QUATHIASKI COVE, B.C. — The marketing for the North Island Golf Getaway doesn’t necessarily prepare a road tripper for Quadra Island Golf Course, nor do the visuals on arrival at the place. There’s no grand clubhouse, no pavement in the parking lot, but hang around a while and the golf course, like the island itself, will grow on you.
A 15-minute ferry ride from Campbell River, B.C. on the “mainland” — in fact, a much larger island, namely Vancouver Island — gets you to Quadra Island, all 310 square kilometres of it, and another 10 minutes later you’ll be turning into a discreetly labeled driveway to the course.
If you want to hit some balls before your round, or chip and putt a little, you can do so in well-tended areas just for those warm-up acts. In these places, and throughout the property, you won’t be blown away by fussy refinements.
But it’s all about the golf here, and on the course you’ll be absorbed by the challenge and — if you think to swivel your head around and back every now and then — stirred by landscapes no less elegant for their roughness.
“It’s a work in process,” Quadra Island general manager and golf pro Jason Tchir said.
Quadra was the brainchild, Tchir said, of a group of island locals who cooked up the idea for a golf course in the rugged foothills of the south island. The group hired an established golf architect, Ted Locke, to design the course. Quadra Island opened in 2011, which makes it the newest course on Canada’s west coast.
A bonus during construction came when the excavator, in doing his thing, unearthed massive stones and “let his creative side come out,” Tchir said. They call the formation in the first fairway Smiling Rock. Between holes 6 and 7, there are three balanced rock formations lined up just right of the cart path.
The golf course throws a test at you on every one of its nine holes. The greens are good, with subtle breaks that defy easy reading. Lots of trees, and wildlife (deer, eagles), and plenty o’ scenery. Quadra Island was worth finding, and it will reward a second visit in the future. It’s just getting started.