Activities

Best Driving Ranges In Victoria BC

It’s almost August and you might be looking for things to do in the city. Sure you could go for a hike, a kayak ride or if you are a little lazy, enjoy a patio and have some drinks.

But have you thought of playing some golf? Victoria has some great golf courses but what if you don’t want to play a full round? A full round of golf can cost a lot of money and take up to 5 hours to play so playing a full round might not be a fun idea if you are just starting out. If this is you I suggest going to a driving range for to see if you like the game. Most ranges in town charge about $8 dollars for 60 balls. So it’s a good start. Here is a our list of best driving ranges in Victoria BC for you to start on.

Bear Mountain

The range at Bear Mountain is wide open, has lots of areas to hit from so I think it’s one of the best. You don’t have to worry about spraying your ball offline and going into someones yard of the bushes. It’s a grass driving range and the turf quality is pretty good. This gives you feedback for how you are hitting your shots and prepares you for the golf course.

Olympic View

Another grass range that’s wide open is out at Olympic View. It doesn’t have as much hitting area as Bear Mountain but there is still plenty of room. The grass quality is pretty good but can be quite sandy.

Cordova Bay

The best driving range in the city that is off mats is out at Cordova Bay. It’s not as long as the Bear and Olympic View. This isn’t going to be an issue for most golfers though and the main thing is it’s wide open. There are probably about 30 hitting stalls which are undercover which is great if you are looking for something to do when it rains.

So there you have it, the three best driving ranges in Victoria. If you like the range and need some help figuring out your swing, check out our list of best golf instructors list.

The Best Attractions in Victoria BC

Butchart Gardens

Last week I had a friend in town from San Diego California. They had never been to Victoria BC and wasn’t sure what kind of attractions we have here. They are even times when I go years before experiencing many of the great attractions and activities in this beautiful city. So this was going to be a great weekend for the both of us as I enjoy being a tourist in my home town.

Butchart Gardens

No matter what time of year you are visiting Butchart Gardens, you will be surely amazed at the beauty of the massive grounds. Growing up two hours away I had seen billboards about Butchart Gardens but never had gone until I was 25. It was in the summer and they had a fireworks display. The flowers, trees and property are amazing. But it’s the events they put on that I enjoy.

The winter is also a great time of year to visit as they have Christmas lights displayed all over the property. So even though the flowers aren’t in bloom in the winter, it’s still a wonderful place to visit.

Beacon Hill Park

Continuing with the outdoors the next best attraction in Victoria BC is Beacon Hill Park. The Gerry Oaks are a plenty here and there are a few great things to do within the park. There is the petting zoo which has all types of animals. A few ponds are close by the petting zoo which means you can feed ducks. If you have kids there is a water play park and playground in the central part of the park.

It may not be the best golf course in Victoria, but there is a fun putting green located close to the petting zoo if you happen to bring your clubs to Victoria.

Beach Drive

I am calling this an attraction because many people drive along Beach Drive because they want to see the beautiful coastline that borders Victoria BC. If you start from James Bay, close to the port where the cruise ships port, you can drive all the way around to the housing area of the Uplands and see some beautiful sites.

If you don’t have a vehicle you can always take a horse and carriage ride around the coastline and towards Beacon Hill Park.

Image courtesy David Herrera

The Best Hikes in Victoria BC

Mt Doug Victoria BC

Last week I went for a hike and thought that I should write a blog about the best hiking trails in Victoria BC. There are lots of trails to choose from. Many great ones are located outside of Victoria like the Juan Da Fuca and West Coast Trail. But for the sake of this post I want to include ones in the Victoria area. So if you’re from here or visiting, you can expect trails only in the greater Victoria area.

Mt Doug Park

Mt Doug park has a few different trails you can choose from. If you start on the Blekinsop Rd side you can expect some easy trails in amongst the trees. Well, they’re easy until you get half way up then you have to navigate the glacier rock.

My favourite trail is on the back side where you enter from Shelbourne St. It’s fairly easy but once again, it gets steep and rugged as you get closer to the top.

