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  • Meet Vancouver Island’s Golf Vacation Experts

    Who Plans Your Golf Vacation?

    A huge component of planning any golf trip is making sure you are going to play some great golf courses, after all – that’s the main reason for going on a golf vacation in the first place. How do you accomplish this? Ask your friends? Research online for reviews and pictures and golf planning guides?

    Once you’ve spent enough time doing your own research you may book all the components of your trip individually hoping you planned enough time for travel and have picked the right places to stay, play and enjoy and that those reviews you read considered all your needs and wants as well. That seems like a lot of work and we’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that hard.

    Use Local Golf Vacation Expertise

    We’d like you to meet Vancouver Island’s local golf vacation experts. Patrick and Herman answer all the phone calls and emails that come to Golf Vancouver Island. They have been playing golf and booking golf vacations to Vancouver Island for decades. They are passionate golfers, they know Vancouver Island golf courses inside and out, and they have the experience in booking golf trips for buddies, couples and big corporate clients. What we’re saying is, these guys know their stuff.

    When you call or email Golf Vancouver Island, these are the people on the other side. Bursting with knowledge on the top golf courses to play, best places to stay and the most unique experiences for a golfer on Vancouver Island.

    With that in mind, we’ve picked their ever-expanding brains, brimming full of golf trip insights, to give you a brief Q&A with our very own local golf trip planning gurus!

    Q & A With Golf Vancouver Island’s Trip Planning Professionals

    How Long Have You Been Golfing For?

    Patrick: Since I was ten. That’s 45 years now. Wow, how time flies!

    Herman: 34 years. 1988 to be exact.

    Chris: I took up the game with my brother back in 1991 when I was 13 on Prince Edward Island. My mother would drop us off at dawn and pick us up at dusk. You’d think I’d be better based on the length of time I have played!

    Why did you get into golf travel planning?

    golf vancouver island team
    Patrick teeing it up at Campbell River Golf & Country Club

    P: It combines two of my biggest loves: Golf and travel. I was bitten by the travel bug on a trip to the old Soviet Union when I was in Grade 8. It was very much the “communist empire”. There were pictures of Brezhnev everywhere and armed soldiers in front of monuments. Yet in spite of that, when you got a chance to meet the locals, it was apparent that as different as societies look on the outside, we are all so much more similar to each other than we are different. Ever since then I have been hooked on travel.

    The golf bug bit me the same way it bites everyone else. I hit that one pure shot that felt simultaneously effortless and powerful. In my case it was a beautiful right to left soft cutting drive (with an old wooden Spalding driver) over a hill to a blind landing area. I was left with a wedge to the green and ended up birding the hole. I was playing with my school buddy and my dad. From that moment on I was hooked! During a round of golf with some of my co-workers at the time, it occurred to me that there had to be a way to combine my two loves. The golf travel industry was the obvious choice. I’ve been doing it for seventeen years now and still love talking to clients about their plans. I get to wake up every morning and talk golf! What could be better?!

    H: Living in Cape Town and being between jobs I took up a job to drive International Tourists from their accommodations to different courses. I always had my golf bag with me and got to play a lot of golf. It was the best job I ever had (except for this one of course!). After that, I worked on cruise ships for two years and became the “golf day organizer” on every ship, especially in the Caribbean… I would call the courses on each island we were about to visit and ask them if I could come and “tour” their facility in order to gain knowledge for the passengers and crew on board. I started golfing in all kinds of exotic locations and sometimes invited crew and passengers to join me. This is also where beer and music on the golf course was introduced to me! This did not always help my golf game but sure made it more fun HAH. When I moved to Canada I was lucky enough to work close to the Golf Vancouver Island Offices. One day I went in to introduce myself. The rest is pretty much history.

    golf vancouver island travel experts
    [front, left to right] Herman, Chris and Patrick staying current on all things golf and travel (and showing their Canadian pride) at the annual IAGTO conference.

    C: Working in the golf and hospitality industry since 1999 at all types of golf courses (public, private, resort), I actually was introduced to the wonderful world of golf vacation sales from the other side of the desk welcoming clients that had their trips planned by specialists like my now-colleagues. After a few ‘fact finding’ inquiries about the nuts and bolts of the golf travel industry (normally on the links or at the 19th hole), it became obvious that the culture they were creating for their team and their clients was one I would love to join.

    What is your most memorable golf hole on Vancouver Island?

    P: For purely selfish reasons, it would be the 12th hole at Arbutus Ridge. It’s a fun downhill slight-dog leg right with a wide fairway. It is a hole that you can let the driver fly on. It’s also the hole I got my only double-eagle on. Until I get a hole-in-one that will remain my most memorable golf hole!

    H: #13 at Bear Mountain – Mountain Course. It is a Par 5 and a very tough uphill hole. The reward when you get to the top is something I have never seen in my whole life. You get to the green and on the other side is straight drop with the one of the best views in the world overlooking Victoria, the Strait of Juan De Fuca, Mount Baker and the Olympic Mountain Range in the United States.

