Golf is a fascinating game.  It has taken me nearly 40 years to discover that I can't play it.

Ted Ray

Cordova Bay's April

Spring has slowly sprung here at Cordova Bay and along with the daffodils it has brought a buzz of activity!  We have been busy with Interclub Qualifying, Fashion Shows, AGM's, Spring Break Camps and getting the course primed for 2017.  Let's all cross our fingers that the sun will decide to come out and stay for the rest of the season!

FLOWERS OF THE BAY - A different take on spring
by Emily Richardson, Horticulturalist 

It seems particularly difficult this year to look ahead to April and anticipate what the focus will be at a garden or a show stopping display. Our Vancouver Island season usually provides predictable blooms and features that leave visitors in awe. This year, however, Mother Nature has thrown the schedule out the window. Our blossoming cherry and plum trees are just finally starting and the daffodils have suffered over the winter leaving us with only a handful of blooms. We have to treasure every blossom this year and curb some of our Victoria "mild-climate-smugness" after such a harsh winter.  Luckily for us, our grounds are sprinkled with many unexpected delights. Our slow spring allows us to appreciate a different selection of plants and trees than we usually would.

There are a few spring bloomers that are almost forgotten through familiarity. The hellebores scattered around in pots and gardens, for example, are a beautifully common bloom. They still look fabulous this late in the year and show no signs of slowing down.  After clipping back the withering foliage of the perennial hellebores the unique and delicate blooms are front and center.  A few groups of hellebores at the edge of the perennial garden near the putting green look particularly nice. They have delicate freckles on their cup-shaped blooms - their faces might be turned down towards the ground, but with a gentle hand you can turn them to admire them closer. Some deep purple blooms can be found hiding behind the daffodil buds near the pond as you walk off 18.

Hopefully the next few weeks will bring some regularity into our season. A little bit of sunshine and we can get back to bragging about our beautiful Victoria climate. 

Emily Richardson

MAINTENANCE UPDATE - We're green... really, really green.  

by Dean Piller, Superintendent

We care deeply about our environment and celebrate the beauty that pervades the game of golf.  Our philosophy and maintenance practices have for a long time put Cordova Bay in the forefront of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability. Here are some reasons why.

  • We have not sprayed an insecticide or aquatic herbicide on either golf course property since 1996. 
  • More than 70 species of birds share the fairways, rough, naturalized areas, waterways, and trees with golfers and their populations thrive because they are not exposed to pesticide.
  • One of programs we are most proud of is our organic produce garden that provides fresh produce to our restaurant for 6 months of the year. 

  • In partnership with the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, we have introduced large populations of Crayfish in our ponds to enhance our course's ecosystem.
  • 90 percent of our Turf grass nutrition is done through foliar sprays which are derived primarily from organic nitrogen and carbon based nutrition as well as plant based amino acids and seaweed extract that we import from Ireland because of its purity.
  • From time-to-time, usually during intense environmental conditions of extreme wetness we receive disease pressure on our greens. When these disease pressures are present, which is primarily during the wet winter months, we will spray products that will systemically protect the plant from within.  These products are anti-fungal and have the same active ingredients that are found in medicines that humans use such as Scholl's foot powder.  
  • We have 5 staff members on our team who possess Professional Applicators licenses for the application of products and fertilizers that we use.  We spend a great deal of money each year in continuing education to ensure they are well educated and proficient in the application and knowledge required to apply these products safely and the sprayer that applies these products is state of the art so that we can apply these products precisely to the intended area.
  • Our property is a certified Audubon Sanctuary.
  • We are a past recipient of the Canadian Golf Course Superintendent's highest award for Environmental Excellence.  

Dean Piller

PRO-SPECTIVE: Junior Programs
by Corey Lowe, PGA of Canada 

Even with the crazy weather over the winter months, we have had a busy start to the 2017 year. Especially with the junior program here at Cordova Bay. Many of you may have seen myself, along with the other coaches, walking around the course with a crew of juniors trailing behind us. I thought this might be a good opportunity to tell everyone a little about our junior programs and what the juniors you see might be doing.

