We sent Jim Sutherland from the U.S. border to Vernon to suss out the most memorable golf holes in the B.C. Interior—and the spots to rest later as you inevitably replay every missed shot.
The Movable Feast Hole 16, 453-yard par 4 A great complement of memorable holes at the Les Furber-designed Fairview Mountain, but few are more difficult than the dogleg 16th. The tee shot must stop within a few paces of a spot before a deep valley. From there an iron shot must fly the valley onto a green carved into a grassy cliff. And the hole plays into the prevailing wind, which is often gale force. fairviewmountain.com STAY The South Okanagan is known for hot sun and sandy beaches. At the four-star Watermark Resort, which occupies a prime spot on the Osoyoos beachfront, add a couple of elements that aren’t nearly so universal: polish and panache. watermarkbeachresort.com
The Unsung Hero Hole 13, 478-yard par 5 Walkable Summerland Golf Course doesn’t get its due as one of the Okanagan’s best tracks, perhaps because of a flat but still interesting front nine. The uplands back nine, though, is definitely the star, with holes traversing hill and dale. Take the dogleg right 13th, which has not just the tippy fairways that are a feature here, but a boulder, dead centre and 140 yards from the pin. The rock, along with its bonsai pine, can be easily flown by most, but that still leaves scattered, obstructionist trees and a green tucked into a hill on the upslope side. summerlandgolf.com The Modern Marvel Hole 17, 583-yard par 5 Built on one of the steepest properties anywhere, Tower Ranch is among the best of its vertiginous type, thanks to some savvy details from designer Thomas McBroom. The landscape, while almost universally tilted, is mostly treeless, inviting the player to swing for the hills, often to complicating effect. Still, a good chunk of the fun happens in the vicinity of the firm greens, thanks to rolls, bounces and switchback putts. Best hole? Let’s opt for the 17th, a mere green run of a par 5 that ends on a putting surface with a view across a pleasant valley and toward a little lake. golftowerranch.com STAY The rolling pastoral hills of East Kelowna aren’t the place you expect to find either a boutique hotel or an oasis of music, but turn left on the long driveway off Sallows Drive and you come to Bottega Farm Inn, which is perhaps the most unexpected lodging in all the Okanagan. The 10 rooms have a modern but relaxed vibe, and frequent concerts and a state-of-the-art recording studio out back lend an elevated tone. bo.ttega.com
The Golfer’s Paradise Hole 13, 562-yard par 5 Doug Carrick has freshly revamped the Ridge Course at Predator Ridge and it unfolds like a Disney movie, starting all mellow on a links-like meadow before heading up into the hills for a series of crazy adventures—like the one on 13, for example, a par 5 that’s reachable in two for longer hitters. Your second shot has to be threaded through a narrow canyon walled in by low granite outcroppings. A ball missed left or right could ricochet wildly or nestle in among the rocks. And please don’t hit one of the marmots gambolling about—this is the kind of flick that’s supposed to end with a safe trip back down into the meadow, not with a scene out of Old Yeller. predatorridge.com STAY Are you in Switzerland? Scotland? Just embrace the fact that Predator Ridge Resort is a theme park for adults, and roll with the piney fresh air, top-notch resort accoutrements and ready access to the links. predatorridge.com WL