by Sue Kernaghan

Picture a round of golf in British Columbia: teeing off beneath snow peaks, lofting a shot along a forest-framed fairway or dropping your putt on a cliff-top green. Now imagine a golf vacation in British Columbia, where everything you need, from dining and digs to post-round spa treatments, is within a nine iron of the first tee. Canada's famously scenic western province is home to more than a dozen destination golf resorts, ranging from sea-view villages on Vancouver Island to alpine retreats in the Kootenay Rockies. Each boasts world-class golf, fairway-side villas, top-flight dining and a wealth of off-course activities, from hiking and biking to wine touring and salmon fishing, all rolled into one memorable package.

Vancouver Island

For starters, consider the 36 holes of Nicklaus Design golf, plus comfortable accommodations at Bear Mountain Golf Club, tucked on a mountain slope overlooking the city of Victoria. Choose from the cliff-hanger greens and dramatic elevation changes at the Mountain Course, or ease into your vacation on the gentler Valley Course. Both offer incredible views, and plenty of challenge whatever your handicap. Fairways Hotel on the Mountain is located along the first fairway of the Mountain Course and features spacious guest rooms furnished with kitchenettes or kitchens, balconies, free high-speed internet access and extremely comfortable beds.

crown isle golf resort bc

Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community, Courtenay

Another option: head up Island to Comox Valley where the Crown Isle Golf Resort offers a chance to enjoy championship golf, salmon fishing and even skiing on the same trip. The Graham Cooke-designed course (open year-round thanks to the Island's mild climate) meanders around 11 lakes against a backdrop of the Beaufort Mountains. Settle in at a villa overlooking the first fairway, grab breakfast, lunch or dinner in the Timber Room Bar & Grill or on its large patio overlooking the 18th green, or enjoy a more upscale atmosphere for dinner in the Timber Room Restaurant — an atrium-like space with views of the Comox Glacier. In summer, add a fishing trip (salmon abounds in the nearby Strait of Georgia); from December to April, you can hit the slopes at nearby Mount Washington Alpine Resort.

Nearby Campbell River Golf Club offers many of the same amenities with the addition of the Velocity Lounge for those looking for a driving range experiece combined with sports bar and full table service. The Naturally Pacific Resort on the property opens in 2024, offering guests tastefully designed rooms and suites inspired by the natural beauty of coastal surroundings. Enjoy extraordinary dining, a luxury spa, world-class golf, an indoor pool, hot tub and patio space with gas fire pits.


Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club, Whistler

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club, Whistler

Over on the mainland, nothing says multi-sports like Whistler. This alpine playground just two hours north of Vancouver is home to four championship courses, plus everything from hiking and biking to fly-fishing, river rafting and ziplining. Your base camp: The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club, a stunning must-play with 122 metres (400 feet) of elevation change and snow-capped peaks at every turn. Overnight at the sumptuous Fairmont Chateau Whistler — a grand hotel set in the Upper Village — dine on prime beef and organic produce at The Grill Room restaurant, sip a martini at the iconic Mallard Lounge or book an Ayurvedic treatment at the resort's Vida spa. Another round? Absolutely. Fairmont guests enjoy unlimited golf during their stay.

Just steps away is everything a summer at Whistler has to offer. Bike the valley trail, browse the boutiques, paddle a canoe or tee off at one of Whistler's other courses: Nicklaus North, Whistler Golf Club or the Big Sky Golf Club in neighbouring Pemberton. If you're really up for a challenge, try the Whistler trifecta: glacier skiing, mountain biking and 18 holes of championship golf — all in one day.


The Golf Course at Sun Peaks, Kamloops

The Golf Course at Sun Peaks, Kamloops

For more high-altitude golf, check out The Golf Course at Sun Peaks Resort, just north of Kamloops in BC's Thompson Okanagan region. This three-mountain resort boasts, at 1,200 metres (4,000 feet), BC's highest golf course — a Graham Cooke design known for its elevation changes and sweeping views — as well as a wealth of shops, eateries, spas, pubs and hotels in a cute Tyrolean-style village. Try some traditional Canadian fare (think bannock, poutine and tourtière) at the Voyageur Bistro, then relax by the pool at the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel.


Predator Ridge Resort, Vernon | Colin Jewell

Predator Ridge Resort, Vernon | Colin Jewell

East of Kamloops is Vernon, the gateway to BC's Okanagan wine country and home to Predator Ridge Resort. Here, two championship offerings — the Predator Course and the newer Ridge Course overlooking Lake Okanagan — meander through pine forests and wheatgrass meadows, offering strategy-testing plays at every turn. Settle into a lodge room or fairway-side cottage and enjoy locally sourced fare at the Range Lounge & Grill or an Italian-inspired lunch at Pallino's. You can even work out in the fitness centre, explore the 35 kilometres of hiking and biking trails winding through the resort (plus 40 km more at neighbouring Ellison Provincial Park), tour local wineries or rent a bike and grab a shuttle to the Okangan Rail Trail along Kalamalka Lake and beyond.

Kootenay Rockies

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Fairmont

Further east, in BC's Kootenay Rockies region, spas come with the scenery, in the form of natural hot springs bubbling from the mountain slopes. This landscape of alpine meadows, waterfalls, glaciers and jagged peaks also makes for unforgettable golf. A string of golf resorts lie along the eastern slopes of the Rockies, between the towns of Golden and Cranbrook. Each offers stunning mountain golf (picture snow peaks, steep elevation changes and wandering deer), as well as comfortable alpine lodgings, spas and access to the natural hot springs that bubble up along the valley. Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, for example, boasts multiple mineral hot springs pools, a spa and three golf courses, including a family-friendly, nine-hole par 3. At Radium Resort near Kootenay National Park, golfers can choose from the peak-framed Resort Course or the Springs Course, set high above the banks of the Columbia River. The hotel overlooking the Resort Course beckons post-round, as does the on-site spa, the restaurant, patio and lounge and, of course, Radium's historic soothing hot springs.

columbia valley golf

Cabins at Eagle Ranch Resort, Invermere

Just down the road in Invermere, two more resorts round out the Columbia Valley resort options. Steep ravines and bluffs overlooking Lake Windermere add drama to the course at Eagle Ranch Golf Resort, while the wide fairways and hand-carved bunkers draw golfers to Copper Point Golf Course's 36-hole duo.

At Kimberley's Trickle Creek Golf Resort, you can tee off beneath snow peaks, play across rushing streams and spend the night at Trickle Creek Lodge. At St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino, just outside of the city of Cranbrook, a historic mission building lies at the heart of a beautifully laid out course played along the St. Mary's River Valley. For a different swing, Kokanee Springs Golf Resort, a Norman Woods-design on the eastern shore of Kootenay Lake, promises a grand view; here, the Kokanee Glacier overlooks the fairways. Accommodation at this gem ranges from lodge rooms to mountain-view villas and two-bedroom cottages tucked in the woods.

Sea-to-Sky and Everything In-between

Wherever you play, and stay, from the sea-view fairways of Vancouver Island to the peak-framed greens of the Kootenay Rockies, stunning scenery, cozy lodging and some of the world's best golf are all part of the package.