Spring Break Camp (Ages 7 - 14) - You may have seen these guys around the Ridge course during the last two weeks of March. These little to mid-sized golfers got to spend a total of 30 hours at the golf course over the 5 days we had them. They learned things like how to hold on to the golf club, how to fix a ball mark, how talk to a goat, how to make the ball go through the gnome's mouth at the mini golf and so much more.

Adopted School Program (Elementary) - Golf Canada has a program where local golf courses can sponsor a school and purchase them proper age appropriate equipment to be able to teach golf in schools. We have adopted two local schools (Cordova Bay Elementary and Marigold Elementary) and have sponsored them for almost 4 years now. The program lets students learn golf from their teacher, but also gives us a great opportunity to do special visits to the school and gives them a chance to participate in field trips to the Ridge!

Claremont Golf Academy (Grade 9 - 12) - This is not something that was around when any of us were in school! This is a curricular program taking place during the last block of each day running from February to June. These up and coming golfers are put into a program that is setup to teach and prepare students to play on a university golf team.

Bayview Place Junior Vikes Tour (Ages 5 - 18) - Through the hard work of Jim Goddard and his colleagues, they have created one of the best places for juniors to learn how to play on the course. The Junior Vikes Tour has grown since its initial creation and is now THE place to go for juniors to play competitively on the island. It has even grown to help juniors too young/too new to learn how to play on the golf course. They call these guys the Little Vikes. The tour has recently received a title sponsor and now has funding to keep running these great programs at a very affordable price.

What do I like most about running these programs? I love having the opportunity to teach life lessons through golf. Letting juniors know that their golf skill is not the only thing that is important. Stewardship, Leadership, Focus, Patience, and Respect are just as important as athletic ability. We want to keep the future of the game engaged in golf for a long time, so let's give them the best opportunity to start!
Have a junior interested in the game? Along with the programs listed above, we have more learning opportunities for juniors. Please feel free to set up a meeting with me to find out the best way to get started.

Corey Lowe
PGA of Canada

PRO-SPECTIVE: Tools of the Trade
by Nate Ollis, PGA of Canada 

            Chances are if you watch The Golf Channel you have, at some point, encountered an advertisement for Callaway's latest driver offering; the Great Big Bertha (GBB) Epic.  Like almost all other driver advertisements, Callaway promises added ball speed along with increased forgiveness to help golfers of all skill levels hit the ball both further and straighter.  However, the Epic driver offers a unique technology that has never been seen in the golf industry.  The GBB Epic features a patented technology called "Jailbreak" that drastically improves the way the clubhead transfers energy to the ball during the strike.  In a nutshell, the Epic driver contains two, 3 gram, titanium bars that sit directly behind the club face.  These bars structurally connect the sole of the driver (bottom) to the crown (top part we look down on at address).  From a functional standpoint, Jailbreak Technology allows the driver to maintain its shape and structure better though the strike and transfer energy more efficiently to the golf ball.  The result of this is faster ball speed and a more stable club face; something every golfer can benefit from.  

The standard loft options of 9, 10.5, and 13.5 degrees coupled with Callaway's adjustable hosel allow a loft range of 8 degrees all the way up to 15.5 degrees in the Epic driver.  This in conjunction with 29 different shaft options (at no extra charge) makes the Epic driver a club that can benefit players from beginners all the way through to PGA TOUR players like Phil Mickelson and Adam Hadwin (Canada's own Mr. 59).  

Titleist 917

            Titleist's 2017 driver offerings feature the most comprehensive fitting and adjustability system on the market today.  This adjustability coupled with Titleist's latest technology make the 917 D2 and 917 D3 two of the best performing drivers for 2017.  Just look at Titleist Staff Player Justin Thomas, who has already won 3 tournaments on the PGA TOUR this season with a 917 D2 in his bag. The 917 drivers feature 3 key technologies that allow for total performance and a complete custom fitting experience.  The first of these is something called Titleist's Radial Speed Face, which describes how the club face of the 917 drivers is thinner around the perimeter.  The result of a thinner face perimeter is more ball speed and distance on off centre hits; something we all can benefit greatly from.  

