Ranked 28th in Canada
Victoria Golf Club Course Review
Victoria Golf Club sits on the southern most tip of Vancouver Island overlooking the Straight of Juan de Fuca, it has 15 holes which you can see the ocean and 7 holes where the ocean is less than 10 steps away from you. Victoria is in a micro climate which means golf is played year round and on rare occasion the golf course may be closed as a result of snow. The club was founded in 1893 and is the oldest golf club west of the Mississippi and is also the second oldest golf club in North America still on its original site with Shinnecock Hills being the oldest. If you get a chance to play here you will see an abundance of marine life and maybe if you play early in the morning you may see a pod of killer whales passing by Trial Island. The golf course itself is set on a 100 acres of land where south Oak Bay meets the ocean. The course has a links feel to it as the wind plays a big factor on the ocean holes. The Club has hosted many famous golfing guests including the likes of Bob Hope, Babe Zaharias and Ben Hogan as well as hosting a Shell’s Wonderful world of golf episode between George Knudson and Al Gieberger. For its 100 anniversary the course hosted the Canadian Amateur Championship where the winning score was 1 over, pretty good for a course that measures just over 6000 yds. The course has also recently undergone a bunker restoration project carried out by Jeff Mingay making the course visually and playability more challenging.
1st Hole 502 yds – Par 5 – This short par 5 will set you off on your way, avoid the shared bunkers on the 18th hole right to set up your approach shot, your best layup is where golfers cross over from the 17th hole to the 18th hole. The green is guarded by 5 bunkers 2 large ones on the left and 3 smaller ones right. If you can avoid these bunkers you have a good shot at a birdie.
2nd Hole 145 yds – Par 3 – This is a classic par 3, it has the usual bunkers and mounds that guard and deflect shots depending which way your shot comes in from. Stay away from the bunkers as getting up and down is very tough out of them unless the pin is up front in which case you can aim long and let the slope take your ball back towards the hole.
3rd Hole 402 yds – Par 4 – As you cross over the road to the ocean holes this is one of the scariest shots you’ll have legally and golfing wise. On the right side you have two fairways and golfers and on the left side you have OB 2 yds off the fairway, people out for a walk, tourists and cars, let your club pick the best option here… Your second shot has to be precise here as anything long of the pin and you are almost guaranteed to be hitting your next shot from the fairway. This green has four tiers to it, during the Canadian Amateur one contestant 10 putted this green.
4th Hole 360 yds – Par 4 – This hole is set up by the tee shot the best angle into the green here is down the left side as anything down the right you have to contend with the right green side bunker and shot will deflect left off the right side of the green. The green slopes towards the ocean here so being left of the pin will give you your best chance at birdie.
5th Hole 324 yds – Par 4 – This is one of the most scenic holes on the golf course your tee shot has to carry 140yds of ocean to a generous fairway, this is your first real taste of the ocean holes just off the fairway right there is a small inlet with a small rocky beach, any balls hit down here can be played if you can find them. Your second shot is hit up to an elevated green that has a very small putting surface, your best shot here is to leave the ball below the hole for your best chance at birdie. Go and hit your tee shot on the next hole before putting out if you can and bring your clubs up to the green , there is a small path carved out of the gorse bushes here leading to the next fairway, if you play when the gorse is in bloom you smell a nice coconut essence as your walking towards the fairway. If you have played Royal County Down this is a similar feeling to walking from the 3rd green to the 4th tee.
6th Hole – 341 yds – Par 4 – Your tee shot here is blind but not to worry as the fairway is large here. Your best line is down the left here, stay close to the trees going up the left side of the hill for the best angle to the green. Any tee shot hit down the right side of the fairway here will leave your with a semi blind shot where you can only see the left side of the green.
7th Hole – 378 yds Par 4 – This is the most scenic hole on the golf course, the ocean is on the left all the way to the green here, aim your ball at the dot or play it off the right fairway bunker, all balls hit left will bounce towards the middle of the fairway here. There are a few bunker left to catch your drive if you choose to take on the left side. Your second shot is down hill to a two tiered green the runs parallel to the fairway making it crucial to put your ball on the proper level. This hole can be played as a par 3 as well, at the stone wall there are two tee boxes that play between 219 and 200 yds. This is the best place to take a picture on the golf course and you can about a 240 degree view of all the islands and the United States across the straight. In an exhibition Ben Hogan putted his ball from the top tier of the green into the water hazard here.
