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Bear Mountain Golf Resort (Valley Course)

1999 Country Club Way, Victoria, British Columbia Bear Mountain Golf Resort (Valley Course)

The Valley Course at The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa, meanders through forest, borders lakes, and traverses creeks and rivers throughout its 18 holes, while offering spectacular views of British Columbia's beautiful landscape. In contrast to the existing Mountain course, the par 71 Valley course measures 6807 yards from the Golden Bear tees - around 400 yards shorter than its sibling.

Factor in elevated tee boxes, more generous fairway widths, fewer bunkers and larger greens and the Valley course will likely be considered a 'friendlier' version of the original. Rolling through terrain at elevations of between 300 and 500 feet above sea level, there is still plenty of challenge, and many holes that could be considered the signature hole. One of 2 championship courses on-site.

Bear Mountain Resort has onsite accommodations with the Westin offering up a variety of rooms and suites. Choose from 156 elegant, well-appointed guestrooms or one bedroom suites boasting expansive views of the golf course fairways and Mount Finlayson. All guestrooms and suites feature our signature Heavenly Bed, luxurious bathrooms with deep soaker tubs, natural slate flooring. A limited selection of pet-friendly rooms are also available.

The Hotel turned out good. It's not nearly the property that the Ocean Pointe is, but the size of the rooms was good and though the hotel is obviously older, everything is clean and the staff is helpful. The restaurants in the hotel were not what we were hoping for, but there are lots of places in that area. It's nice to be on that side of the harbour. The guys agreed but would be open to another place if we go again, but would be happy to go back there too.

The golf again was wet. Bear Mountain is a great facility, but the Valley course offers basically the same challenge and quality as the Mountain course and at a much reduced price. We didn't get out of our toques or rain jackets the whole day, but did manage to get 36 in before hypothermia set in. I know the winter was wet for everyone. Many plugged lies and lots of mud. Hardly anyone's fault. It's the time of year we are booking, and we don't have a lot of flexibility in that area as one of our guys is a teacher and that's the spring break for him. So Bear Mountain gets a B, but for the value the Valley course gets an A

Victoria Golf and Country Club is still the group favorite. The views and the course are interesting and scenic. We caught it on a good day. No rain, but by the end of the day had a little windburn to make the hot water in the shower sting a little extra. They paired us with a gentleman who worked in Red Deer and knew one of the guys late fathers when he worked there. It was a good day. Love that place. If we had tried it on Sunday it would have been unbearable. From the top of the Bear Mountain course we could see the rough waters and wind. 7 of those holes would have been unplayable. We learned that many guys belong to more than 1 club. Victoria GCC is not playable all the time because of the weather. We have been super lucky.

We had our local pro book us a time at the Royal Colwood and played there on Monday. Very picturesque golfing. Also a lot tougher than it initially looks. Driver every par 4 and 5 and a ton of rescue clubs. The combination of the sea air and the cold wind turns a 400 yard par 4 into a real challenge. I would go there again too. An easy walk, it's the only course we did walk though Victoria would have been easy too. They only charged us 80 to play, so it was well worth it. The first 4 holes leave you wondering if you made the right choice to play, but then the scenery really kicks in and the length wears you down.

So overall it was great, I love going to BC because from door to door it only takes a few hours. Getting back is nicer when you're not dicking around in an airport or on a long flight.

We will obviously recommend you guys whenever we can... and we do.

Ed Dixon

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