TJ had the chance to get out to BC in August and he did a quick recap of the trip to give you a taste of what you could expect if you decide to visit plus will share some great pictures of the amazing courses he played.
5 days, 6 rounds of golf. A pretty good week for TJ, especially in the beautiful BC interior. Never having been there before, TJ wasn't sure what to expect but he was blown away by the diversity and quality of the golf in the region. Here's a brief recap, and a few pictures, of the great courses he had the chance to play.
The first tee at Tower Ranch is one of the more dramatic views you will get as an introduction to a golf course. It’s just a tease for what’s to come. The front nine of this Tom McBroom course plays through the lower portion of the property with some great risk-reward holes including the 2nd and 3rd, but the real drama is on the back nine.
The 10th and 11th are solid uphill par 4’s that lead you into the best stretch of the golf course right through the 15th hole. And you will be stopping more than once to take pictures of the surrounding landscape.
McBroom did a masterful job routing the back nine given the extreme elevation changes, benching most of the holes into the side of the hill, and providing a very enjoyable golfing experience.
Okanagan Golf Club – Bear Course
Created by Jack Nicklaus Design, the Bear Course at Okanagan Golf Club is a fantastic layout that complements their second 18 – the Quail Course.
The Bear is an enjoyable walk through the Okanagan Valley forests and surrounded by sage brush hills, and provides a challenging course for all to enjoy. The course’s signature hole is no doubt the dramatic downhill 3rd, a challenging par 4 that you won’t soon forget.
The course doesn’t have a weak hole and culminates with three of its strongest in 16-18, two strong par 4’s followed by a par 5 finisher. All in all, the Bear Course at Okanagan GC is well worth the visit.
Kelowna Golf & Country Club
A classic private club in the middle of the city, the Kelowna G&CC is a challenging but fair golf course that plays in the shadow of Dilworth Mountain. The sweeping par 5 7th plays right around the base of Dilworth Mountain, while the short par 4 8th is a fantastic risk-reward hole.
The middle of the back nine features three holes that play around a pond right in front of the clubhouse, creating a unique atmosphere for members. However the best hole on the course has to be the long par 4 10th, a bunkerless hole that will challenge golfers of all abilities.
Predator Ridge – Ridge Course
The two courses at Predator Ridge are both great championship layouts but with very different feels. The Ridge Course, designed by Doug Carrick certainly provides the majority of the eye candy on the property. After starting with a less than spectacular uphill par 4, the course heads into the hills where you are provided with incredible views on almost every tee.
One of the signature holes is the downhill 5th, a long par 3 that plays significantly shorter than its yardage, with the ball flying in the air with a backdrop of Lake Okanagan. The incredible views continue through the golf course, distracting you from the solid layout provided by Carrick. One of the toughest holes on the course is the par 4 cape hole 17th. Bite off what you dare on this dogleg left hole that can ruin many a round.
The resort is well worth the visit on your trip to Kelowna, but even if you don’t stay there, a round on the Ridge Course is a must.
Tobiano Golf Course
Built on the shores of Kamloops Lake, the Tobiano Golf Course is one of Tom McBroom’s best designs. Built in 1999, it has become one of the top courses in BC, and indeed Canada.
Starting with a snaking par 5 up the hill, the course doesn’t ease you into the round. Two short-ish scoring holes follow before you run into a stretch of tough par 4s. Overall the course has a great flow. The signature hole is no doubt the 7th, a mid length par 3 to a green perched up high with fall offs in all directions.
If you are visiting Tobiano, make sure you stay for a meal at the clubhouse as the food is superb; and then head out for another 18, you won’t be disappointed!
Sagebrush Golf Course
Opening in 2009 to critical acclaim, Sagebrush Golf Course is a course laid out on a hilly 389 acres near Merritt, BC. The course was designed by Rod Whitman, in collaboration with Richard Zokol and Armen Suny. It was designed with a minimalist approach to architecture and the goal was to provide many shot options for golfers of all abilities.
While there are some blind shots and some significant elevation changes, the course is fair with wide fairways providing lots of space on most holes. The best stretch of holes is at the far end of the property with the short par 3 12th giving you a Pine Valley feel, followed by the super fun downhill driveable par 4 13th. But before going to make your eagle putt, be sure to stop by the rainbow trout-filled pond next to the tee for a bbq lunch provided by chef Joe.
A day at Sagebrush is an adventure and you’ll want a second shot at the course given the blind shots, so why not stay in one of the villas on site and enjoy a full day on property, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
Safe to say TJ was wowed by the area so give us a call if your interested in adding a quick getaway to BC into your summer plans next year - it is well worth the trip!