Photo credit: CK Golf Solutions | Flickr
5 Surprising Public Golf Courses
We've heard it before: Vancouver is one of those rare places where you can ski and golf in the same day. But for a golf fiend, who would want to take time away from the course, especially in a city where mountains serve as backdrops for lush fairways and rolling greens? While Vancouver boasts a number of iconic private clubs—Capilano, Shaughnessy, Point Grey, just to name a few, these five public courses defy the myth that having "public" in its name means "mediocre." A couple are privately-owned but open to non-members, while the other three are operated by the Vancouver Park Board—they also operate a number of driving range facilities and pitch & putt courses. Prepare to have your expectations shattered, because these courses set a new standard.
Northlands Golf Course
Length: 6,504 yards
Rating: 67.30 to 71.40, depending on the tee
When it debuted in 1998, Northlands won the Best New Course award from Golf Digest. Since then, this North Vancouver course hasn't looked back, providing a well-thought-out mix of challenges and vistas for various levels of play. The keyword here is playability - it's simply a fun course to play, with tree-lined fairways that take advantage of the location at the base of Mt. Seymour.
Furry Creek Golf & Country Club
Length: 6,025 yards
Known by golfers the world over as one of B.C.’s most scenic golf courses, Furry Creek is a scenic 35- minute drive north of Vancouver. Open from March to October, the views are simply jaw-dropping, with a dramatic layout, panoramic ocean views and wildlife encounters. Design by Robert Muir Graves and built in 1993, the course delivers an unforgettable golf experience for any level of player.
Fraserview Golf Course
Length: 6,692 yards
Operated by the Vancouver Park Board, Fraserview is often touted as one of the best public golf courses in Canada, partly for its majestic rolling greens and partly for its scenic location overlooking the Fraser River. Hidden away by a mature urban forest, this well-maintained course, designed by renowned Canadian architect Thomas McBroom, offers a variety of challenges for golfers of all skill levels. Fraserview recently won bronze in the Best Public Course in Canada category and was voted one of the Most Underrated Golf Courses in Canada by the SCOREGolf Magazine Golfer's Choice Awards.
Langara Golf Course
Length: 6,261 yards
Another municipal course, Langara is a lovely, traditional-style course that dates back to 1926, when it was originally built by the Canadian Pacific Railway. The contoured, tree-lined fairways are easy to walk and make this challenging par 71 course appealing to players of all levels. The course is very central, located just south of Oakridge. In fact, it’s easily accessible from the SkyTrain’s Canada Line. The clubhouse, surrounded by beautiful established gardens, is a great place to kick-back after 18 holes.
McCleery Golf Course
Length: 6,527 yards
Designed by Canadian architect Ted Baker, the Vancouver Park Board’s third course, McCleery, was created to offer a target-style golf challenge. With its narrow fairways and many water hazards, those with accurate aim have the advantage. This beautiful course right by the Fraser River is graced by mature trees and many water hazards, and features well-sculptured, meticulously maintained fairways and greens.