Tales From The Trail

5 Christmas Golf Gift Ideas from the Vancouver Island Golf Trail13-12-14

Golf Gift Ideas

Put One Of These 5 Golf Gifts Under The Tree

Vancouver Island is an incredible golf destination with plenty of gift ideas for your golfer that even Santa can’t keep secret. Below you will find a few ideas to get you on your way through the 12 days of Christmas or for that one special gift under the tree.

  1. Absolutely, without a doubt, the very best Christmas gift for the Island Golfer on your list is a Vancouver Island Golf Trail Card – 11 Rounds of Vancouver Island’s best golf from $299
  2. Give the gift of better golf with Highland Pacific Golf Lesson Packages ranging from $59-$449 or a Fairwind’s Private and Playing Lesson for only $149.00.
  3. Scrooge approved Arbutus Ridge and Olympic View Game Packs of 5 or 10 Rounds of Golf from $130!
  4. Crown Isle has the golf enthusiast in mind with 25% off all golf bags and 20% off all wedges and putters. Put that short game to the test! Crown Isle’s 12 days of Christmas Specials run Dec 3 – 14th and the proshop will have daily specials so be sure to visit each day to check out the newest deal.
  5. NCGOA’s Golfer’s Red Book for $29.95

Of course, you could always just get a nice golf sweater and call it a day too.

golf-sweater

Best Golf Course Holiday Celebrations On Vancouver Island11-12-14

The festive season has arrived and Vancouver Island golf courses are ready with holiday celebrations-a-plenty and golf proshops brimming with great gift ideas for the golfer on your list!

We’ve assembled a list of the best golf course holiday celebrations coming up over the next few weeks. If you’re looking for somewhere to get a great meal, have a party, or even get a chance to meet the Man in Red, here are you best opportunities.

Golf Course Holiday Celebrations

Santa Delivers By Golf Cart

December 13

Breakfast with Santa at Bear Mountain

Visit Bear Mountain and from 10am to 12pm, have breakfast with the Jolly Ol’ Elf himself. Bring the entire family and enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet with all the classics – eggs, sausage & bacon, breakfast potatoes, pancakes and cookie decorating station, of course! And this year, have your picture taken with Santa!

Cost is $26.00 for adults, $16.00 for kids and FREE for everyone under 6

December 14

Breakfast with Santa at Bear Mountain

Brunch with Santa at Arbutus Ridge

Kids, pack up the parents and get out to Arbutus Ridge Golf Club to meet Santa before he gets too busy delivering all those gifts. Great opportunity for an incredible meal and you still have time to pickup any last minute stocking stuffers for mom or dad to use on the golf course.

December 16

Cure Cabin Fever at Fairwinds

Get out of the house and head to Fairwinds for cocktails with a roast turkey dinner to follow for $22. This is a great way to meet new people or catch up with friends. Starting at 5pm.

December 20

Breakfast with Santa at Bear Mountain

December 21

Breakfast with Santa at Bear Mountain

Brunch with Santa at Arbutus Ridge

December 24 – The Night Before Christmas

Christmas Eve Seafood Buffet at Bear Mountain

Save the turkey for tomorrow and partake in a truly West Coast celebration…Bring the family and enjoy a special night in Bella Montagna at Bear Mountain. With choices like crab legs, oysters, Salt Spring Island mussels, BC halibut and more in their Christmas Eve Seafood Buffet Menu… you may not have any room left for turkey. $63 for adults, $30 for kids 6-12 and FREE for everyone under 5. From 5 – 9:30 pm

December 25 – Merry Christmas!

Christmas Day Brunch at Bear Mountain

After the gifts have been opened and the Baileys enjoyed, partake of a festive Christmas Day Brunch Menu in Bella Montagna, including a carving station and our legendary dessert buffet. $63 for adults, $30 for kids 6-12 and FREE for everyone under 5.

Christmas Dinner at Bear Mountain

Christmas Day is busy enough, let the Westin Bear Mountain handle the cooking! Bring family & friends to Bella for a new holiday tradition. We’ll be serving traditional favourites along with some our chef’s personal choices for their fabulous Christmas Dinner Menu. $63 for adults, $30 for kids 6-12 and FREE for everyone under 5.

Christmas Day Buffet at Crown Isle

For the ultimate festive buffet experience join us on Christmas day, priced from $104.50 per person based on double occupancy for Deluxe Fairway accommodation and two dining vouchers for our Christmas day buffet with three sittings in our Ballroom. Add $40 for a 1 Bedroom King Jacuzzi suite.

December 31 – New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Dinner at Fairwinds

Ring in the New Year with friends and a delicious three course dinner in the Arbutus Room for $44.99. Reservations required (limited space) for the 5:00pm and 7:00pm seatings.

New Year’s at Arbutus Ridge

Ring in the New Year at Arbutus Ridge as they host New Years Eve – An elegant 3 course dinner will be served featuring fresh and seasonal ingredients for $45 per person (tax and gratuity not included)

New Year’s Eve All Night Affair at Bear Mountain

This will be a New Year’s Eve to remember.The Westin Bear Mountain is pulling out all the stops and throwing a New Year’s Eve Gala for the ages! Celebrate the arrival of 2015 with an exquisite 5 course New Year’s Eve Meal at Bear Mountain. Tickets are $109 per person, plus tax & gratuity. Purchase your tickets online.

January 1 – New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day Resolution Brunch at Bear Mountain

Start your New Year off right with brunch on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail. There’s no better way to start the year than with Bear Mountain’s popular New Year’s Day Resolution Brunch. Enjoy all your favourite breakfast items, including our famous Eggs Benny, or choose from a wide selection from our hot & cold stations on their New Year’s Day Brunch Buffet menu. $49 for adults, $20 for kids under 16 and FREE for everyone under 6.  From 9 am – 2 pm

Golf and Dinner at Olympic View

Every golfer’s New Year’s resolution should be to play more golf, and it should start on the first day of the New Year at Olympic View with their golf and dinner special! Tee it up mid day with a round of golf and shared cart, with dinner to follow for $50 per person. What better way to ring in the New Year!

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.