Exploring the local golf scene – from top-notch fairways to post-play amenities
Known for its ample walking and biking trails, eye-popping waterfront parks, mix of wildlife (think eagles, deer and harbor seals) and rich farming heritage, Delta is also home to a host of first-rate golf courses. Enjoy a round on a sprawling full-length layout or short-but-sweet nine-hole play, then sit down to a different type of round – bites and bevvies on a patio or window perch overlooking a fine fairway. Here are a few of Delta’s top gems to get you swinging into spring.
Take Your Best Shot
On the former Tsawwassen Golf Club site, the redesigned Tsawwassen Springs opened in 2012 as the anchoring element of a residential development. Named Best Golf Course in the Delta Optimist’s 2017 Reader Choice Awards, it offers 18 holes of par 70 golf that can be played in less than four hours – no matter how wet the weather. That’s what local golf course architect Ted Locke had in mind when he integrated a modern drainage system into the design, which also includes six ponds, wildlife habitats (watch for fish-foraging blue herons), and pines, firs, cedars, willows and a bridge from the original course. A heated, covered 19-stall driving range antes up the year-round playability.
But rain or shine, Tsawwassen Springs calls for precise shot making, especially on its most challenging hole. “The 18th is a 484-yard par 5 that is complete risk/reward,” says Danny Long, director of golf and PGA of Canada head professional. “The green is surrounded by water and bunkers, making your final approach shot the most important one of the day.”
After that last and hopefully rewarding shot, head to the clubhouse for a burger and brew at fairway-facing Pat Quinn’s Restaurant & Bar – even if you don’t golf, come for Prime Rib Sundays, Wine Up Wednesdays (sip and learn about vino from around the world) and Date Night’s three-course set menu. Not hungry? Pop into the pro shop, fitness centre, Pilates studio or physiotherapy clinic, also in the clubhouse.
Tsawwassen Springs: 5133 Springs Blvd., Tsawwassen; www.tsawwassensprings.ca; 604-948-4653
Tees, Trees and Tapenade
Dating back to 1932, the private Beach Grove Golf Club in Tsawwassen is open year-round and boasts its share of skill-testing plays. As head golf professional Brent Derrheim says: “The most challenging holes are 8 and 15 – good tests for par 4s. Hole number 2 is a tough par 3.”
Head down to this mature-tree-lined, 6,200-yard, par 71 championship course and see for yourself why it scooped Best Golf Course in the Delta Optimist’s 2016 Reader Choice Awards. Or catch one of the many exciting Beach Grove events, from the Zone 4 Senior Championship (April 9-May 14) and 2018 Canadian Junior Girls Championship (July 31-August 3) to charity tournaments like the Delta Chamber of Commerce 30th Annual Golf Tournament (June 28) and 23rd annual Building for Kids Charity Golf Classic (July 12).
Either way, wind back to the clubhouse’s ground floor Bistro for light fare and coffee, or step it up in the Grill with locally sourced cuisine and a well-rounded wine list. Here, choose from a French, Italian, Asian and West Coast-inspired menu of share plates, sandwiches, pizzas and mains by award-winning executive chef Froilan Alejo – he took home the Best Table Showcase Award at the 2014 Healthy Chef Competition and top honours at Delta’s 2013 Chef Showdown.
Beach Grove Golf Club: 5946 12th Ave., Tsawwassen; www.beachgrovegolf.com; 604-943-1155
Time for Golf – and More
Living up to its promise of affordable, accessible golf, the Links at Hampton Cove is home to a nine-hole executive course that can be played in less than two hours for less than $20. But don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s just a soft-spike walk in the park. Tucked off the Fraser River in the former fishing village of Ladner, the 20-year-old property packs a punch with more than a few demanding holes.
“From the back tees, we have some difficult par 3s, such as the sixth hole,” says Earl Francis, director of golf operations and former president of both PGA Canada and B.C. Zone. Considered the signature hole, the sixth calls for a well-placed shot over water onto an undulating shallow green. Also watch for a couple of tight par 4s, where more water, out of bounds and an overhanging tree await. Errant shots? Just blame them on the hawks, coyotes, muskrats and other local wildlife that might pop into view during your round.
After, laugh about said shots at the Links Café & Bar, where decks overlook a front garden and the ninth hole and green. A recently expanded menu sees meat and fruit pies, flatbreads, chicken wings and smokies joining the original paninis, wraps and baked goods. And thanks to Hampton Cove’s newly acquired liquor licence, all can be washed down with local craft beers, wine and cocktails.
Links at Hampton Cove: 6000 Admiral Blvd., Delta; www.hamptoncove.ca; 604-946-1839
Greens with a Side of Views
Hard to stick to at the best of times, keeping your eye on the ball is near impossible at Kings Links by the Sea. Nestled along the shores of Boundary Bay, this links-style course boasts breeze-blown fescue grasses, perfectly manicured fairways and slick greens that open up to grand mountain, ocean and island vistas. Each of the 18 holes is different, but none will forgive you for gaping mid-swing at snowcapped Mount Baker in the southeast or the sloping San Juan Islands on the horizon.
After playing this challenging par 72, 6,865-yard championship course, tuck into a Backswing Burger (six ounces of pure B.C. beef), King of Clubs (complete with fried egg) or share plates in the modern clubhouse. Wood floors, leather chairs, floor-to-ceiling windows and a patio – there’s no escaping those views – make for an ideal post-round setting.
Kings Links by the Sea: 3388 72nd St., Delta; www.kingslinks.ca; 604-952-0999