In 1988, Silverado Land Corporation bought 805 acres of land that had been part of the Crown Zellerbach forest on the outskirts of Courtenay with the intention of developing the property into a residential golf course community.
The title Crown Isle comes from the name of the former owner and its location on Vancouver Island. Graham Cooke designed the course and the back nine holes opened in the summer of 1992, with the front nine opening twelve months later.
Since then, the Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community have constructed a number of housing developments, built a Resort Centre (with adjoining classic car museum!) and added a fitness centre, driving range, practice area and golf academy to the golf facilities. Additional accommodation, a lodge and a spa are in the pipeline for future development.
With a total length of 7,024 yards from the back tees, and boasting magnificent views of the Beaufort mountain range through the trees at several holes, Crown Isle is set up as two loops of nine holes, with the outward and inward half both ending beside the Resort Centre. Avoid the eleven lakes, sixty-eight bunkers and hundreds of fir trees on the course if you intend to return a score of anything near the par of 72.
Feature holes on the front nine are the 5th and the 9th. The 502-yard par five 5th has water all the way up the right side of the fairway and bunkers up the left so steer a straight course. At the 9th, a 412-yard par four, the tee shot, which is played through a chute of fir trees, must avoid three large bunkers on the left of the fairway. The green nestles in a horseshoe of trees with the Comox Glacier looming in the distance.
On the back nine, favourite holes are the 15th and 18th. The 15th, a 551-yard par five, is a double dogleg, with out of bounds on both sides off the tee so accuracy is paramount here. The green has a ridge through the middle making putting very tricky. The 433 yard 18th, a par four, is a slight dogleg left that requires a precise drive across water from the tee. Bunkers to the front and the rear protect the green.
Visitors are welcome at Crown Isle and the drive north to Courtenay from Victoria takes around two and a half hours.