The blue and white peaks of the Olympic Mountains overlook the greens at Metchosin Golf & Country Club, where westerly breezes from the Salish Sea stir the pompoms of golfers' hats. Fir trees and deciduous flora have grown up alongside the course's 2,760 yards for more than four decades. The nine-hole, par-34 layout consists mostly of par 4s. Sand traps hug the edges of the putting greens on holes 1, 3, 6, and 9, their coarse textures thwarting clubs and stupefying golfers with the geological miracle called sand.
Between Tuesday and Thursday, the course invites golfers to Nine and Dine during afternoons or evenings. The event pairs nine holes of golf with repast such as flat-iron steaks, pork back ribs, and vegetarian burgers.
Course at a Glance:
As golfers line up tricky, round-deciding rolls on the green of the signature 17th hole at Olympic View Golf Club, they might have to block out an unusual sound. Just behind the green, water crashes earthward for more than 60 feet over one of the course’s two waterfalls. The dramatic feature generates a roaring din as well as a beautiful backdrop for players as they near the end of their scenic golfing excursions.
Such tranquil scenes are common on the 6,600-yard course framed by the dense forest of south Vancouver Island and the looming profiles of Olympic Mountains peaks. But the calm can be deceptive, as the Bill Robinson–designed layout aims to challenge. Twelve lakes are interspersed throughout the site, and numerous bunkers intimidate golfers with their depth and walls etched with tally marks. This signature mix of beauty and difficulty earned the club a four-star rating from Golf Digest in 2008, as well as a ranking of 10th Best Public Golf Course in British Columbia by Score Golf in 2011.
The GBC Golf Academy at Olympic View Golf Club aims to prepare golfers mentally and physically for playing the most enjoyable golf of their lives. Located on 14 acres, the academy features nine large grass driving areas with target greens as far as 330 yards. In three short-game areas, players practice putts, pitches, and fake surprise at finding the ball in the cup. The amply appointed grounds complement a teaching philosophy that encourages development of a repeatable swing tailored to the individual’s physical capabilities.
Course at a Glance:
Teaching hips to swivel to new circumferences, dance instructors impart their masterful moves unto students in the respected tradition Arthur Murray schools have upheld since 1912. Students can bring a partner to their lessons or fly solo and dance with the instructor. Protégés may find their new moves applicable in a number of settings, such as when prepping for a wedding dance or when blending into an airport crowd that breaks out in the cha-cha. Embodying the three-count time of a stately waltz brings partners in close, and rumba moves or swing steps add vibrancy and playfulness to one’s repertoire.
The Victoria studio provides a warm, aesthetically sound environment for engaging in private and group dance lessons. The array of dance styles is well suited to teaching feet to slice and dice a rug until it is no longer recognizable.
Award-winning Recreation Oak Bay exercises minds and bodies with classes and camps at numerous locations. The facilities all foster a safe, welcoming environment where community members can come together and splash into the pool during children’s or adults’ swim lessons, work out in fitness studios, stretch in sync during yoga classes, or swing through the nine-hole Henderson Park Golf Course. Recreation Oak Bay also keeps children safe from the video-game-proffering witches that lurk in most public parks with a variety of kids' sports programs, including skating and hockey, soccer, and tennis.
Whether paddling out on their own atop a rented board or within eyesight of a Paddle Canada–certified instructor, visitors to Epic Surf Co quickly lose themselves to the sound of seagulls and gently lapping waters. With the mist-covered mountains standing guard on the horizon, paddlers are regularly joined by the region’s natives such as eagles, river otters, and sea lions as they make their way past crescent-shaped beaches and coves.
Back on dry land, Epic Surf instructors sign guests up for lessons on the basics of standup paddleboarding, advanced skills, and SUP surfing. Techs within an onsite custom shop bring 23 years of experience to their board repair and artwork, and the surf shop showcases all the wares of their trade, including wetsuits and paddles that double as lances for on-the-water jousts. Guests can also take advantage of Epic’s new beach cruisers—bikes for both men and women.
As any triumphant team of athletes can tell you, winning is exhilarating. At Sportball, though, instructors focus on the quieter joys of athletics: improving motor skills and life skills. Their noncompetitive instruction—aimed at babies all the way up through tweens—covers eight popular sports, ranging from soccer and volleyball to hockey and golf. With age-appropriate, child-sized equipment, they help youth develop balance, strength, and coordination. They also nurture the self-confidence that will one day be needed on the soccer field where each grown kid will take the bar exam.
With the waves of Victoria Harbour’s Selkirk Waters lapping just below their headquarters, Switch Bridge Tours’ staff leads bicycle and kayak tours of Victoria and Vancouver Island’s waterways. The business’s proximity to the Galloping Goose and Lochside trails facilitates tours on frequently tuned-up bikes that venture into the Cowichan Valley or along the Saanich Peninsula. Kayaks cease their giant kazoo impressions long enough to cut through the Tod Inlet and the Inner Harbour on beginner or advanced tours. Each experienced guide is certified in First Aid and CPR.