Tales From The Trail

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

Ballhead’s Blog – Cowichan Wine and Culinary Festival14-08-13

A person can get lost in all the wine and good times in the Cowichan Valley and one of the best seasons is coming up…Festival Season! The Cowichan Wine and Culinary Festival, September 7-15, 2013, celebrates everything that is great about the incredible wines, edible delicacies and seeing as there is some great golf in the area – why not make it a perfect trifecta holiday!

With over 38 planned events, and I’m sure many more unplanned, this is going to be one epic of a festival. Here’s a sample of some of the events happening throughout the festival. If you want to see the full schedule of events, click on over to the official Cowichan Wine and Culinary Festival website or if you want to plan your own trip – check out the Cowichan Winemakers Golf Package.

Golf Vancouver Island - Winemakers Golf PackageSaturday, Sept 7 – Kickoff the week with the MNP Grape Stomp for the coveted Purple Foot Award

Sunday, Sept 8 – The Cowichan Long Table ICC Dinner – “Freedom to Farm” – a gourmet 5-course white linen dinner, paired with wine in a true farm to table experience.

Wednesday, Sept 11 – “Meet Your Maker” at the historic Providence Farm. Sample some great foods from the Vancouver Island University Culinary Program, taste the Cowichan wines and banter with the people who made them.

Thursday, Sept 12 – Chemainus Tastings – Sample the incredible hospitality of Chemainus, the arts town by the sea. Local wines and culinary delights are paired with baby grand piano sounds and art viewings by legendary artist Arthur Vickers.

Friday, Sept 13 – Averill Creek Winemakers’ Dinner at Hudson’s on First with Top Chef Canada competitor Chef Dan Hudson or try an entertaining evening of Dinner Theater Under the Stars with Amuse and Unsworth wineries.

Saturday, Sept 14 & 15 – Farm to Table Picnics & Music in the Vineyard at Blue Grouse Estate Winery; Wine & Lavenderfest at Damali Lavender & Winery; or the Anything But Pinot from the Cowichan Valley at the Satellite Bar & Grille at Arbutus Ridge.

There are many more events than those listed here so please visit the official site for details and make sure to watch the video below for a “taste” of the festival.

 

Ballhead’s Blog – Family Friendly Golf Ideas01-07-13

Excited about golf - Jr BallheadFamily friendly golf ideas – Mom/Dad, combine your love of golf and get the kids golfing too!

I love my guy getaway weekends or just spending some quality time at the 19th hole post round, but you know what I’ve been hearing more and more about? It’s the incredible family friendly golf options available on Vancouver Island golf courses.

Are you looking for some ideas to keep the crazies down to a minimum this summer? I put together a list and some links to help with the planning the next family friendly golf trip. So by all means, get those groms on the course.

Take a Kid to the Course – July 8-14, 2013

Developed by the National Golf Course Owners Association Canada to encourage families and juniors to take up the game of golf, this cross-Canada campaign is designed to illustrate how easy it is to improve both your score and your relationship with your children by bringing them out to the golf course.

Kids under the age of 16 golf for FREE, when accompanied by a paying adult. Book tee times direct with Golf Vancouver Island golf courses

 

 Arbutus Ridge- Sunday Family Golf Day

Sunday Family Friendly Golf Ideas

Arbutus Ridge offers a pretty cool program to get the “Kids Play Free” message out there. Every Sunday, from June 30th to September 29, 2013 kids can choose from 3 different adventures.

Family friendly golf clinics – 1 adult and up to 2 kids from $25

Family tee time from 3-4pm  – 1 adult and 1 kid for $39

Family tee time after 4pm – 1 adult and 1 kid for $29

Checkout the details here or view all Children Programming including S.N.A.G. and tennis lessons.

 

Bear Cub Sports Camps at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort

Golfing at Bear Mountain Resort is just plain awesome. So why not bring the family along. You can get out for a round on the Mountain and let the pro’s get the kids in top form.

Camps run from July 8 thru August 30. Many dates are filling up fast so if you’re even thinking about it, checkout the Bear Cub Camps page now.

 

Fairwinds Golf Resort – Junior Programs

Fairwinds has programs for the first time golfer, up to junior member programs and golf camps. All programs stated in June and run thru until the end of August.

In the Rookie – kids will get the FUNdamental skills of golf (including the playing skills and basic rules)

Learn to Play – for the kids that are a little older (8-13). Four 1 hour lessons for $75

CN Future Links Girls Club – in this girls only program will help grow skills, attitudes and positive self image for a life-long love of golf.

Summer Golf Camps – 3 day / week camps focus on the basics to allow your kids to learn the techniques on the practice facility then apply it on the golf course.

All the details for Fairwinds Junior Golf Program can be found here.

 

This is just a sampling of some of the kids programs available at Golf Vancouver Island courses. Need more info? Call the guys at in the office. They are super helpful and can make planning your trip simple.

Ballhead’s Blog – Sun, Cars and the US Open14-06-13

Ballhead Wants You

Seaside Cruizers 2013Well, 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.

 

With Father’s Day coming up on Sunday, I’m planning on taking my pa to Parksville and Qualicum for some time on the course at Fairwinds and Pheasant Glen then check out the Seaside Cruizers Show and Shine on Sunday, June 16. Nothing better than golf, fast cars and some sweet beach time.

 

The last visit to the region was, how shall we say, very nice.

 

I love the US Open! My buddies over at Golf in British Columbia shared this awesome infographic on the history of the US Open. Pictures are my thing so enjoy.

US Open Infographic

Via GetResultsInAction

What are you doing for Fathers day? Do you plan on hitting your favourite Vancouver Island golf course?

So that’s me Mr. B, signing off. Remember, keep you eye on the ball, and your balls on the fairway.

Ballhead’s Blog – Golf on Vancouver Island is Incredible17-05-13

Ballhead Wants You to Golf on Vancovuer IslandYeeowza!! 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.

 

Ballhead Beer Golf on Vancouver Island - Photo: Michael Eckford 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.

Cowichan Golf Club – Back in the Country22-12-12

Looking back

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 »