Northview Golf and Country Club, the first public 36-hole golf complex in British Columbia, opened its doors to golfers on 1st July 1994, when the Ridge course made its debut. Within a year, the Canal course was unveiled to an enthusiastic audience that was keen to see how it matched up against its slightly older sibling.
Designed by Arnold Palmer, the 18-hole Ridge layout occupies the more challenging portion of the 400-acre property, with fairways routed across an undulating landscape that features a number of creeks and lakes. In contrast, the Canal course is set out on flatter terrain, where fairways and greens are a little more forgiving.
Measuring exactly 6,900 yards from the back tees, the Ridge course begins with three testing par fours and a medium-length par five before the first par three is faced at the 184-yard 5th, played downhill and downwind to a long, narrow green.
Short par fours at the 8th and 15th are feature holes; the former doglegging left around water, the latter bending right and uphill to a two-tiered green. The home hole is a terrific par five of 561-yards with a split fairway that offers two paths to the peninsula home green.
In 1996, Northview hosted the first PGA Tour event to be played in British Columbia since the late 1950s, when the Greater Vancouver Open was held on the Ridge layout. It became the Air Canada Championship in 1999 (when Mike Weir lifted the trophy) but sadly, the seventh and final edition of this short lived professional tournament was played in 2002.
The Ridge course in my opinion is the better of the 2 Northview courses. It is a typical Arnold Palmer design with a lot of fun risk-reward type holes. The scenery is fantastic, with a good mix of forest and wetland. Conditions vary depending on the season but are generally good. It is very walkable course and a definite must play if in British Columbia.