Top 5 BC Golf Courses for Year-Round Canada Golf

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Written by Riley Jones posted on Monday, January 21st, 2013

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People generally view Canada as a cold and snowy place. For the most part, they’re right. The weather in most of this beautiful country does not support year round golf, with snow covering most courses throughout the winter. In Western British Columbia, however, the climate is quite different. Vancouver and Vancouver Island will typically get snow for a maximum of a few weeks per year, allowing near year-round golf. The courses in Vancouver, although open, will usually be quite wet due to the amount of rain during the fall and winter. Vancouver Island, on the other hand, is warm in comparison to the rest of the country, and dry in comparison to Vancouver. It is basically the only place avid golfers can enjoy moderate conditions year round. The following takes a look at the five best courses for year round golf.

Honourable Mention: Bear Mountain – Victoria, BC

Bear Mountain is located in one of the driest locations in the country; a golf haven if you will. It features 36 holes (the Valley Course and the Mountain Course) of Jack Nicklaus design. Both courses will remain open for the majority of the season, but it comes with a great degree of unpredictability.

Nestled at the top of Bear Mountain, the course is more susceptible to snow than the surrounding area. The elevation of the mountain, although not significant, often results in many early morning course delays due to frost.

Bear Mountain is a world class golf course, and worth playing if the opportunity arises. If you are planning on making a winter trip, make sure to have a plan b, as it’s next to impossible to predict when that snow or frost may come.

5. Olympic View Golf Club: Victoria, BC

olympicviewPersonally, I am not a fan of Olympic View. The rates are high for what is offered, the design is bizarrely narrow and unrealistic, and it’s often in poor condition through the summer. That said, I cannot overlook the course’s winter conditions. As the winter approaches, Olympic View’s cracked and dry summer fairways become moist and playable.

At 6,534yds, the course is relatively short with thin rough, making up for the lack of roll on the saturated fairways. For those new to Victoria, I would recommend Olympic View for winter play, but there are better options in the summer.

4. Cedar Hill Golf Course: Victoria, BC

cedarhillCedar Hill is a short par-67 executive course located near the heart of Victoria, British Columbia. It is typically open for year-round play, but the front nine has been closed since Nov. 26 for drainage improvements.

Cedar Hill is not recognized for top of the line conditioning, design or speed, but with 90,000+ yearly rounds, the maintenance staff know what they’re doing. And don’t forget, Victoria may not get much snow throughout the winter, but it is still cold. Perhaps an affordable executive course is the best option to keep your swing in tune.

3. Arbutus Ridge Golf Club: Cobble Hill, BC

arbutuscourse2Arbutus Ridge is one of my favourite courses to play during the summer, with near complete availability, good condition and quick pace-of-play. It is still a great course to play through the winter, but the drainage is questionable. Vancouver Island doesn’t get a ton of rain to begin with, but if playing Arbutus Ridge in the winter, try to do so when it’s been dry for a few days if you want the fairways to be free of puddles.

Arbutus Ridge is open year round with the exception of random snowfall, but the issue could be getting to the course. The Malahat Highway is well-known for treacherous winter conditions, so if you’re travelling from Victoria, you may run into some trouble.

2. Highland Pacific Golf Course: Victoria, BC

highlandpacificHighland Pacific is the newest addition to Victoria’s handful of courses. With incredible views, creative design, and year-round play, it is a must stop for visitors to the area. The course is located just 15 minutes from downtown Victoria, offering an ideal location for winter travel.

If you do play Highland Pacific during the winter months, you’ll want to do so when weather isn’t a variable, as the winter rates are quite significant.

1. Cordova Bay Golf Course: Victoria, BC

cordovabayCordova Bay Golf Course is one of the highest quality public courses in the province, regardless of the season. Open year round, this flat yet challenging course is perfect for those avid golfers who can’t take a break through the winter.

Like Highland Pacific, Cordova Bay is still quite costly during the offseason, so you’ll want to be sure you’re up for the round – and if not, be sure to check out the par-3 Ridge Course Cordova Bay offers to help tone the short game.