Voting Is Now In On BC's Favourite Private Courses

Capilano Golf Club's Par 3 14th Hole - All Images Courtesy Facility

Last month, we announced your choices for top public access courses. Now, it's time for the top privates...

The Lower Mainland
It was a photo finish between two perennial favourites and this result will not end the debate. Using 16 different scoring models (see methodology below for details), the two icons of BC golf, Capilano GC and Shaughnessy G&CC, were statistical ties for 13 of them. Vancouver Club was ranked third.  
Capilano Golf Club
Architect: Stanley Thompson
Year Opened: 1937
Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club
Architect: A.V. Macan
Year Opened: 1960
Vancouver Golf Club
Architects: 1st Nine: Unknown • 2nd Nine: Alex Duthie, H.T. (Mike) Gardner
Year Opened: 1911
Vancouver Island
The distance between #1 and #2 here was close but clear. All 16 models saw Royal Colwood Golf Club come out on top over Victoria Golf Club, so for 2019, they get the nod here.
Royal Colwood Golf Club
Architect: A.V. Macan
Year Opened: 1913
Victoria Golf Club
Architect: Unknown
Year Opened: 1893
It should be noted that not all 'privates' were able to be included. Only courses that do not allow public booking were included to minimize the impact of a course that does allow public play to get more votes simply because they have a greater total number of different golfers who have played their course. 
The list of clubs this requirement excludes includes Seymour G&CC, Pitt Meadows GC and Gorge Vale GC in Victoria.... all of whom would have done well in the rankings - but not better than the winners - if able to be included.
The same argument can actually be made for the Clubs we did include. Even with no public access, some Private Clubs could have more non-member play than others and this could skew results. For this reason, we are considering doing a 'run-off' survey asking only those golfers who have played all five of the finalist courses to pick their favourite giving us the top choice in the province... Stay tuned.
The Regions
Separate results were tabulated for the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island as combining the two would be unworkable as there were far more respondents from the Lower Mainland than Vancouver Island (1345 vs. 392).
Only votes cast by golfers residing in that region were included in that region's calculations.
Weighting of Results
  • We asked golfers to pick their top two favourite courses from across the province other than those where they were a member. We also asked them to pick their top two favourites local courses including those where they were a member
  • The question arises as to how much more "important" is a respondent's pick for #1 in the province as compared to their #2 pick locally (i.e. Is it worth twice as much or ten times as much?)
  • There is also the question of how many potential courses they may have played (i.e. if a respondent has played 100 courses across the province, the likelihood they have played all potential private clubs is higher and therefore, is their evaluation more credible?)
  • To account for these issues, results were tabulated varying the relative weighting for both their course rankings and the number of courses played
For course rankings, we varied the weighting given to each choice as follows:
1) 10 points for #1 in province and 8 points for #2;  3 points for #1 Local and 1 point for #2 (most weight on province-wide choices)
2) 10 points for #1 in province and 5 points for #2; 5 points for #1 Local and 3 points for #2
3) 5 points for #1 in province and 3 points for #2; 5 points for #1 Local and 3 points for #2 (equal weighting on province-wide an)
4) 5 points for #1 in province and 3 points for #2; 10 points for #1 Local and 5 points for #2  (most weight on local choices)
For number of courses played, we varied the weighting given to each respondent's choices as follows:
1) >100 courses played - 4.0 / 50-100 course played - 2.0 / <50 courses played - 1.0 (most weight on having played many courses)
2) >100 courses played - 3.0 / 50-100 course played - 2.0 / <50 courses played - 1.0
3) >100 courses played - 2.0 / 50-100 course played - 1.5 / <50 courses played - 1.0 
4) >100 courses played - 1.0 / 50-100 course played - 1.0 / <50 courses played - 1.0 (no weight on having played many courses)
This creates 16 possible models each of which was calculated. When the difference between two courses' totals was less than 5%, their scores were considered to statistically equal and a tie. When the difference between two courses' totals was greater than 5%, the course with the higher score was considered to be ranked above the other. If one course was found to be statistically higher in more than 11 of the models, they were deemed to be ranked higher for the overall survey.
Lower Mainland Results
  • Capilano GC and Shaughnessy G&CC were ranked statistically higher than Vancouver GC in all 16 models placing them third
  • Capilano was ranked ahead of Shaughnessy in three models while Shaughnessy was ranked ahead in one with the remainder being statistical ties. This means they are deemed equal first for the survey
  • Other private courses did receive votes but not enough to be included with the top three in the Lower Mainland
Vancouver Island Results
  • Royal Colwood was ranked statistically higher than Victoria GC in all 16 models and these two courses were ahead of the Island's other private Clubs
  •  Finally, it should be noted that the author and administrator is a member at one of the Clubs included in this survey

Anyone wishing to review the results can obtain access by sending an email request to Jeff Sutherland at