Whistler, in British Columbia, has become one of the top golfing destinations in Canada and Chateau Whistler is one of the main reasons for this. It is one of four major golf courses in the Whistler area along with Whistler (Palmer), Big Sky and Nicklaus North.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones Junior, Chateau Whistler opened in 1993. It is part of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort which, although primarily serving skiers and golfers, also offers sporting activities such as fishing, climbing, rafting, mountain biking and swimming. The resort also has a health club, spa and David Leadbetter golf academy as additional facilities.
Fairmont are also responsible for top class courses at other resorts like Banff Springs, Jasper Park Lodge and St Andrews (Torrance and Kittocks courses) so quality on the fairways is guaranteed at this mountain golf retreat. Laid out on the base of Blackcomb Mountain, Chateau Whistler climbs over four hundred feet from the clubhouse to a height of 2,850 feet above sea level. It has fairways framed by Douglas Firs, granite rock outcrops, lakes and tumbling, rocky streams along its routing of nine holes out and nine back.
One of the feature holes on the front nine at Chateau Whistler is the 399-yard par four 3rd, which rises steadily from tee to green. The drive needs to be placed to the right centre of the fairway to give an angle for the approach as the hole doglegs left. The second shot has to carry the Horstman River and a ravine that protects the front of the elevated putting surface so a high trajectory second shot is required to hit and hold the green.
The signature hole at Chateau Whistler is the daunting, 212-yard par three, 8th, where the elevated tee looks down to the green which has a granite outcrop to the right and a lake to the front and left with a large bunker between putting surface and water – now is the perfect photo opportunity if you have remembered to bring your camera!
The 361-yard 15th offers a birdie opportunity on the back nine. It’s a left dogleg hole that demands accuracy off the tee and with the approach. A bunker guards the green front right, a creek lies near the back and a ridge runs through the centre of the green – maybe a par four is not such a bad score after all!