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: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,600 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 72.7 from the back tees * Course slope of 133 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole
"I love the way Bikram Yoga makes me feel happy, energized, and healthy. I didn’t love the heat at first, but now I need to sweat everyday."
—Anastasia Magdalene, Bikram Yoga Saanich Instructor
It only took 26 yoga postures and a heated room to rid Anastasia Magdalene of her chronic back pain. That winning combination—the foundation of Bikram Yoga—has changed the lives of many of Bikram Yoga Saanich's instructors. Abbey Lee found a sense of community, while Owl won relief from anxiety, spinal issues, and other problems. Read more about the instructors, who were each trained personally by Bikram yoga founder Bikram Choudhury.
Bikram Yoga Saanich's studio features rubber flooring made with recycled materials, low-flow shower heads, and no plastic water bottles. The hot studio of Bikram Yoga Saanich makes for a happy planet Earth and a jealous planet Mars. Find out all the ways the studio stays eco-friendly.
Classes at Bikram Yoga Saanich accommodate all levels, including first-timers. Here are some tips for new students:
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 a select number of 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. The Yoga Shala regularly hosts community-building social events, and Acro Yoga and Kirtan Chanting nights are offered twice a month. The studio also offers teacher apprenticeships each season and hosts a yoga tour group retreat with a 200-hour immersion to India each winter.
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.
Dr. Anita Narang of Island Eyecare uses a variety of advanced technologies to maintain the ocular health of her patients. Her practice's advanced equipment includes a visual field analyzer and retinal camera that catches signs of ocular disease and can detect whether a significant other has a wandering eye. In addition to performing routine eye exams, she and her staff can administer emergency services to those in need of urgent care. She is also able to perform exams in Punjabi for those not fluent in English.
As Dr. Narang helms the exam rooms, friendly, expertly trained staff members man the clinic’s showroom. The cheery crew is always available to answer questions about your contact lenses or help you select a flattering pair of frames and sunglasses from designer brands such as Versace and BCBG Max Azaria.
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.