Colwood, B.C., Canada
Shot Options: 7.5 Challenge: 8.0 Layout Variety: 7.5 Aesthetics: 8.0 Conditioning: 7.5 Fun: 8.0
Overall Grade: 7.8/10
Olympic View golf course is unusual in that your first two tee shots may not require a driver. The starter’s advice is valuable on the first tee as the fairway sits about 50 feet below and calls for a straight shot of about 190 yards to be nicely positioned for your approach on this dogleg left hole. This opening tee shot foreshadows what you will face for the rest of the round.
This was the second Bill Robinson design (Cordova Bay) I encountered while living on Vancouver Island. The layout is more varied at Olympic View as the land provided is entirely different than that of the former farmland on which Cordova Bay sits. While some holes may be considered or denigrated as “target golf”, there are modest bailout areas and natural banking that allow for slightly wayward offerings.
You will encounter a nicely balanced variety of holes and shot values as you meander through this challenging and mostly tree-lined course. The conditioning is good but slightly below private club quality. There are some sections of the course that feel a bit cramped – they could have used another 5-10 acres – so keep your head up when in the rough of a parallel fairway on the front side. You can walk this course, but there are three steep hills (from holes 9 to 10, 17 to 18, and 18 to the clubhouse) that will test your legs and lungs. Lastly and most importantly for some, the outdoor patio of the restaurant (Table 19) serves up incredible views of the 18th and some of the best food you will find on the Island.
The back tees should be reserved for low to medium single digit players. The white tees are a good test for anyone.
Hole #2 – The tee shot can look daunting, but favor the slightly rocky left side as most shots will bounce back to the middle of the fairway.
Hole #8 – This is Olympic View’s signature hole that features a waterfall and a three-tiered green. There is a penalty area on the left side of this difficult par 4. Use your rangefinder to determine your distance to the water and try to max out your tee shot because it is a long approach shot even with a well-positioned drive.
Hole #12 – A tough little par 4. You will likely need a long iron to properly position your tee shot for a daunting approach to a severely elevated green. Favor the left side of the fairway – anything right will feed into the penalty area protecting the right side.