for short sleeves. And, given that nearly all the golf courses on Vancouver Island are year-round, the quality of golf you’re going to get is pretty much unrivalled: you’re looking at near-summer playing conditions as early as March! Plus, if you’re a Canadian looking to cure golf fever somewhere tropical, you’re not going to run into the hazard that is the current US exchange rate. Why make everything 40% more expensive by venturing across the border when you’ve got the perfect lie right here at home? (Hey, US golfers: everything here is 40% cheaper. Just saying.)

So here’s a thought: skip the January blahs and start dreaming about your Spring golfing trip to Vancouver Island instead. You don’t even have to plan a thing, we’ve done it all for you:

Morningstar Golf

Golf at Morningstar

Woods and whales

Play golf: Head for Parksville and Qualicum Beach if it’s an oceanside Spring escape you’re after. Here you’ll find three wonderful oceanside golf courses in Fairwinds Golf ClubMorningstar Golf Club and Pheasant Glen Golf Resort. We’ve even set up a really great Parksville Spring Beach & Golf Special for you – three Rounds of Golf (one at each of the above courses) & two Nights Stay for just $399 pp. All you have to do is show up!

Play tourist: Just two and a half hours northwest of Parksville lies Tofino where, come spring, whale watching is the sport of choice. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to see grey whales at play. Bonus round: the Pacific Rim Whale Festival runs from March 12-27th, 2016.

Highland Pacific Golf

Golf at Highland Pacific

Fairways and flowers

Play tourist: While most of Canada is still shivering under a blanket of snow, Vancouver Island is already awash with blossoms – Greater Victoria boasts an annual bloom count of over a billion! (Did you know the Greater Victoria Flower Count is an actual thing – it takes place in March…) So get out and smell the cherry blossoms…

Play golf: While you’re at it, why not take in a round or five at the four fantastic golf courses no more than half an hour’s drive from the city centre. Highland Pacific, Bear Mountain, Arbutus Ridge and Olympic View all boast challenging, invigorating golf guaranteed to get you back into the swing of things. Take advantage of our low season Golf Fever Getaway steal if you can’t decide which course to play. We won’t tell anyone if you give the whole flower counting thing a skip.

Bear Mountain Golf

Golf at Bear Mountain

Balls and bikes (and birdies, hopefully!)

Play golf: One venue, two spectacular courses… Bear Mountain Resort offers 36 holes of Jack Nicklaus designed golf. (It is the only 36 holes of Nicklaus Design golf in Canada by the way.) It has also just been named as the official national training centre and headquarters of Cycling Canada and Golf Canada. Aside from national pride what does this mean for the rest of us comparably plebeian golfers? Erm, if it’s good enough for our national squad to train there year round, it’s more than good enough for us. Expect prime Spring golfing conditions. And Summer, Winter and Autumn.

Play tourist: Play golf at Canada’s National Golf Training Centre. ‘Nuff said. But if you insist on more: why not rent a mountain bike and kick up some dust at The Hub – home of the Canadian National Mountain Bike Team, the Bear Mountain Bike Park (BMBP) and the Southern Vancouver Island Nature Trails Society (NTS).

Crown Isle Golf

Golf at Crown Isle

Scorecards and skis

Play tourist: Spring skiing at Mount Washington on Vancouver Island is one of those things people add to their bucket lists, with March apparently their best month of the year. But the very best part? It’s just a 40-minute drive from two of the Island’s most-loved golf destinations: Crown Isle and Storey Creek.

Play golf: With Crown Isle Golf Resort tucked under the shadows of the massive Comox Glacier, and your Storey Creek four ball often joined by soaring eagles, wandering wild deer and ambling black bears, this is golf in perfect commune with nature. What better season to take advantage of that? (Speaking of taking advantage: Crown Isle is currently offering a Stay & Ski deal, valid until the end of January.)

Yep, Vancouver Island really is the perfect place to cure golf fever. With the added bonus of plenty to do off the tee. It’s time to flip winter the birdie and hit the fairways on Vancouver Island. You know you want to.

Main image credit: Deanne Gillespie

5 Great Golf Gift Ideas13-12-15

Five Golf Themed Gift Ideas

Stop. Take the golf tees out your shopping cart. Now back away. We’ve got 5 great golf gift ideas for you instead. Because your golf-loving partner/parent/best friend does not need to find yet another bag of novelty tees/sleeve of golf balls/branded glove in his or her stocking this Christmas. Instead, show them how much thought you (ahem – we) put into their gift this year and stick one of these fabulous golf gifts from the Vancouver Island Golf Trail under the tree. Just call us Santa’s favourite little helper!

Gift 1: For the Fanatic

Nothing says “I love you, Merry Christmas” like this, the ultimate golf gift: A Vancouver Island Golf Trail Card. This magical card allows the bearer to play one round each at 12 incredible Vancouver Island golf courses. For just $329 you can inspire never-ending devotion and gratitude – and year-long golf happiness. Pure genius.

