Back in 2013, I reviewed the former Sechelt GC and I am now very pleased to describe our experience at the now named Blue Ocean Golf Club. It wasn’t long after that day in 2013, in the spring of 2014, that the course was purchased and became Blue Ocean GC. Without even teeing off my impression of Blue Ocean GC based on my interactions with GM Ken Langdon have been very impressive. The communications with Ken via email and on the phone have been nothing short of a lesson in effective and polished public relations. With the potential of inclement weather, I had to make not one but two requests to have our tee time and dates amended. Each one was met with a “no problem’ and “my pleasure”. Quickly followed up with a computer-generated tee time confirmation. In order to make the pre-booked ferry ride back to Horseshoe Bay and then the drive up to our next destination, Whistler, BC. Ken put us out ahead of the Tuesdays Mens’ group. Myra and I on a power cart are no match for threesomes of any skill level especially with a 20-minute head start, so we teed off on a mild fall like morning under a blue sky without a breath of wind to felt.
After numerous weeks of record setting heat and too many days playing in blinding sunshine this was a welcome break and optimal playing conditions. With the early start to the day it was a quick stretch, a few warm up putts and away we went. That does not in the least suggest you can’t come early and have a more strategic warm up. There is a driving range, practice green and chipping area that makes the golf course a full services facility. We were warmly greeted by Sue, from the pro shop, who was busy getting power carts organized in preparation for what we later witnessed was a very busy day. I’ve played over 100 courses since last playing here so I didn’t recall the conditions of the course and more specifically the quality of the turf grass. Although Ken Langdon explained that their biggest challenge was keeping the course irrigated, especially with a hotter than usual summer, the greens and tees were so lush they looked like they weren’t ever used. They were as close to perfect as you could get.
It didn’t take me very long to recall some of the great holes I played 8 years ago and how relaxing a course it is. And now be with a name relative to its seaside location. Blue Ocean has a nice ring to it. The layout, which I would describe as a gentle and meandering stroll, rewards the golfer in more ways than just hitting the golf ball. Although we were on a power cart, mostly to assist in our review process, Blue Ocean is very walkable which also helps to promote health and golf fitness. Myra and I often rate courses on the “feel good” factor, not so much how we feel when we are actually playing the course but what we feel like when we are finished. With a minimal number of bunkers and wide-open friendly approaches to most of the greens you don’t feel like you have been mugged when you finish, but more like being hugged. The front 9 is a little more forgiving and when you move to the back 9, starting at the Par 4 11th the wooded areas creep into play a little more. The photos included in this review are ones I took on the day and are a very good representation of how beautiful the layout is and how well-maintained Superintendent Tristan Tuplin and his crew keep the course.
Myra’s input in all the golf course reviews provides a very beneficial perspective. Golf is as much a female domain as a male. Providing our readership her point of view introduces couples and lady golfers to what courses like Blue Ocean promote. Playing the forward tees does not diminish the challenge as well as the shot making rewards at Blue Ocean. Myra being a very adept putter loved the greens and the quality of the roll they provided. Her standards are very high having played courses in Canada and the US ranked at national levels. As she states, what sets a course at the top of her list is when she walks off the 18th has she been rewarded for good shots and not crucified for mis-hits. She wants to walk off the last hole smiling and by the look on her face today Blue Ocean is a top ten for her. As a golfer who is a shorter hitter the Par 3’s is often where she shines and in 6 years of golfing I have probably witnessed her make 40 deuces.
Today was no different and she especially loved the downhill Par 3 6th hole and the delicious signature hole the Par 3 13th, where she delicately floated a 5 wood over the pond onto the back of the green.
Following a rewarding early round, lunch at The Blue Ocean Bar and Grill was anticipated almost as much as the round of golf we came to play. After being seated, the very friendly and efficient Helen brought us a large Greek salad which really hit the spot – with of a generous portion of feta cheese and then just the right blend of tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and black olives.
We also had a bowl of their homemade mushroom soup, so creamy and teaming with freshly sliced mushrooms. It was the perfect way to finish up our wonderful morning and we shared that good feeling with Food and Beverage Manager Lisa Edginton. Your golf outing like ours at Blue Ocean should begin or end with a meal in the Blue Ocean Bar and Grill.