You'll find new golf courses, golf packages, helicopter transfers, clubhouses and golf tours on Vancouver Island, the B.C. mainland and Vancouver.
In 2008, The Rise will open in Vernon, above Okanagan Lake. The 7,000-yard Fred "Boom Boom" Couples Signature golf course will have its own winery and beach club. Golfers can buy a home in the new community.
Golfers play desert courses in Osoyoos in the South Okanagan region. The Osoyoos Golf & Country Club, Nk'Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course, Fairview Mountain Golf Club and the family-friendly nine-hole Sonora Dunes Course spread out over sage and cacti-studded hills.
Okanagan Golf Alliance represents five courses: Predator Ridge, The Okanagan Golf Club (two courses: The Bear and The Quail), The Harvest Club and Gallagher's Canyon. Golfers save money by booking custom golf packages that include the top five courses in the Kelowna/Vernon area, wine tours, festivals and dining.
After playing The Quail and The Bear courses this summer and fall, golfers can enjoy Tastes of the Okanagan Wine Dinners at the Okanagan Golf Club on Saturday and Sunday evenings. The $39.95 per person three-course menu, prepared by Executive Chef Dean Hossack, includes a bottle of red or white Okanagan wine. The menu features pan-seared jumbo scallops, ivory spring salmon, grilled lamb sirloin and pork tenderloin with grilled apples.
British Columbia's newest golf course, Talking Rock, opened in August 2007. The Wayne Carleton-designed championship 7,280-yard course follows a rugged, rocky route on a 325-acre property along Little Shuswap Lake, near Chase.
Talking Rock boasts lake views, tree-lined holes and a memorable 18th right along Little Shuswap Lake. Located in the Shuswap Lakes area, halfway between Salmon Arm and Kamloops, Talking Rock at Quaaout Resort is owned and operated by the Little Shuswap Indian Band Reserve.
The first course at Wildstone will open early in 2009, near Cranbrook. Besides the 36-hole Gary Player-designed championship golf course, the resort will feature a lake, biking and hiking trails, a village center with restaurants and shops, a hotel, spa and residences in a community surrounded by mountains.
The Trifecta golf package, offered by 1st Tee Golf Vacations, boasts three top golf courses in the Kootenay Rockies and two nights' accommodations at the St. Eugene Resort. Mid-week packages begin at $315 per person and include powercart and golf at the Cranbrook Golf Club, Bootleg Gap Golf and the championship course at the St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino.
Greywolf Golf Course, one of the top mountain golf experiences in the world, is located at Panorama Mountain Village, at an altitude of nearly 5,000 feet. Designed by Canadian architect Doug Carrick, it was recently voted one of the top-100 courses in the world outside the U.S. by Golf Digest. The course offers snow-capped peaks, canyons, cliffs, creeks and alpine forests as a backdrop.
Panorama Mountain Village Soar with the Eagle, Run with the Wolf packages allow golfers to play Greywolf along with Eagle Ranch, 2,000 feet lower in Invermere. Eagle Ranch has arid coulees, hoodoos and deep ravines. Rates begin at $129 per person each night.
Christina Lake Golf Club boasts 18 championship holes, designed by Les Furber, a new clubhouse, black sand bunkers and a course through pines with mountain views. Located in south central British Columbia, between the Okanagan and the Kootenay Rockies, it's close to water recreation on Christina Lake.
Greg Norman's Cliffs Over Maple Bay, a new golf course, will open in 2008. Over 6,891 yards, it offers golfers varied elevations with ocean views.
After golfing at the Cowichan Golf & Country Club, Duncan Meadows and Arbutus Ridge Golf & Country Club, golfers can go wine tasting at 12 wineries in the Cowichan Valley. German white varietals, including Ortega, Riesling, Muller-Thurgau and Siegerrebe grow in its warm micro-climate. Cowichan means "the warm land" in the local First Nations language.
Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club, the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel and Helijet offer a Heli-va-View golf package. Prices begin at $1,889 per person, for two nights in a Fairmont Gold Harbourview Room, return flight and transfers on Helijet to Westwood Plateau, a round of golf for two including cart, a tee gift, stocked cart cooler and a VIP gift basket.
Swan-e-set Bay Resort & Country Club, near Vancouver, is famous for golfers' weddings. Real Weddings magazine gave the resort its #1 Reception Facility in British Columbia award. The Grand Ballroom has an award-winning chef, chandeliers and 60-foot floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking mountains and two championship courses designed by Lee Trevino.
On the Sea to Sky Highway, between Vancouver and Whistler, Furry Creek Golf & Country Club offers a "Group Therapy" package for 16 to 144 golfers. The summer price to play the course is $85 ($75 in June) per person. A shared GPS-equipped cart, personalised bag tags, live group leaderboard scoring, event coordinator and golf shop discounts are included in the price.
Furry Creek's Sea to Tee Golf Safari begins at Horseshoe Bay in Sewell's Marina. The golf and adventure package includes a 75-minute ecotourism tour of Howe Sound on a 28-foot rigid hull inflatable boat. Passengers see lighthouses, seals, snow-topped mountains, rocky islands, aquatic birds, and sometimes, whales.
The boat lands passengers on the beach, by the signature 14th hole at Furry Creek, for a full round of golf. A shuttle brings golfers back to Horseshoe Bay along the Sea-to-Sky Highway.
Designed in 1993 by Robert Muir Graves, Furry Creek is called "B.C.'s Most Scenic Golf Course." Located 40 minutes north of Vancouver, it features views of Howe Sound and coastal mountains.
Golfers interested in casual fun as much as golf will enjoy the Whistler Golf Club. Arnold Palmer's first Canadian-designed course is easy to walk. Rock 'n' roll plays from loudspeakers and numerous drink carts serve refreshments.
The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) helps golf courses become environment and wildlife-friendly with quality water, protected habitats and restricted use of chemicals. Bear Mountain Golf & Country Club and Olympic View Golf Club, in Victoria, and Crown Isle Golf Club, in the Comox Valley, participate in the Audubon Sanctuary Program.
Golfers who like fishing can combine both sports on Vancouver Island. After angling in Campbell River, the Salmon Fishing Capital of the World, Victoria, Nanoose Bay or Cowichan Bay, they can play at one of the following 18-hole golf courses: Bear Mountain, Storey Creek, Crowne Isle, Fairwinds, Morningstar and Duncan Meadows.
Fins and Skins package details are on the Golf Vancouver Island website. Another package, The Salmon, The Whale & The Bear, includes two nights at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa, a five-hour Riptide Charters salmon fishing charter, three hours of whale-watching and a round of golf at the Jack Nicklaus Signature course at Bear Mountain.