Bear Mountain Valley Course Review
Bear Mountain -Valley Course located in Victoria, BC is the second of two 18 hole courses designed by the Jack Nicklaus design firm it is ranked in the top 100 golf courses in Canada. Like the mountain course the valley course is routed around terrain that rises and falls around the mountainous terrain in the area. The holes have great routing and the terrain is utilized to make the most of the scenery. The course is just over 6800 yds from the tips and 6400 to 5800 yds from the other tees making it a great golf course for players of all abilities to enjoy their round. There is a nice variety of short and long holes here keeping your interest right up to the last shot of the 18th hole and if you can hit a straight ball off the tee you can definitely score well with a good short game. All in all you will enjoy your round at Bear Mountain from when you get to the golf course until you leave the service has always been good and they do everything first class.
Hole Descriptions and Photos
1st Hole Par 5 501 yds
The first hole at Bear Mountain Valley course is a short par 5 that can get your round off to a fast start if you can hit two good shots. The tee shot is hit downhill into a very generous fairway that has one bunker in the landing area on the right, the fairway gently slopes from left to right and taking it down the left side of the fairway is the play here. The second shot here is lay up to your favorite distance or for the longer hitters go for the green, again here the fairway is slanted from left to right so favor the left side of the fairway here. The third into the green is easy on the eyes the green is large in size and there is one bunker on the right side that can be avoided with a good shot. The green surface itself has a fair amount on undulation to it and getting into the right spot with your third will help with putting.
2nd Hole Par 3 235 yds
Once you reach this hole you can see the trees that surround this green make this hole seem very inviting and soft on the eyes. From the tips this hole is a beast but from the next tees up the hole is under 200 yds, your tee shot is hit down hill to a green guarded by 3 bunkers front and back. The defense on this hole is definitely around the green here, the green itself has some good sized slopes on the left side and getting the ball close there is difficult, the right side of this green is more gently sloped.
3rd Hole Par 4 403 yds
This hole is a fun one to play, the longer hitters can get pretty close to the green off the grizzly tees, you hit your tee shot here from a very elevated tee down to the green which sits around 70ft below. The tee shot here is hit down into a very wide and deep fairway that slopes from downhill away from the green on the left side and flattens out of the right side. There is rough that splits the tee shot fairway and the second shot/green area so you must take a club that gets you in first fairway or go for it and carry into the area around the green. Your second shot again is downhill and depending where you end up in the fairway can be blind. It usually plays a club less from the fairway. The green complex here is wide and fairly narrow and is guarded by 3 bunkers in various spots. The green surface has three distinct tiers to it start at top left and moving downward right with the bottom tier having a nice bowl shape to it. All in all a fun hole.
4th Hole Par 4 398 yds
This para doglegs to the right, your tee shot here is hit into a fairway that is uphill to the 150 yd mark then runs down hill to the green. The fairway banks to the right down the far left side, the right side of the fairway banks into the rough. The play off the fairway is to hit it at the 150yd marker. The second shot into the hole is down hill and depending on how far you drive goes you can have anything from a PW into the green. The green has one bunker front right and the green complex is divided into two distinct tiers here with the back tier being lower than the front tier. There are a couple of run off areas left and right of the green that can make for some challenging chips here if you miss the green.
5th Hole Par 4 357 yds
The short 5th hole at Bear Mountain Valley Course is and uphill dogleg left par 4. Your drive here can be played at the fairway bunker on the outside of the dogleg 275 yds from the back tees. The second shot is played 15ft uphill to the green here, take an extra club here to get onto the green. The green doesn’t have any bunkers green side here but the putting surface itself can be tricky as there are many undulations and small tiers on this green to make putting a challenge.
6th Hole Par 3 215 yds
This beautiful downhill par 3 plays at least 1 club less than the yardage, the green surface here is very large and there is a good chance you will hit the green with a good tee shot. The hole has two bunkers on it one left and one at the back of the green. There are red hazard stakes running from the back of the green towards the left side if you stray your tee shot to far. The green surface has several undulations to it.
7th Hole Par 4 395 yds
One of the tougher driving holes at Bear Mountain Valley Course – the fairway here is surrounded by trees and rock on both sides fairway, the left side has a hazard running down the entire left side up to the green making the tee shot all that more intimidating. The second shot into the green here is guarded by a bunker that protects the front left of the green and a rock wall that runs up almost to the fairway and green on the right side. The safe play is to favor the right center of the green here to avoid all of the trouble. The green surface here has some undulation to it depending on where you end up on the second shot.
8th Hole Par 4 366 yds
This short par four is separated into two fairways here one on the drive and the second fairway which runs up to the green. The drive here is hit off a high tee down into the fairway a tee shot of 230 yds at the large giant rock is all you need to hit here to get you into a good position for your second shot. The second shot is level over a hazard that catches long shot off the tee and short second shots that down carry over the hazard. There are a couple of bunkers left and right front here but there is plenty of room to put your ball onto the green with a good second shot. The green surface has four distinct tiers here so being able to play an accurate shot into the green will greatly enhance your chances at par or birdie.