The second feature of 917 is its SureFit adjustable hosel that provides 16 different loft and lie settings to provide the most precise ball flight optimization available.  If you're having a tough time with creating enough height on your drives, or you're seeing the ball slice too much for your liking, the correct SureFit setting for your game could go a long way in improving your ball flight.  The final component of Titleist's fitting system with the 917 lineup is called "SureFit CG."  SureFit CG describes a horizontal weight port on the bottom of the driver that allows the fitter to position the club's Centre of Gravity in the position that best serves your swing profile.  In short, a club's Centre of Gravity position has a large impact on how the club behaves at impact, and therefore on the ball flight and curvature. 

In addition to these technologies, Titleist's 917 drivers come in two different head shapes and sizes.  The 917 D2 is a larger head profile offering high launch and increased forgiveness over the smaller, lower launching 917 D3.  It should be noted, however, that players of all skill levels should consider both models as they both provide tremendous distance and forgiveness.

Nate Ollis
PGA of Canada
~your open letter invitation to explore a new coaching program presented by PGA of Canada Professionals Brian Hann and Doug Mahovlic
Dear friends of golf:
Hope springs eternal, especially for those who play golf. "I hope I can have a breakthrough year" or "I wish I could hit shots on the course like I do on the range" are two of the most common quotes heard in the 19th holes of blue collar courses and fancy country clubs alike. Having forged careers in golf circles since the days of leather-soled golf shoes and persimmon-headed drivers, one might imagine that we have heard them all. Though we've certainly heard a few, it seems that these two golf aspirations are somehow on repeat like #1 singles on top 40 radio. Meanwhile, two of our main coaching goals for our students have always been for them to practice productively and to be able to take a particularly productive lesson or practice session and apply it on the golf course. Through discussions (and considerable industry-wide research) around these goals and aspirations we developed THE PROGRAM. THE PROGRAM takes a comprehensive and long term approach like no other initiative we have ever launched.

BILL MATTICK'S: April Wine Dinner
by Grant Soutar, Restaurant Manager

On April 29th we will be hosting a 4-course wine pairing dinner here at Bill Mattick's Restaurant.  The dinner will feature wines from some of Australia's most historic and emerging regions.  

Grant Soutar
Bill Mattick's Restaurant Manager

Cordova Bay Golf Course Training Camp

90 Team Canada athletes will be arriving on Vancouver Island in the first week of April and more than 15 of them will be heading to the Cordova Bay Golf Course.
It will be the team's first training camp in preparation for the 2017 Invictus Games which will be held this September in Toronto, from September 23 to 30. Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt - the main location of the training camp - was chosen, in part, for its local golf facilities, like Cordova Bay Golf Course, and its early springs.

Introduced to the Invictus Games in 2016, golf has been a foundation sport for Soldier On, the program behind Team Canada since it started in 2007. 

"Playing golf supports our members in a number of different ways. It brings them together with other ill and injured peers who have had similar experiences, it gets them active in the great outdoors, and it gives them new skills," explains Team Canada Golf Coach and injured soldier, Michael Feyko. "The bonus is that we happen to have some talented golfers on the team."

Soldier On empowers retired and serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces affected by illness or injury to accept their new normal. Supporting these members to return to their past active lifestyles through participation in activities like golf, skiing, paddling, and cycling is how Soldier On has assisted more than 2,500 veterans and serving members to date. Many of these members credit Soldier On with helping them to overcome their challenges and open doors to other life opportunities. 

Like with any sport, practice is important in the sport of golf and Team Canada members are grateful for the opportunity to do this at Cordova Bay. "Our athletes will go home with stronger skills, for sure. Cordova Bay Golf Course will provide them with a solid venue to practice their game," says Feyko.
For more information on the Invicus Games, please visit https://invictusgamesfoundation.org/


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Cordova Bay Golf Course

Cordova Bay Golf Course | 5333 Cordova Bay Rd. | Victoria | BC | V8Y 2L3 | Canada