Opened in July 1994, Big Sky Golf and Country Club offers a premier golf experience for all skill levels. The course flows around seven lakes joined by a serpentine creek at 600 feet above sea level, roughly 1,600 feet lower than the nearby ski village of Whistler.
The golf season in this mini-banana belt runs from mid-April through mid October, downright lengthy by British Columbia interior standards. Laid out in a broad meadow free of development, Big Sky is a flatland course set amongst the mountains, not on their slopes. As such, it’s easy walking. Course conditions are excellent: The bent grass greens, tees, and fairways are beautifully manicured.
With four sets of tees ranging from 7,001 to 5,208 yards, Big Sky presents a risk-reward challenge at every hole and successfully grafts old and new schools of design. In fact, the layout doesn’t impose strategy, but rather presents options for players to develop their own. Course designer Bob Cupp, who bulldozed 350,000 cubic yards of dirt to add movement to a site known previously for its seed potatoes, built a dike around the course to facilitate irrigation. Tree planting was kept to a minimum so as not to impede panoramic views of the Coast Mountains, notably 8,450-foot Mt. Currie which stands sentinel over the south end of the links.
In addition to a fine and varied quartet of par threes, Cupp sprinkled his design with solid par fours. Much like Royal Troon in Scotland, the long holes play into the prevailing wind, the short holes play downwind, bunker placements are strategic throughout, and greens range in size from tiny to enormous. At more than a few swales, improperly played shots bleed off the green into large, grassy hollows. A clever chip is usually required to get back in play.
Among the better par fours is the 434-yard 12th, where the fairway is split by a creek; the 14th is a lengthy hole that parallels the dike; and the stellar 16th, a 405-yard two-shooter that bends from left to right around a lake, tempts players to bite off more than they can chew. Though water skirts 12 holes at Big Sky, playability is emphasized throughout. According to design associate John Fought, “Anyone can make a course difficult. The trick”, he says, “is to create a versatile course everyone can enjoy.” With its generous bail-out areas and spectacular backdrop, Big Sky fits the bill.
Big Sky is also known for its extensive practice facilities featuring a 350-yard, double-ended driving range, two practice bunkers, and three practice putting greens. Big Sky Golf Academy, one of western Canada’s top teaching facilities, offers two and three-day programs ideal for all ability levels, as well as custom schools.
A Golf Canada’s West golf vacation package to Whistler would not be complete without playing this premier golf course. Spectacular golf in Western Canada!
Golfers’ shirts must have collars and sleeves. Shorts should be tailored and of moderate length. Short shorts and halter tops are not acceptable. Blue jeans, in any form, are not permitted.
Big Sky is a spike-less facility. Metal spikes are not permitted on the golf course. Soft spikes may be installed at Big Sky for a fee of $10 per pair. Please allow ample time prior to tee time for spike changes.