Tee­ing off on hol­i­day will be on par for any cou­ple

Lea Preedy

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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