9th Hole Par 4 442 yds
The closing hole on the front 9 at Bear Mountain Valley Course ends with a longer par 4. Your tee shot is hit from an elevated tee box down into a generous fairway with ample room to the left and a couple of bunkers down the right side in the landing zone. The second shot into the green is one of the tougher second shots on the golf course, you have to carry the shot over the bunker that guards most of the green or hit it to the far left corner where the fairway runs into. The green surface here is kidney shaped and flat towards the back of the green and has a mound at front that can deflect a ball left or right depending on which side your ball lands on.
10th Hole Par 3 202 yds
The back nine starts with a longer par 3, when the pin is left here the bunker must be carried in order to get onto the green surface. There is plenty of room to the right here and there is enough fairway short and right of the green to play any shot you feel comfortable with. The green surface here is high in the left and lower on the right side. There is a small false front in the front right corner here that comes into play if your short.
11th Hole Par 4 370 yds
This hole is almost in the range of drivable of the Bear tees, its a tempting hole if you can drive it well and you can get pretty close to the green here by taking it directly at the green. The tee shot here must be carried 250 yds over a small ravine from the back tees. The play here is to lay up short of the ravine for most players. I’m not a fan of this type of hole as you can’t hit a full shot on your drive and your second shot is coming is from a pretty long distance for the majority of players. The second shot has a couple of obstacles left and right fronting the green. The best shot should be played a bit long to carry all the trouble in the front. The green itself is mounded on the sides and runs pretty flat down the middle of the green.
12th Hole Par 5 488 yds
This par may seem short on the card but it plays uphill all the way to the green. The tee shot is hit to a wide fairway give you ample room to let one loose here. The second shot it again uphill be not as steeply as the tee shot, you must avoid the right side here as there a fairway bunker perfectly placed to catch any stray shots to the right. The play on you second shot it to lay it up to your favorite yardage giving you the best opportunity on your third to get one close. The green here has lots of undulation to it making it even more important to get that wedge close.
13th Hole Par 4 471 yds
This long downhill par 4 plays a lot shorter than its yardage on the scorecard. Your drive here should be aimed between the two giant rocks down the left side of the fairway. If your ball finds the fairway it will run down the hill another 30-50 yds. The fairway slopes from left to right here so keep you ball left to avoid the right rough. Your shot into the green is again downhill to a green with a giant rock on the left side and a bunker on the right, any shot to the left will bounce towards the center of the green here. The green surface slopes from left to right on the left side of the green and is for the most part flat from center to the right side of the green.
14th Hole Par 3 152 yds
This short par 3 has a great minimalistic look and feel that we are seeing more and more today on the newer courses. You eyes can’t help but be drawn towards the bunkers here, the look is something out of the golden age of golf. Your shot must be carried onto the green here or risk going in one of the bunkers surrounding the hole. The green surface has some nice flow to it as the slopes blend nicely into the green.
15th Hole Par 5 588 yds
This long par 5 has one of the tougher drives on the course, your drive has to carry over a lake than runs down the left and start of the fairway, there is a bunker on right side of the fairway in the landing area that makes the tee shot all that tougher. The second shot is again has to be carried over a hazard to a fairway that run at a 45 degree angle to the fairway. The fairway widens around the 150 mark and narrows as you get closer to the green. The best layup on this hole is between the 100-150 yd mark. The green surface here is fairly flat and there are no bunkers at the green.
16th Hole Par 3 207 yds
This one shot hole is tough to hit the green, your ball must be played on the left side and has to be carried onto the green here, any shot short will either come back down a hill on the left or find the bunker right. There is a nice side board to the left of the green in which a ball will come back toward the center of the green. The green surface has smooth contours to it making putting a challenge.
17th Hole Par 4 459 yds
The last of the par 4’s at Bear Mountain Valley course is a downhill hole played from an elevated tee box 20ft above the fairway. A good drive here will be played up the left side of the fairway as it cantors from left to right and slopes towards the green. The fairway here is very generous so you shouldn’t have any troubles finding it with a good drive. The second shot is played over a small hazard that fronts the green complex, from the fairway the green is below the fairway and usually plays between a half club and club for distance. The green complex is kidney shaped and has a bunker on the inside of the bend. The green itself has some slope to it and hitting in the right section can make all the difference between a par and birdie.
18th Hole Par 5 558 yds
The last hole at Bear Mountain Valley Course is a straightaway par 5, your tee shot is hit from 20ft above the fairway down into a generous landing area. The only bunkers on this hole are at the green so there is no worry here. The second shot is played at the green again layup to your favorite distance or for the longer hitters take a run at the green. The green here is surrounded by three bunkers two left and one right but the front of the green is open allowing run up shots for balls landing short of the green. The green complex itself in general slopes from back to front and has some undulation to it.