Recipient of a 2008 reader’s choice award from Peninsula News Review, Ardmore Golf Course has challenged club-brandishers with its nine holes since course designer E.S. Wise opened the grounds in 1926. Before teeing off against opponents, visitors rehearse their swinging skills at a practice putting green, driving net, and chipping area. Golfers in need of expert tutelage can turn to CPGA professional instructor Steve Middleton, who harnesses more than 30 years of golfing experience to help pupils find their natural swing and reunite with lost balls raised by wolves. In addition to tournament participants, Ardmore Golf Course accommodates overnight players in their golfer’s cottage, a furnished abode with a full kitchen, television, and wireless Internet. After each round guests can scarf down gourmet fare concocted by chef Graham Little, load up on golfing gear at the pro shop, admire the course’s 110-foot tall, 1,100 year-old douglas fir, or search the sky for wild birds and escaped golf clubs flying overhead.
Situated on 190 lush acres along Thetis Lake, the Pacific Nine and Highland Nine courses encourage golfers to tackle them while drinking in views of the Olympic Mountains, Thetis Lake Park, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Cybergolf calls the Pacific Nine “truly sublime,” and Canadian Golfer—which lauds the course as being on “the must-play list”—marvels at the tricky contours of its par-4 fifth hole. Although more compact than its sister, the Highland Nine is challenging on its own terms, with uphill approaches that end in fast greens, as well as a number of downhill par 3s. Making matters better, the course features GPS-equipped golf carts, PGA instruction, food and drink at the Range Cafe, and a 300-yard-deep driving range that boasts heated stalls.
Course at a Glance:
Eaglequest Nanaimo's par 3 golf course encompasses nine lush, challenging holes accented by towering evergreens and water hazards. Golfers tee up on real grass and then launch golf balls and papier mache zeppelins down tree-lined fairways. Shots soar over hilly terrain and water before trundling toward undulating greens. Clubbers can traverse the pastoral playground and complete a round in 60–90 minutes, giving them the ability to fit a game into a busy schedule. Before hitting the course, golfers can make like a pendulum at the 22-stall driving range, which features opportunities for straightening troublesome slices, improving golf games, and alleviating plumber's elbow. The range also hosts lessons and clinics conducted by CPGA pros for golfers of all abilities.
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Nestled amid the vibrant scenery of Cowichan's wine country, Arbutus Ridge Golf Club's 18-hole, par 71 course weaves through 6,193 yards of fairways and greens kissed by breezes moving inland off the waters of the Saanich Inlet. Named one of Canada's Ten Best Golf Courses for Value by Westjet's Up! magazine in 2009, the course's front nine weaves alongside the seaside community of Cobble Hill before ascending a ridge to a plateau on the back nine, where players can soak in sweeping views of Salt Spring Island and name new constellations in the divots peppered across the course below. Though players encounter many par 4s and reachable par 5s, Arbutus Ridge concludes with three treacherous holes, including the 214-yard, par 3 17th hole, where golfers must overcome swirling winds to land tee shots on an island green. Golfers can prepare for rounds with a stint at the club's driving range or by scouting sand traps' self-defence mechanisms while watching the club's online course videos.
Arbutus Ridge cares about the condition of its course and the nature that surrounds it, and because of its efforts toward sustainable practices, the course has been certified by Audubon International. After rounds, course patrons can retire to the Satellite Bar & Grille, which overlooks the Satellite Channel and serves a seasonal menu of West Coast–influenced French bistro fare, with offerings that include halibut, salmon, and tenderloin steak, which pairs well with a glass of Jean Van de Velde's tears.
Course at a Glance:
A Class A member of the CPGA, Todd Hart brings his lofty experience to the course as he polishes drives, chips, and putts. During his more than 20 years as a golf instructor, Hart has taught more than 20,000 lessons, improving the game of hundreds of eager apprentices. Applying lessons learned throughout his career, he breaks down each aspect of the game into its constituent parts, giving pupils concrete exercises that improve their form and help them pretend to be practicing when stuck wearing plaid pants in public.