    Oh, and I eagled the hole on my third try… that kinda makes it special too.

    Chris Currie at the 2017 Paciic Links Championship

    C: I would have to say the first hole on the Mountain Course at Bear Mountain. This hole provided me the most amazing memories as I was lucky enough to be chosen to be the First Tee Announcer for the PGATOUR Champions events that were held there in 2016 and 2017. To be able to have small talk with the legends of the game (Daly, Jiminez, Kite, Woosnam, Langer, Faldo to name just a few)… would have to go down as one of my career highlights.

    What is something people may not know about the golf courses on Vancouver Island?

    P: The value. Half of the courses on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail would be 30 – 40% more if they were located off the island. I have been lucky enough to golf most of the top courses in Western Canada and a number of famous courses around the world. The courses that we have on the island make for a fantastic vacation at a price that won’t break the bank. It truly is some of the best bang for the buck in Canada.

    H: You can play them all year round. Vancouver Island has the most moderate climate in Canada and a lot of Canadians move here because they can golf every day of the year including Christmas Day!

    C: The variety. You can visit again and again and either play different golf courses depending on the region or if you did want to ‘rinse and repeat’ you could simply change the tee boxes and have a completely different experience than before. BY NO MEANS am I suggesting you play tee boxes for yardages that are beyond your ability – lets keep the game fun!

    Name one thing, besides golf, that people should try while on Vancouver Island?

    P: Find a way to get out on the water. Go fishing. Go Whale watching. Go on a boat cruise. Whatever it takes. The Gulf Islands and the waterways from Victoria to the tip of the island are some of the most incredibly beautiful waterways in the world. I have lived on the island for most of my life and every time I can get out on the water it is like being out there for the first time. Sunshine, sea breezes, seals, whales, porpoises…there is just no substitute. You simply have to see the area from the water to understand; but once you do, you’ll be hooked!

    Herman showing off his swing

    H: Go salmon fishing. Some of the richest fishing grounds in the world surround Vancouver Island. When the salmon run starts you can be part of one of the largest migrations of any animal species on planet earth. Oh, and you can prepare your catch that same night for a surf and turf!

    Seeing as both Patrick and Herman recommend you go fishing, we suggest you read about fishing and golf.

    C: My original answer was to take advantage of the fantastic disc-golf courses that are sprinkled all around the Island…but technically I guess that is still ‘golf’ so I would then suggest trying out the amazing restaurants in downtown Victoria. Fun fact – Victoria has the 2nd most restaurants per capita in North America (second only to San Francisco)…let me know if you would like any recommendations based on your favourite type of cuisine.

    Call Us Anytime at 1-888-465-3239

    If you’re planning a golf trip to Vancouver Island, we recommend dropping one of these gentleman a line. Super helpful, passionate about the game, and extremely knowledgeable about golf courses on the Island, Patrick and Herman will always find time to talk golf with you. It’s what they love and they enjoy sharing the great golf experiences with new and returning visitors year after year.

    This article is an update of the original, posted June 2015

    Golf Vancouver Island Reservations Team Testing at Olympic View
    Golf Vancouver Island Reservations Team Testing at Olympic View

    March 16, 2022, by: Golf Vancouver Island

    This (Bear Mountain Resort – Mountain Course, on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail) is my new favourite golf course – I just love the layout. It’s really one of the prettiest golf courses I’ve played in my life, I’ll come back here on vacation, it’s that good.

    Scott McCarron, PGA TOUR Champion

    I always treat golf courses as how many poor holes there are. This (Bear Mountain Resort – Mountain Course, on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail) is a very good one. There’s not one poor hole on this golf course.

    Colin Montgomerie, PGA TOUR Champion

    Great job on the initial booking and subsequent changes requested. Easy check-in at the golf courses and the hotel made the trip hassle-free. Nice touch with the driving directions and discounts at recommended food and beverage establishments. Will definitely recommend your service to friends and business associates.

    Vancouver Guest, Corporate Golf Outing

    Terrific trip: well presented website, knowledgeable staff, and the golf and accommodation were second to none.

    Couples Golf Trip

    We will make this trip an annual April vacation. We will definitely book with Golf Vancouver Island again in 2017!

    Annual Couples Golf Trip

    Very much enjoyed our trip and staff were great to deal with - we'll be booking more trips through Golf Vancouver Island in the future.

    Buddies Trip Golf Package

    Wonderful trip, well planned and organized. Fantastic golf. Wish we stayed longer.

    Buddies Golf Trip

    I have used Golf Vancouver Island a number of times and have found them very helpful and professional. Everyone in our group had a great time, the courses and accommodation were first class.

    Repeat Customer, Buddies Golf Trip

    Staff did an amazing job! So easy to work with. I am already looking to book another trip next year, making this an annual event.

    Annual Buddies Golf Trip

    Personalized, quick response, good customer service and reasonable price. Overall experience was great.

    Couples Golf Trip