Tales From The Trail

Quick and Easy Golf Getaways to Beat the Winter Blues14-02-17

Quick and Easy Golf Getaways to Beat Winter Blues

If, like most of us, you’re starting to feel golf fever of the worst kind, Andrew Penner’s recent article for Calgary Avenue has just the cure: “Quick and Easy Golf Getaways to Beat the Winter Blues”

Seeking out sun and swings, Penner visited Scottsdale, Las Vegas and Vancouver Island, flying off to “where the grass is green, the flagsticks are flickering in the warm breeze adn the open-air restaurant patios are open for business”. On his journey he found three quick and easy golf destinations – all doable in a weekend – to “stave off a mid-winter meltdown”.

Vancouver Island made Penner’s hit-list – and while this winter has seen very little golfing, to be fair to our fair isle, it has been an anomaly. Usually, year-round golfing on Vancouver Island is just the ticket, with Penner’s top picks being Bear Mountain and Crown Isle

Thanks to Andrew Penner for including us in this great winter golf getaway guide. We look forward to seeing him again soon on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail.

Golf Vancouver Island Hits The Road For Golf Shows09-02-17

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 a while, 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 at the first four shows listed below and we’ll 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.

There are, of course, plenty more golf shows to visit in the upcoming months. And while we won’t have a booth at the last three shows listed below ourselves, many of the individual golf courses and regions within the BC and Vancouver Island golfing community – which we are proud to support – will be at these shows for consumers to ask questions about golf vacations and golf packages on Vancouver Island.

Editors Note: This post was originally published in February 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness for the 2017 Golf Show Season.

Vancouver Golf & Travel Show

When: February 18 & 19, 2017
Where: Pacific National Exhibition (PNE)
Website: vancouvergolfshow.com
About:

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 18: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, February 19: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 

Seattle Golf & Travel Show

When: March 4 & 5, 2017
Where: CenturyLink Field Event Center, Seattle, WA
Website: seattlegolfshow.com
About:

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:

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

Edmonton Golf Show

When: March 11 & 12, 2017
Where: Edmonton Expo Centre, Hall H, Edmonton, AB
Website: albertagolfshows.com
About:

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 11: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, March 12: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Calgary Golf Show

When: March 25 & 26, 2017
Where: BMO Centre, Hall B, Calgary, AB
Website: albertagolfshows.com
About:

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 25: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, March 26: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Spokane Golf & Travel Show

When: February 18 & 19, 2017
Where: Spokane Convention Center, Spokane, WA
Website: spokanegolfshow.com
About:

The Spokane Golf and Travel Show is the largest consumer golf and travel show in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene region with 100+ exhibitors representing golf retailers, golf manufacturers, golf travel, and seminars by PGA professionals.

Show Hours

Saturday, February 18: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, February 19: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Dallas Fort Worth Golf Show

When: March 17-19, 2017
Where: Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas
Website: dfwgolfshow.com
About:

The three-day event is a celebration of Dallas’ vibrant golf community! Unbeatable values on products and services, thousands of dollars in prizes and giveaways, and fun interactive events create a unique event in North Texas for golf enthusiasts.

Show Hours

Friday, March 17: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m
Saturday, March 18: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, March 19: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 

Haggin Oaks Golf Expo

When: April 28-30, 2017
Where: Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, 3645 Fulton Avenue, Sacramento, CA
Website: hagginoaksgolfexpo.com
About:

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 28: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m
Saturday, April 29: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m
Sunday, April 30: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m

Vancouver Island’s Bear Mountain Will Host PGA TOUR Champions Again In 201714-12-16

Bear Mountain Pacific Links Championships

Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship Returns to Victoria September 11-17, 2017

Limited time pre-sale tickets available for the PGA TOUR Champions event hosted at Bear Mountain

PGA TOUR Champions and Pacific Links International have announced that the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship will return to Victoria, British Columbia in 2017. The event will once again be played at The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa the week of Monday, September 11th – Sunday, September 17th, 2017.

The 2016 event was a great success, with 81 of the top PGA TOUR Champions players competing for one of the season’s highest purses of US $2.5 million. The tournament saw more than 27,000 spectators come out to watch the largest event held on Vancouver Island, as well as the support from over 600 volunteers from the community that made the event possible. All three competitive rounds of tournament play were broadcast live by the Golf Channel to more than 200 million homes in 84 countries around the world.

World Golf Hall of Famer Colin Montgomerie (nicknamed “Monty” by fans) was victorious at the inaugural event after beating Scott McCarron in a three-hole playoff. Montgomerie closed the day at 4-under 67 to hold off McCarron; both players were at 15-under for the tournament going into the playoff. On the third sudden-death hole, the Scotsman made a 15-foot birdie putt to win the 2016 Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship as well as his 50th career victory in front of crowds chanting “Monty, Monty”.

Colin Montgomerie

“I am delighted that the Pacific Links Championship is returning to Bear Mountain in September next year,” Montgomerie remarked. “I was thrilled to win the tournament this year, it was my first 54 hole victory on the Champions Tour and my 50th professional tournament win. The setting is superb, a fantastic course and the people of Victoria made us all so welcome. I am very much looking forward to returning to defend my title in 2017.”

Rudy Anderson, President of Pacific Links International commented: “Pacific Links is pleased to be returning to the incredible Bear Mountain Golf Resort and looks forward to watching Colin Montgomerie defend his title amongst a world class field. Western Canada is a prime travel destination and we proudly showcase Bear Mountain Resort and spectacular British Columbia by bringing this special event once again to Vancouver Island.”

