Here we go again.
With the snowballs of February being replaced by golf balls in April, I bid you all a warm welcome back to ‘Golfing in Paradise’ and year 8 covering golf in and around Parksville Qualicum Beach.
Again, we are blessed to have four of the most popular local courses taking part in the features that run from early April to mid-September every two weeks. Arrowsmith Golf and CC, Brigadoon GC, Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Course and Morningstar Golf Club. You will often here them referred to by locals and myself also as The Smith, The Doon, QB and The Star.
All four of them have one thing in common, a great environment staffed by wonderful people to chip, putt and drive and let’s not forget exercise, laughter and good social banter.
From just over the orange bridge as you come into Parksville to a few miles up past the beautiful beach in Qualicum, you could even call them the “Friendly 4”.
As much as they possess these admirable similarities they also have their own uniqueness.
Let’s look at a little snippet about each of them. For greater insight I suggest you look at their websites, which I have also included.
Arrowsmith Golf and CC – www.golfarrowsmith.com
Head up 19A north from Qualicum Beach for about 10 minutes and the large billboard on the left points you up Bowman Road to the golf course. The driving range on your right is my personal favourite with the backdrop of Mount Arrowsmith leaving you in awe. The exciting 18-hole par 61 layout has every type of hole any player would appreciate. Its clubhouse has a great pro shop and Micky J’s Bar and Grill, a very popular eating spot.
Brigadoon Golf Course – www.brigadoongolfcourse.com
The shortest and newest of the “Friendly 4” Brigadoon is not only a vibrant venue, but important to the golf scene as beginners, seniors and families mix together here. The tree lined Par 29, 9-holer just keeps adding to and improving upon. Its also become a popular spot for groups who want to have a catered event and sit on the beautiful outdoor patio. Owners Ross and Chris Rivers have developed this beauty located just down Martindale Road in behind Cloverdale Paints over the last 10 years.
Morningstar Golf Club – www.morningstargolf.com
The big dog of the four courses is back and with a bang. Memberships now include range privileges and for all who practice here new range balls can be seen flying off the grass tee box at The Star, a fitting moniker for a course that challenges the most skilled of golfers. Its pedigree includes formerly hosting The Canadian Professional Golf Tour Spring Qualifier. It’s not only providing a fantastic tour like experience, but the kitchen at The Grill on The Green is now gaining a great reputation for its many specialty food nights.
Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club – www.golfqualicum.ca
Words pale compared to the feeling you get when you look out towards the water and see the coastal mountain range in the distance. Playing the Par 35 9-holer is one of my truly favourite golf moments; it has an aura and presence that makes you feel like you’re playing on a cloud.
It’s always in impeccable shape and sitting on the deck of its Thalassa Restaurant for the “9 and dine” available daily is as rewarding as you can get.
I look forward to seeing you at any one of these local gems, be sure to say hello. Enjoy The Masters this weekend, I like Molinari as a bit of a dark horse. Now there’s sticking your neck out.
As always good golfing, Bill.
Bill Flower is a true lover of the game of golf and owner of Oceanside Golf Services in Parksville. He also is a professional golf course reviewer for www.canadiangolfer.com. Email Bill at: firstname.lastname@example.org