Royal Colwood Golf Club is one of only five clubs in Canada to have the “Royal” title in their name (the others being Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec and Regina) and this honour was bestowed on the club by King George V in 1931. Royal connections continue to the modern day and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, opened the present clubhouse in 1993.
The Royal Colwood course is set in 135 acres of parkland in Victoria, British Columbia and was established by Joseph Sayward and James Dunmuir in 1911 who were then members of the nearby Victoria golf club. They commissioned Arthur Vernon Macan to design a championship course and route its 18 holes through centuries old Garry Oak and Douglas Fir trees.
Macan was a Dubliner who emigrated to the Pacific coast of Canada in 1908 and made a name for himself as a top amateur player before turning to golf course design. His main design philosophies were “all par fours should require two well planned and played shots to the green” and “greens should not be flat but hogbacks, undulations and crowns should be incorporated to defy the backspin players.” Needless to say, Royal Colwood has more than its fair share of strong par fours and contoured greens.
There are only two par fives at Royal Colwood, one on the front nine and one on the inward half. The 5th measures 540 yards and doglegs to the right with trees tight on the right of the fairway, requiring a long left to right shaped tee shot. If not, a large oak tree on the left of the landing area could block the approach to a well-guarded green. The 491-yard 14th has out of bounds to the right off the tee box with trees to the left of the landing area on the fairway. Big hitters can reach the green in two blows but it will need laser-like accuracy as well as power to get there.
Royal Colwood played host to the 1967 and 1976 Canadian Amateur Championships, the RCGA Seniors Championship in 1995 and the CLGA Ladies Amateur in 1997.
Visitors are welcomed, provided at least 48 hours notice is given. As the club states “Royal Colwood invite you to visit our website, and to learn more about our fine Club. However, if you have a chance, the best way to experience Royal Colwood is to bring your clubs and play A.V. Macan's masterpiece” – now that’s a refreshing attitude towards visitors from a top-notch golf club.
Royal Colwood Golf Club was founded in 1913 and designed by architect Vernon Macan who's famous around the Pacific Northwest for designing some truly amazing golf courses. The course received its Royal designation in 1931 after King George played. The trees around Colwood are over 100 years old and the trees are a factor on the majority of holes. If you have played or seen or played Sahalee, Royal Colwood is very similar in design. Colwood consistently ranks in the top 100 of Canada because of its history and amazing layout. Victoria in general is blessed with some very fine layouts that date back to the golden age of golf. I have played Colwood several times but always find the greens to be the biggest challenge. In celebration of their 100 year Royal Colwood co-hosted the Canadian amateur