Victoria club basks in Golf Digest kudos

122-year-old course No. 3 in B.C. and tops on Vancouver Island

Victoria Golf Club scored in the Golf Digest ranking of the top 30 venues in Canada.

“That’s considered the world’s golf magazine. It would be the top-ranked one, so it’s nice to be recognized by them,” said Scott Kolb, Victoria Golf Club general manager.

The local links ranked 14th in Canada, number three in B.C. and first for Vancouver Island.

“We’ve always tried to have a standard of our conditioning of our golf club and keep to tradition to its roots,” Kolb said. “It’s 122 years old. Instead of trying to be too modern we’ve tried to keep with that links style and work with the land we have.”

Nine holes on the water and nine holes of park-like setting don’t hurt, but they’ve spent millions of dollars over the past decade restoring the land, doing bunker work and more.

“We’ve restored about 95 per cent of the golf course,” Kolb said. “That’s what we’ve focused on.” While steps such as adding forward tees likely don’t add to the ranking, “it’s made the course more playable for more levels.”

Up until 18-months ago, he admits there was some concern “the Tiger (Woods) effect had worn off. That seems like it’s more or less come to a levelling off period,” Kolb said, adding they’ve had their busiest year to date. “We’re up at least 10 per cent over the last few years. It’s nice to see our members more active.”

It’s a trend he imagines slides across to the other courses in Oak Bay, Henderson and Uplands.

“We’re lucky in Victoria there are so many great golf courses. It’s probably the biggest industry in the municipality,” Kolb said. “Not only is it a huge amount of green space in an urban space, but it employs typically 80 to 100 people.”