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:
To some, visiting another country is a reprieve from everyday life and an opportunity to learn about another culture. To others, it is a life-changing experience. Jennifer Pritchard’s sojourn in Mysore, India cemented the foundation for what eventually would become The Yoga Shala. During her travels, Jennifer was inspired to return home to create a warm and inviting space for practicing yoga, and is one of 14 Canadians to receive teaching authorization from the Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute. At her studio today, which was voted Best of the City in 2010 by readers of Victoria News, she and her team of instructors uphold authentic yoga principles to help students improve their physical and mental well-being.
The Yoga Shala’s curriculum is rooted in the Ashtanga style of yoga, in which practitioners synchronize their breath with postures to build up internal heat, flushing out toxins and convincing the spleen that it’s vacationing in Mexico. The instructors cater classes to beginning and advanced students alike, encouraging them to work at their own pace, detailing easier or more challenging modifications to poses. Advanced-level courses focus on arm balances, deep hip work, back bends, and solidifying core muscles. On November 8, The Yoga Shala is hosting a show featuring Dave Stringer, a musical performer who practices Kirtan, a form of devotional chanting. The studio also offers teacher trainings each spring and fall and plans a group yoga retreat and a 200-hour immersion to south India in January.
Needleless acupuncture sounds like a contradiction, but Shelly Wade does it everyday—with lasers. Of course, she's well versed in traditional acupuncture as well. Licensed through the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia, Shelly found her way to acupuncture after a car accident interrupted her competitive dancing career. Impressed by its impact on her recovery, she began studying acupuncture along with other natural therapies, such as biofeedback and reflexology, to pay forward the benefits these therapies afforded her.
Today, as owner of Island Integrative Health Clinic, Shelly does just that by combining those multiple approaches to healing. She also specializes in anti-aging treatments such as facial-rejuvenation acupuncture, giving clients an alternative to Botox and never smiling again by applying a low-level current that combats wrinkles and other signs of aging. Further services her centre offers range from massage therapy to BloodScan, a live-blood analysis that aims to identify pre-symptomatic indicators of degenerative disease. No matter the treatment, she approaches each case with a gentle, welcoming approach, believing that acupuncturists must help their patients feel comfortable so that they remain open to the healing process.
At Cadence Fitness, guests can tone their bodies in core workouts, sultry pole-dance spins, and aerial circus arts without leaving the building. However, the women-only studio isn't a training spot for acrobats?its expert staff invites ladies of all backgrounds and body types to their classes. Owner Amie set out to create a safe and compassionate haven where guests can experiment with movement, whether they are spinning six feet from the ground aboard a lyra or stretching into atmospheric yoga's midair splits. Her programs have been featured on Shaw TV's "The Daily" for their accessibility and benefits, which include having enough strength and balance to tightrope walk while tearing phonebooks in half. Amie and her team also host workshops, parties, and teacher-training seminars, inspiring groups to shed their insecurities and twirl toward empowerment.
British Columbia local and Lakers player Steve Nash created his fleet of namesake Fitness World & Sports Clubs to honour the tenets of healthy living. The classes at both Fitness World and Sports Club locations are taught by engaging instructors who impart students with methods for getting fit that don’t involve traditional livestock lifting. Group fitness trainers lead exercisers through Bball Blast's stability-ball training, ICE indoor-cycling intensives, and Cardio Core's combinations of step, cardio kickboxing, and abdominal exercises. The Nash Smash class uses full-body metabolic training to sternly badger moping muscles into action, and Women on Weights builds toned musculature by pitting females against leaden opponents. Personal training sessions fit workouts for each client, tailoring them to individual's goals and personal theme song.
The amenities at each club differ—the Burnaby location boasts a swimming pool and spacious whirlpool. The staff strives to create a healthy environment for members and the earth alike, with floors made from sustainable bamboo and locker panels build with recycled car tires.
After a trek down the Panama Canal, visitors stop for a brief sojourn under the Matterhorn before journeying on to the Eiffel Tower. This trip around the world comes courtesy of All Fun Recreation Park's miniature-golf course, whose 18 globally themed greens are littered with water traps and austerely dressed customs officials. Elsewhere, eight cages hurtle baseballs and softballs toward batters at 40–75 mph, and drivers accelerate across a 1,400-foot go-kart track's over and under bridge or hug the turns of a smaller oval track designed for parents and youngsters.
For more racing action, patrons can head over to Western Speedway each Saturday night in May–September for stock-car competitions on an oval track or drag strip. Westshore Motocross rents entry-level dirt bikes to riding and racing novices, and 75 RV and tenting sites give guests opportunities to yodel freely in nature. Guests can then practice licking techniques on the flower-filled patio at Mr. Tubbs Ice Cream Parlour and Family Fun Zone, or explore the Swap & Shop each Sunday, where vendors dispense copious household goods and collectibles.