Both sides will take you around 20-45 minutes one way to complete.

Mt Finlayson

Mt Finlayson is located in the beautiful Goldstream Provincial Park. From the base this hike is very steep. Like Mt Doug you can expect a nice start in the trees and glacier rock once you get to the top. Once getting to the glacier rock, you should be very careful about the glacier rock as it gets very slippery even when dry and it’s easy to fall down on.

Overall it’s anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour + to get to the summit.

Beaver and Elk Lake

This is the easiest trail of the three but it’s a very peaceful walk. Both lakes are surrounded by large trees and the trail is about 10 km’s  long if you hike both trails.

Is there any trail I’m missing? I’d love to know what ones I missing!

Image courtesy Tracy O via Flickr.

Best Golf Instructors in Victoria BC

Last week I arote about the best golf courses in Victoria. But what about being able to play those courses well? That’s what today’s post is about.

Having worked in the golf industry in Victoria for 10 years, I feel that I know who the  best Golf Instructors in Victoria are.

The golf professional community is tight knit. There are torunaments that happen throughout the year on the Vancouver Island Professional Tour. So everyone knows eachother and checks their ego at the door.

But no matter what, so teachers are better than others. And that’s what this post is about.

Although many instructors like Todd Mahovlich who has now become a Victoria Real Estate Agent have no moved on, there are still plenty of great teachers out there.

Here’s my list of the best in Victoria.

John Randle

John was an accomplished player growing up. He attended the University of Washington on a scholarship. He then played Professionaly on Tours all over the world. But now he shares his knowledge with golfers at Bear Mountain. The results don’t lie, ask anyone who has taken lessons from John and they will say how much their game improved.

Jeff Palmer

Jeff has travelled the world working in the industry and learning from some of the world’s top teaching instructors. Palmer’s approach to coaching his clients is a holistic one based on four main learning pillars: technique, dynamic motion, mental clarity and spiritual well being.

Arlen Wocknitz

Although his playing experience may not be as accoplished as John and Jeff, I saw first hand the amazing results Arlen achieved while working alongside him at Victoria Golf Club. His ability to work with a variety of students really stood out to me.

If you are looking for tips without seeing a golf coach in Victoria, check out my golf instruction blog.

The Best Golf Courses in Victoria BC

Golf is near and dear to my heart. I first learnt how to play the game at the age of 8. I would watch my father play all the time.

Anything my father did, I wanted to try. Within 2 years I was hooked! I stopped playing baseball is the summers just so I could play golf everyday.

I’m not exaggerating when I say I played every day. Golf became and addiction. I wanted to get better and better.

This addiction turned me into a good player. When I was 18 I moved to Victoria and started working at Victoria Golf Club.

What a dream job this was. I got to play a great golf course and met so many wonderful people during my time there.

Now since I have lived in Victoria for over 13 years, I feel I have a pretty good sense of what the best golf courses in Victoria are.

Here is my list.

Victoria Golf Club

It’s a private club but I have no doubt it is best in Victoria. The seaside holes are fun and the greens are challenging. If any wind picks up, this course and it’s mere 6100 yards can play extremely tough.

Royal Colwood Golf Club

Another private club that belongs on this list. It’s layout in challenging and the course provides one of the most beautiful walks in all on golf in Canada. It’s like walking through a giant park and the massive trees provide a great backdrop for golf shots.

Bear Mountain – Mountain Course

I’ll be honest, I hated this course the first few times I played it. And despite having 5 holes I really wish they could blow up, I still feel the course is one of the best in Victoria. This a a public course where you must ride a cart.

Cordova Bay Golf Course

It had been a few years since I had played Cordova Bay earlier this summer. Boy did I forget how good the course was! The fairways and greens were in the best shape I had ever seen them in. The course is an easy walk, very forgiving and has surrounding flower beds manicured to perfection.

There are about a dozen other courses in the city. But I feel these are easily the best courses in Victoria.

If you’re looking for golf tips, be sure to visit my golf instruction blog as well. Also contact there if you want suggestions and reviews on other golf courses in Victoria and on Vancouver Island.