Signature Holes At Whistler’s Golf Courses
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2020-08-15
By JASON McCLEAN, Whistler.com
Although no hole is an island, sometimes one stands out. Maybe because of its jaw-dropping scenery, the need for a strategy before you swing and something memorable about it that stays with you well after you’ve left the green.
In Whistler, the task of picking a signature hole must have been quite hard for the golf courses given the dramatic mountain scenery, pristine glacier-fed lakes and the odd bear wandering majestically across their lawns. That’s why we asked them to tell us about their signature holes and personal favourites.
Nicklaus North Golf Course
Who did we ask? General Manager, Jason Lowe
Signature Hole: #17, Par 3, 215 Yards
The signature hole at Nicklaus North Golf Course is the par 3 – 17th. The hole plays 135 yards from the reds or stretches out to 215 yards from the back tees. Sitting on the tee, golfers are treated to spectacular views of glacier-fed Green Lake that borders the entire left side of the hole.
Pro Tips: The intimidation factor is high on this hole, which makes Fred Couples’ five iron to 5 feet from 225 yards that much more impressive during the 1997 Skins Game. Short right is a popular miss, or golfers can take an aggressive line over Green Lake directly at the pin. As you approach the green, take a minute to enjoy one of the most spectacular views in Whistler.
Favourite Hole: #11, Par 5, 555 Yards
The 11th hole is a true three-shot par 5, thanks to a persistent headwind and a total distance of 555 yards from the back tees. Ernie Els famously hit two drivers just short of the green in an attempt to reach the green in two.
Pro Tips: Shot placement is key on this tricky par 5. The hole features five strategically placed fairway bunkers in the first and second shot landing zones. The calling card of the hole is the beautiful views of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain as the backdrop. During the final approach, your ball will soar high in the air against Whistler’s famous ski hills.
Big Sky Golf Club
Who did we ask? Head Golf Professional, Corry Butler
Signature Hole: #4 “Purgatory”, Par 5, 600 Yards
Purgatory is often the most talked about hole at Big Sky Golf Club, but usually for the wrong reasons when it comes to the scorecard! This signature hole is protected by a long and winding creek that cuts across the fairway four times.
Pro Tips: Accuracy is at a premium on this hole, starting with your tee shot. A well-placed drive short of the first creek puts you in position to go for the second landing area with a short iron or pull a longer iron and go for the third landing area.
The final approach shot requires true aim. Three deep bunkers guard the right side of the green while the final creek crossing hugs the left side. A par at purgatory can really kick-start a great golf round.
Favourite Hole: #14 “Hang Time”, Par 4, 454 Yards
Hang Time is a personal favorite hole for many, starting with the tee shot. This is the closest you will get on the golf course to sending a golf ball against the mesmerizing backdrop of Mount Currie. Thanks to the spectacular view, Hang Time has become a social media star featured on some of the biggest golf influencer accounts.
Pro Tips: Hang Time has a generous fairway, but the out-of-bounds down the right side scares many golfers to push their shots left. A great drive should leave players with a short iron into the green. Second shot strategy varies greatly depending on the flag position. If the flag is in the front, players can take dead aim.
Meanwhile, a back flag requires a more strategic shot as the pin can be tucked behind four greenside bunkers and a water hazard. The hole features one of the largest putting surfaces on the course, making for one of the tougher two-putts at Big Sky.
Whistler Golf Club
Who did we ask? General Manager, Alan Kristmanson
Signature Hole: #16 “The Gallery”, Par 5, 460 Yards
As you climb to the elevated tee box for glorious views of Blackcomb Mountain and Wedge Mountain, thoughts begin to enter your mind – about clearing the lake and creek below. Don’t worry, a drive of 200 yards or more will safely find the fairway. The tee shot is made even more memorable with the possibility of a gallery of tourists gathering behind you on the Valley Trail.
Pro Tips: Depending on how much of the slight dogleg left you cut off with your drive, a second shot of 140 to 240 yards awaits. No bailing out from here, take your second shot right over the lake and at the centre of the green for safety. Watch for the wind at your back on this hole, as many second shots end up over the green. The Gallery is not a hole you will forget at the Whistler Golf Club.
Favourite Hole: #11 “Arnie’s Eagle”, Par 5, 515 Yards
With Crabapple Creek crossing the fairway twice, the par 5, 11th is a daunting hole for most. Players must use good course management on this hole to avoid a big number.
Pro Tips: The smart play off the tee is a long iron or fairway wood safely in front of the first creek crossing. Your second shot is all about position, look to leave yourself 120 to 150 yards into the green. The final approach is no piece of cake, four bunkers and the final passing of the creek on the right-hand side protect the greens.
Very few players have the skill and length to take on Hole #11 in two shots. However, this wasn’t the case for golf legend and course architect Arnold Palmer, who famously went for the green in two on opening day with a three wood and hit the flag leaving a tap in for eagle. The hole has been known as “Arnie’s Eagle” ever since.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club
Who did we ask? Assistant Professional, Mike Nedoszytko
Signature Hole: #8, Par 3, 212 Yards
The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club’s Hole #8 is both scenic and daunting. The elevated tee deck makes for a beautiful backdrop of Whistler Mountain, with the Tantalus Mountain Range in the far distance. With the green tucked away amongst natural bedrock and a pond on the left-hand side, this hole will test players of all calibres.
Pro Tips: Distance control and accuracy is a premium when playing this hole, as was the vision when Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed this natural beauty. During the early summer months, #8 is beautifully decorated in Whistler’s iconic Lupinus flowers, which can be seen all over the course and were even chosen as their logo.
Favourite Hole: #18, Par 5, 547 Yards
The par 5 – 18th hole requires a precise tee shot with a second shot into the well-protected green. The hole is 547 yards from the back tees and features a glacier-fed creek running down the middle of the fairway.
Pro Tips: A good drive puts players in a risk-reward position. Do you risk going for the green in two with out of bounds right and bunkers surrounding the greens? Or do you instead lay-up to a comfortable number and get aggressive with your third shot? With the guests and members watching on the clubhouse patio, the enticement to wow the audience always makes for great live entertainment.
Come and experience Whistler’s signature holes for yourself this summer and fall. There’s still time to book your golf vacation with Stay and Play packages starting at $155 per night.
For more help booking your golf trip to Whistler, contact the Whistler.com golf-specialist team to plan your mountain golf getaway of a lifetime.