SEMIAHMOO GOLF & CC – 1 855 917 3767 www.semiahmoo.com
We recently headed from our home on Vancouver Island a mere 20 minutes across the US/Canada border to Semiahmoo Resort or as Myra now calls it, Semi-Yahoo! It is almost shameful to have had to admit to the staff members in the pro shop at Semiahmoo Golf & CC that although I had played the course before I actually didn’t remember it. Granted that was over 20 years ago and my mental clarity is not what it is today. In layman terms that might mean the night before that round 20 years ago it most likely included beverages that come in six and 12 packs and we are not talking Gatorade here.
Before arriving our day at Semiahmoo was off to a positive start. Not knowing what the delay might be at the border crossing at the Peace Arch from British Columbia into Washington State I telephoned the pro shop to give them the heads up.Picking up the phone to assure me not to get stressed out about getting there on time was Kelly. Myra and I would get to meet and chat with her later and she could not have been more helpful and accommodating.As we drove in it all started coming back to me. As I eyed up a dog leg wrapped around a lake from the car I said to Myra; “Now I remember this course.” We checked in at the hotel which is part of the Semiahmoo Golf Resort and Spa located on a little spit of land just over the border from Canada.
The classy but casual atmosphere makes this the perfect getaway spot
It is to say the least an awesome property with the most outstanding view of White Rock, BC with you in the morning and the most incredible view of sunsets in the evening. It was impossible to feel homesick as it felt like you could almost swim the short distance across the bay back to Canada.
In researching the golf courses we wish to review to benefit the travelling golfer who use these reviews we exercise enough due diligence to know that they all need to carry a common theme.
The golf course itself has to have certain standards, great practice facilities, availability of power carts and at least an average rating when it comes to turf quality, layout and setting.Adding to that is an emphasis on friendliness and great customer service.
Before we get into how rewarding the course is at Semiahmoo lets just make one thing clear, the customer service is outstanding.
The stylish and spacious pro shop.
From our first face to face meeting with the lovely Kelly Brown in the pro shop who also is the Golf Resort Merchandiser and Trevin Williams Asst. Golf Professional we knew that someone at the top put a huge emphasis on being friendly, thorough and professional.
It wasn’t 15 minutes later while eating a really enjoyable late lunch on the deck of the Great
Blue Heron Grill that Kelly introduced to the man responsible Mr.Brett Eaton, Director of Golf, who couldn’t have been more accommodating and pleasant.He even made sure range balls for the practice range were set out by our cart by young Nathan, a sharp young fella from the back shop who else loaded us up with bottles of water on this blazing +26C day.
A great par 5 opening hole.
Semiahmoo Resort comprises 2 golf courses, Semiahmoo Golf & CC and Loomis Trail. One of the very unique aspects of this facility is the ability for it to be accessible to the public and the same time offer the members a private atmosphere. On even numbered days Semiahmoo is a publicly accessible golf course and on the odd-numbered days Loomis Trail is the public golf course.
Joint pars on The Par 3 3rd for Myra and me.
Semiahmoo is a majestic tree-lined gem of a course and although there are hundreds of homes surrounding it they do not impinge on play as there is a buffer between the houses and fairways of large trees.
It would be a little bit of a challenge to walk the course but it is not that severe in elevation change really. The fairways have nice gentle undulations to them but none of the silly severe sharp angled side hill, down hill lies that most golfers struggle with. To encourage a good flow of speed of play the greens are not lightning fast but run fair and true. Superintendent Vance Munch and his crew do a fantastic job in maintaining the course and extensive practice centre.
The approach shot view from 11 fairway, a fun tricky Par 4
As you make your way through the front nine towards the back you drive through numerous cart paths that have the foliage growing right over from one side to another.What a wonderful natural feature of the course. There are very many generous wide landing areas off the tees at Semiahmoo and all the par three’s are really pretty to play. We asked Brett Eaton what he would consider the signature hole to be. In this case it might be the “signature section” as the combination of the Par 4 11th and the par 3 12th wrapping around the same water hazard could be played over and over and over all day long.
A full carry to hit the green on the Par 3 12th
Grey herons were in abundance along the water’s edge and playful squirrels danced amongst the huge trees. The greens were fair and even if you were not leaving the ball on the preferred side of the hole you weren’t challenged to make some out of the world putt to get it close. The bunker sand was my favourite, that beautiful white silica sand allowing the club to just slide through and pop the ball out with ease.
Coming down 18,the final hole, with the timber framed clubhouse in the background we were all smiles, having had another day to remember this time in the tranquil Pacific Northwest.
We got in after 8 pm and Keenan another of the many university students working the back shop, had stuck round to take our clubs and of course to our glee, talk a little hockey.
What a day, what a course. Add it to your must play spot now.
Bill Flower is a passionate golfer and lover of the game who lives on Vancouver Island in Parksville, BC. He has played the game since the age of 10 and has spent many years in the golf business ranging from full time teaching pro to part time professional caddy, golf tour operator and golf writer. He loves to travel with his wife Myra up and down the west coast of the US playing and reviewing golf courses of all styles.