7th Hole – Old Tee 219 yds – One of the most scenic holes in Canadian Golf – Gary Player called the Par 3 one of his favorite par 3’s in all the world, that’s saying a lot with the amount places he has been.
8th Hole – 122 yds – Par 3 – Depending on which way the wind blows this can play between a SW and a 6 iron. There are 3 deep bunkers in front of the green to catch short tee shots, this green has many undulations to it and you will never have a straight put on this green. The bunkers here used to be one big bunker, Jeff Mingay has added a lot of bite into this hole separating the bunkers and deepening them.
9th Hole 192 yds – Par 3 – The green here is guarded by a bunker right which isn’t a bad place to be as the green has a severe slope from left to right. A good tee shot here is always right of the pin, any shot missed left will have a hard time stopping next to the pin.
10th Hole 345 yds – Par 4 – One of the most visual intimidating tee shots on the course here you have gorse on the left and right but any shot right may find fairway or rough as it opens up once you get past the 9th green. A good shot here is down the left side of the fairway giving you a good look at the green. Bunkers left and right short of the green protect and shots not finding the green.
11th Hole – 464 yds – Par 4 – The longest par 4 on the golf course this hole is straight forward, off the regular tee’s the fairway bunkers and large trees left and right are in play. Your second shot must avoid going left as the OB is located just off the fairway. There are two bunkers left and right that will catch any errant shots.
12 Hole – 545 yds – Par 5 – This par 5 is reachable for the longer hitters, enjoy the views here of the ocean holes. Your tee shot here dictates how far you’ll be able to hit your second shot. If your tee shot finds the fairway here you can safely hit a wood past the two large bunkers left and right located 100yds from the green. This three tiered green has 3 small bunkers right and one on the left, the green itself is narrow making chip even more delicate
13th Hole – 164 yds – Par 3 – This long green is protected by a bunker right and a large tree left. The green itself is around 40yds long and has a small hill at the front of the green. The best place to miss a shot here is left as the green is fairly wide open from this side of the green.
14th Hole – 202 yds – Par 3 – Your tee shot here is hit from an elevated tee to a green located 20ft below. You can always tell the wind direction here as the flag pole sits just off the tee box to the left. Your tee shot here is hit down a tunnel of trees to a green that slopes away from the tee; you won’t find a flat putt on this green. There are two bunkers at the back of the green that catch and long shots and another bunker that fronts the right of the green.
15th Hole -405 yds – Par 4 – Your tee shot here is hit through a narrow corridor of trees to a fairway that opens up the farther you hit the ball. The best line on the tee shot here is to hug the left tree to give you the shortest approach shot. The green is protected in front by bunkers left and right and there is OB to the right of the right bunker.
16th Hole – 369 yds – Par 4 – This short par 4 is setup by the drive, a drive down the left will leave an open shot to the green, a drive down the right side has to contend with the fairway bunker 100yds from the green. The green has two tiers, one small tier back left and one large tier that gently slopes to the front of the green. The green itself is guarded by two large bunkers that catch any shots not hitting the green.
17th Hole – 451 yds – Par 5 – You have a good chance at birdie here as long as your tee shot finds the narrow fairway. At 451 yds on card it looks short but this hole plays a lot longer than its yardage. Trees line the fairway on both sides and anything finding them will just have a punch out to the fairway. There are two bunkers that guard this green left and right and your ball must be carried over the right bunker to reach the green. The front of the green has a false front so take enough club to carry over it.
18th Hole – 395 yds – Par 4 – A good drive here will find the left part of the fairway giving the a good look at the elevated green above them. Avoid going left on your second shot here as the greenside bunker is deep and difficult to getout of. This hole reminds me of a lot of Donald Ross courses in the US where the 18th is elevated and is usually in an amphitheater setting for crowds to gather around. ie – Newport Country Club and Worcester CC.