Teeing off on holiday will be on par for any couple
I’VE tried to enjoy golf over the course of my 29-year marriage. When I was younger it was too slow, didn’t really feel like a sport and, even now, I usually find 18 holes a bit boring (ruins a good walk).
But over the past few years I’ve realised that there is much to be gained from a golfing holiday . . . and No.1 on that list is having a husband who is happy to travel.
Canada may seem like a long way to travel to play golf but our week-long stay at Predator Ridge Golf Course in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia was a great way to catch up with Canadian friends. A 50-minute flight from Vancouver delivers you to Kelowna airport, which is a 30-minute drive from the resort.
Predator Ridge has a 41/ star rating from Golf Digest and both of the 18-hole courses ranked in SCOREGolf magazine’s Top 10 Canadian courses for 2011.
The natural beauty of the mountains and fantastic facilities make it a very appealing holiday destination. Our friends own a townhouse looking over the fifth fairway but accommodation can be found at the Resort Lodge or in one of the cottages or villas, all of which look out over the course.
Another (more expensive) option can be found at neighbouring Sparkling Hill Resort. Owned by the former head of crystal company Swarovski, this wellness resort has a menu of steams, saunas and pools, as well as meditation rooms, tea rooms and beauty treatments.
All this in a resort that incorporates 3.5 million Swarovski crystals – it was the first public building in the world with crystal architecture.
My golfing husband loved the wellplanned fairways and smooth greens. I loved tearing about the steep course in the golf cart, the views of Lake Okanagan and surrounding mountains, the amazing wildlife (deer, marmots, squirrels, coyotes and even a bear mother and cubs), and just being in a pristine environment.
There’s plenty to do on non-golfing days, too. The Okanagan wine country is well known for its ice wine, a type of dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine and handpicked in the middle of winter.
On a previous visit to this area, we spent a pleasant few hours floating down the Penticton River Channel. The channel is about 7km long and the speed of the water is controlled by the dam at Lake Okanagan.
We had a leisurely float using a combination of inner tubes and one blow-up boat that we used to keep our cameras and towels dry. The water is clear and cold – a great way to cool off, as summer temperatures in the region can be very high.
A word of warning to lady golfers . . . the crows in the area have a thing for pink golf balls – seriously.