One of the oldest courses in western British Columbia

The Salt Spring Island Golf Club was established in 1928 by residents eager to have a course on the island. Before regular ferry service, reaching one of the three golf courses on lower Vancouver Island was a near impossibility for Salt Spring islanders. As one of the oldest courses in western British Columbia, and the longest operating course in the Southern Gulf Islands, the golf course exemplifies Salt Spring Island’s transition from agricultural outpost to a recreational and retirement haven.

Club house beyond the tennis court

The natural terrain from its days as Barnsbury, a sheep farm, are fundamental to the course. With basically the same layout since its inception, improvements were made over time. Wide open fairways cut by grazing sheep were improved with trees planted between fairways, greens transformed from sand to grass, and bunkers built. A reservoir was added and the course given more undulation.

The last decade has seen even more significant upgrades. Irrigation was installed for drier summers and drainage addressed for better year-round play. Mother Nature changed the course as well. During the winter of 2018, a windstorm tore through the course, uprooting mature Douglas Fir and cedar trees. After significant efforts by staff and members, the storm’s impact is evident only to long-term members.

Putting on No. 9

Intense concentration

The Clubhouse has changed, too. Originally only a farm shack behind the first tee was used for club storage. In time, the old farmhouse became the Clubhouse, until it was rebuilt in the mid-1900’s with locker rooms and in- dining facility. The last significant renovations to the Clubhouse were made in the early 1970s by noted architect Hank Schubart.

Original shack for storing clubs

When course play began October 19, 1928, President W.E. Scott spoke of its value to the island, saying he hoped that those who did not play would give it their “moral support.” The golf club has been central to the social life on the island. Additionally, the golf course has long been established as a venue for fund-raising on Salt Spring Island. In 2012, the Golf Club entered into a business relationship with the Salt Spring Tennis Association and in 2017 the Salt Spring Squash Association.

Salt Spring Island Golf and Country Club is on the way to its 100th birthday. Come visit and play this remarkable heritage course.

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