Further highlights from the 2016 Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship include PGA TOUR Champions player Miguel Angel Jimenez exciting crowds at the event with his unique personality and by shooting the course record with a 61 to tie for third overall at 13-under.

Top PGA TOUR Champions talent at the event included Montgomerie, who finished 2nd on the 2016 Charles Schwab Cup standings, behind fellow Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship competitor, Bernhard Langer, who finished T7 for the week and recently took home his second consecutive Charles Schwab Cup trophy. The field also comprised of Fred Funk, Jay Haas, Mark O’Meara, Lee Janzen, Vijay Singh, Mark Calcavecchia, Paul Goydos, Craig Stadler and many more amazing golfers.

Not only was the event an opportunity to watch legends of PGA TOUR Champions compete, but it also acted as a platform to raise funds for the event’s official charity partner, bring golf fans together from across Canada, and provide an opportunity for youth in the community to be introduced to the sport.

“Securing the 2017 PGA Tour Champions event at Bear Mountain with Pacific Links was very important to the principals of Ecoasis and our entire team,” stated Dan Matthews, President and CEO of Ecoasis. “The accolades received from the players and spectators this past September are truly a credit to be shared with the entire Bear Mountain community. We are excited to have the opportunity once again to showcase Victoria and our region to both a local and global audience and we will do everything we can to make next year’s event one of the highlights of the tour for both players and fans.”

The 2017 tournament week will commence with Official Pro-Am’s on Wednesday and Thursday, where
participating teams will play alongside a PGA TOUR Champions professional over 18 holes of premiere
golf. Competitive action will follow with 54 holes of championship play from Friday to Sunday, with no cut.
Tickets will be available for a limited pre-sale period from December 13 to 31, 2016 that includes a 15%
discount with the code: TEESTHESEASON

Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship Returns For 2017

Special Ticket Offer

Tickets can be purchased at http://www.selectyourtickets.com/promo , where fans can choose from
the following options (prices shown below are before discount):

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

2017 Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship Event Schedule

Monday, Sept 11th

  • Charity Classic
  • PGA TOUR Champions Player Practice Rounds

Tuesday, Sept 12th

  • PGA TOUR Champions Player Practice Rounds
  • Pro-Am Draw Party at The Westin Bear Mountain Resort

Wednesday, Sept 13th

  • Official Pro-Am #1

Thursday, Sept 14th

  • Official Pro-Am #2

Friday, Sept 15th

  • Championship Round 1

Saturday, Sept 16th

  • Championship Round 2
  • Junior Clinic

Sunday, Sept 17th

  • Championship Round 3
  • Trophy Presentation
  • Volunteer Appreciation Party

For information on corporate hospitality or group packages for the 2017 Pacific Links Bear Mountain
Championship, please contact McKenzie Clarke at mclarke@sportboxgroup.com or (647) 468-3500.

For more information on the Pacific Links
Championship or PGA TOUR Champions, please visit www.PGATOUR.com/Champions
Website: PacificLinksChampionship.com
Twitter: @PacificLinksVIC
Instagram:@pacificlinksvic
Facebook: fb.com/pacificlinkschampionship

 

More Big Names in Golf Commit To PGA TOUR Champions Event At Bear Mountain07-09-16

Pacific Links Championship at Bear Mountain

Vijay Singh, Colin Montgomerie, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Mark O’Meara Commit to 2016 Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship

We’re just under two weeks away from the start of the 2016 Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship, but this PGA TOUR of Champions event keeps on getting bigger and better! Just today, for example, tournament organizers announced that four more big names in golf have been added to an already stellar lineup (including a trio of fantastic Canadian golfers): World Golf Hall of Fame members Vijay Singh, Colin Montgomerie and Mark O’Meara; as well as four-time European Ryder Cup team member Miguel Angel Jimenez have committed to joining the field when the event tees off at Bear Mountain Golf Resort’s Mountain Course in Victoria, British Columbia the week of September 19-25, 2016.

These incredible players bring with them to the tournament a string of accolades, wins and awards:

  • Vijay Singh, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2005, won 34 times over a standout PGA TOUR career, including major championship wins at the 1998 and 2004 PGA Championship, as well as the 2000 Masters Tournament.The Fiji native competed on the International Presidents Cup team eight times throughout his illustrious career, where 31 of his 34 wins came during the Tiger Woods era. The 34 victories rank 14th on the all-time PGA TOUR wins list, ahead of names such as Lee Trevino, Gary Player and Johnny Miller.
  • Colin Montgomerie has made a second home on PGA TOUR Champions, notching three victories on Tour, including the 2014 and 2015 Senior PGA Championship, as well as the 2014 U.S. Senior Open. An eight-time European Ryder Cup team member, this Scotsman has also won a record eight European Tour Order of Merit titles, including seven in a row from 1993 through 1999. His 31 career victories, which are the most of any British player in Tour history, gave way to a World Golf Hall of Fame induction in 2013.
  • Miguel Jimenez meanwhile, along with his trademark ponytail and cigar, has been the best player on Tour this year behind Bernhard Langer, notching a staggering seven top-5 finishes in eight starts, including the win and four runner-up finishes. The Spaniard also has four stints on the European Ryder Cup team to his name, alongside 21 victories.

To read more about all the players who will be teeing it up at Bear Mountain in a couple of weeks, click here.

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.

www.pacificlinks.com

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.

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

Pacific Links Championship at Bear Mountain

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.

www.pacificlinks.com

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.