Now Two Years Old, Campbell River Golf & Country Club Continuing To Wow Visitors

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

CAMPBELL RIVER -- There are lots of things general manager Amanda Raleigh takes pride in about what she and her team have created at Campbell River Golf & Country Club.

The par-70 Graham Cooke-designed course is in immaculate condition and a pleasure to play. The Velocity Lounge and Driving Range with its Top Tracer technology has become a hit with golfers and given many non-golfers their first taste of the game.

The lounge has eight bays, each equipped with comfortable sofas and TV monitors to track your shots. Lots of good food and beverages are available to accompany your swings. A couple of weeks ago, the course opened its new pro shop and clubhouse that features about 2,500 square feet of retail space. It has to be seen to be fully appreciated.

But what really makes Raleigh smile is the reaction the course gets from folks -- both locals and out-of-towners -- who visit the facility for the first time. 

“Everybody is blown away,” says Raleigh. “It actually has been very interesting. We haven’t had a ton of international guests so far, but we have had lots of provincial guests and a little bit from across the border pre-COVID. And when everybody gets on the property they are just shocked that small town Campbell River has such an amazing facility and such a beautiful golf course.”

As a life-long Campbell River resident, Raleigh especially enjoys the reaction she gets from the locals. “They walk into any building on the property and they are like, wow, are we still in Campbell River? I would never have guessed we are in Campbell River.

"Campbell River has always had this mentality that they are just a mining town, they are just a forestry town, but people in Campbell River are ready for change and to be able to offer them that change and it’s been nice to shift the focus to the fact we are ready for nice things, we do have an appreciation for fun and exciting things. It’s not all about camping and hiking and logging and fishing. It’s nice to offer them something different.”

Campbell River Golf & Country Club GM Amanda Raleigh - BC Golf Photo

Campbell River G&CC was built and is owned by the Mainland family, who closed on the property on March 1, 2017. The family runs a highly successful Campbell River-based business, Seymour Pacific Developments, which builds and manages multi-family residential properties in Western Canada. They have moved a little dirt in their days and put that expertise to work in fast-tracking Campbell River G&CC.

The course was completed in just 18 months and recently celebrated its second birthday. The development is really only just getting started. A 97-room hotel, restaurant and spa is planned for an adjacent parking lot. A convention centre is planned for another current parking lot on the other side of the clubhouse.

Raleigh says they hope to break ground on the hotel construction next September and have it open 18 months later in the spring of 2023. The convention centre would follow. Raleigh envisions making the course the centrepiece for a North Island golfing experience that would include Crown Isle in Courtenay and Storey Creek in Campbell River.

The Par 5 15th Hole Presents A Formidable Challenge - But No, That Isn't A Real Alligator In The Bunker On The Right - Image Credit Bryan Outram/BC Golf

“We have a lot of people right now who will come and stay at Crown Isle, and they’ll play here and they will play Storey Creek. I am excited to have a hotel so I can host them here, I will shuttle them to Storey Creek for the day so they don’t have to worry about driving. I will shuttle them to Courtenay and back and really make it that North Island golf experience. We could drop them off at the Quadra ferry and they can play the nine-hole course on Quadra. It is a great thing to be able to offer to future guests.”

Campbell River G&CC played host to the B.C. Women’s Amateur, Mid-Amateur and Senior Championships Aug. 25-27 and Raleigh was delighted to show off the facility. “It is such and honor, we are so excited to be hosting everybody,” Raleigh says.

“It is a pretty big deal for us being the new kid on the block and having such an amazing opportunity to showcase our course, our staff and facilities and to spread our story about our growth and what our vision is and what we are going to do. It has been amazing to see and watch these players.”

The Volocity/Toptracer© Range Is Set Up For Serious And/Or Social Participation - Image Credit Bryan Outram/BC Golf

Like other courses throughout the province, Campbell River has had a busy season and is trying to give back to those in the community who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Four local non-profit charities who had to cancel fund-raising tournaments at the course this year are being given a share of revenue from the course on every Saturday in August.

“I took my four Saturdays in August and assigned each one of those non-profits a Saturday and am donating 15 per cent of all revenues from any portion of the property to their non-profit,” Raleigh says.

“It didn’t matter if you came and bought a shirt in the shop or came and had drink on the patio with friends or played a round of golf. It was a great way for the community to get behind these non-profits and for us to give back to them.”