Gift 2: For the Envy-Gifter

You know how sometimes you buy the best gift ever, then begrudge giving it away – it’s just so good you want to keep it yourself? We call that envy-gifting. No need to turn as green as your Christmas tree this year though: Arbutus Ridge has put together a fantastic 12 Days of Christmas Special Offer gift list – from a $130 five-game pack, to four one-hour lessons for the price of three, to customised golf balls. (Okay, in this instance we’ll allow the golf balls – who doesn’t love a customised golf ball, eh!) All gifts you wish you could just grab back, yes? Luckily for you, Arbutus Ridge is going to save your Christmas spirit from turning Scrooge-like: nearly every one of their special offers has a little something extra for you to keep. (Special Offers end on December 16 – so best you put your power cart into top gear.)

Gift 3: For the Newbie

You know what’s a great gift? A lifetime of good golf. Why not give the newbie golfer in your life the gift of lessons to set them up to play their best possible golf from the get-go. Fairwinds Golf Club is offering great Christmas specials on Lesson Packages (amongst some other great golf gift ideas, by the way). Bonus: their specials run until December 24 so if you’re a last-minute kind of shopper (no pointing fingers!), you’re in luck.

Gift 4: For the Disillusioned Golfer

Get your once-golf-loving-but-currently-disillusioned golfer back into the swing of things with a round of something guaranteed to put the pep back into their round: 18 holes of Foot Golf (soccer golf) at Crown Isle Golf Resort. Think of it as the super-sized version of golf – with half the frustration!

Gift 5: For the All-Rounder

For some golfers it’s all about the golf. They go from car, to course and straight back to the car. For others, it’s the whole experience that has them golfing-mad: some power-swinging at the driving range, a round of golf, a little bit of celebratory (or therapeutic) shopping at the pro-shop, and a post-round drink or dinner at the 19th. Highland Pacific has the perfect gift for this all-rounder: Gift Cards at Highland Pacific can be used anywhere on the facility for any purpose. It really is the gift that keeps on giving!

Still at a loss? Don’t succumb to the novelty golf/Christmas sweater! We’ve got one last idea for you and a it’s a winner: just give us a call on 1.888.465.3239 and customize a Vancouver Island golf package for your golf-fanatic loved one. We’ve got some hot deals on great packages guaranteed to put you on just about anybody’s ‘Nice’ list – for at least the next two Christmases!

Bear Mountain Resort Named As Golf Canada’s Official Training Centre05-11-15


Exciting announcement brings Canada’s National Golf Team to a new official home on Vancouver Island.

On November 5, 2015, Golf Canada and Bear Mountain Resort announced a four-year partnership in which Bear Mountain will become the official Canadian training centre for Team Canada’s National Squads.

Bear Mountain Resort, owned by Ecoasis Developments LLP, will provide athletes and coaches with year-round access to all onsite golf and resort facilities including the fitness facility and soon to be constructed premium golf training amenities. Located just outside Victoria, B.C., the west-coast resort is ideally positioned to provide optimal weather and training conditions for athletes from Team Canada’s Amateur, Development and Young Pro Squads.

In addition to the world-class facilities, Team Canada will have access to the award-winning 36-hole Nicklaus Design golf course, located on 836 acres of rolling hills with spectacular mountain vistas and views of British Columbia’s seaside capital city.

“We are very excited to begin this partnership with Bear Mountain and look forward to having our Team Canada players training at one of the best facilities in Canada,” said Golf Canada CEO Scott Simmons. “The facility is well-equipped to provide year-round support for our athletes, coaches and high performance training initiatives.”

While serving as the Canadian training centre for Golf Canada’s National Team program, Bear Mountain will also host two of Golf Canada’s championship events over the four-year period, while also serving as a potential host venue for a Golf Canada Foundation national fundraiser.

“We are very proud that our facilities and community have been recognized by Golf Canada and we are pleased to move forward as their partner and their first Canadian training facility,” said Dan Matthews, President and CEO of Ecoasis Developments LLP. “Supporting athlete development is one of our foundational aspirations at Bear Mountain. Our goal since day one has been to elevate the overall golf experience at Bear Mountain Resort and offer a quality of play that is among the best golf opportunities in the country. Golf Canada recognizes this commitment and we welcome them and their young performance athletes and coaches to train with us at Bear Mountain.”

The Canadian training centre will serve as a home for Team Canada’s training camps—primarily for Development Squad athletes during the shoulder season between October and March – including an upcoming training camp scheduled for February. Team Canada athletes will be hosted onsite at the Westin Bear Mountain Resort and Spa during training camps.

Play Golf At Canada’s National Golf Training Centre

Bear Mountain Resorts‘ two Nicklaus Design golf courses, The Mountain Course and The Valley Course, are active partners in Golf Vancouver Island – a recognized leader in offering golf packages to 11 Vancouver Island golf courses to one of Canada’s top golf destinations – the Vancouver Island Golf Trail.