SCORE GOLF COURSE BLOG - The Squamish Valley Golf and Country Club
Published April 22nd, 2014 - click here to go to the article
In every region of Canada, there exist hidden-gem golf courses, known for great value, service, conditioning and golfing interest. Locals flock to these courses, yet out of town visitors often drive past on route to better-known destinations. The Squamish Valley GC is one of these hidden gems.
Situated just off Highway 99, in Squamish, the golf, squash, and curling club is a staple in the local community. The-60 kilometer stretch of highway from West Vancouver to Squamish, commonly known as the Sea-to-Sky Highway, is one of the most scenic drives in the world. Refurbished as part of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the roadway is an absolute pleasure. Featuring the deep blue waters of Howe Sound and the majestic peaks of the coastal mountain range, first-time visitors will for surely marvel at the beauty.
Gordon McKay designed the par-72 Squamish Valley layout with 18 holes opening for play in 1970. From 1992 to 1995 the course underwent an extensive refurbishment at the hands of golf course architect Robert Muir Graves. Since then, it is commonly referred to as one of the most enjoyable golf offerings in the Lower Mainland.
The course is built upon the old riverbed of the nearby Squamish River, which over hundreds of thousands of years carved out the Squamish Valley from the surrounding Garibaldi Mountain Range. The turf is tight and the greens firm, often reaching their summer speeds much earlier than one would expect.
Opening with a gentle par 5, you tee off and watch your ball soar against a snow-capped peak. With the fairway curving slightly left, the first is a benign three shotter, routinely offering a great chance for birdie. The second is a narrow, straightaway par 4 with a devilish green and the third is a drivable par 4 protected by a deep greenside bunker. It is entirely possible to begin your round with three straight birdies and so begins the charm of the course.
Stretches of fun, accessible golf holes are interspersed with challenging par 3s, some worthy 4s and a collection of inviting 5s. The fourth hole is a 440-yard brute, playing gently uphill, usually into a prevailing breeze, to a large, sloped green. Two strong accurate shots are required and par is a well-earned score. The sixth, a reachable dogleg left par 5, offers another opportunity for birdie, yet beware the inky black water of a small greenside lake. The 10th is another highlight par 4. The gently curving fairway is flanked to the left by a boundary fence and protected on the right by a well-positioned fairway bunker and trees. Humps and hollows guard a long, elevated, multi-tiered green, where correct distance and accuracy is a must. Two strong shots will yield another birdie chance, but an errant approach will test your scrambling limit.
The 13th is another strong par 4. At 451 yards from the back tees, the No.-2 handicap hole features a forced carry across a recently enlarged pond to a fairway angling left and a small green tilted from back to front. The hole is simple in design and asks you straightforward questions: Can you hit this fairway? Can you leave your approach below the hole? Par is a great score.
Catering to all levels of golfer, Squamish Valley GC is a fun and accommodating course offering challenge, opportunity and variety. The conditions are always better than expected, the views spectacular and the service top notch. An easy day trip from both Vancouver and Whistler, visitors to B.C.’s west coast will be well served to include Squamish Valley on their next golf trip.