Liv­ing the Golf Life

World class golf cour­ses around the prov­ince garner rave re­views from pros and week­end play­ers alike.

BC Business Magazine - - Golf -

When Fair­mont Ho­tels built the Chateau Whistler in 1989 and opened the famed Robert Trent Jones Jr. golf course four years later, it was a sure sign that Bri­tish Columbia had truly ar­rived as a world-class des­ti­na­tion. Since then, the golf­ing boom has spread to all parts of the prov­ince, in­clud­ing pres­ti­gious Preda­tor Ridge in the North Okana­gan and the South Okana­gan Golf Trail, a unique ex­pe­ri­ence that en­com­passes four different cour­ses in the Oliver/osoy­oos area.

Carved out of the Coast Moun­tains, the par-72, 18-hole Fair­mont Chateau Whistler Golf Club gar­ners rave re­views from pros and week­end play­ers alike. Di­rec­tor of Golf Nick Droulis says, “It's a fun and chal­leng­ing course for play­ers of all lev­els. As you play, you'll no­tice how na­ture dic­tates the path; travers­ing creeks, ponds, stands of an­cient Dou­glas fir and an­cient gran­ite. The course gains and loses more than 400 feet of el­e­va­tion, cre­at­ing a nat­u­rally spec­tac­u­lar golf ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Guests stay­ing at Fair­mont Chateau Whistler re­sort are en­ti­tled to com­pli­men­tary, un­lim­ited rounds of play on the Fair­mont Chateau Whistler Golf Course on the same day of play fol­low­ing their ini­tial paid round of golf, and un­lim­ited com­pli­men­tary ac­cess to the Chateau Whistler's dou­ble-ended 350-yard prac­tice and learn­ing fa­cil­ity. Kids un­der 18 can golf for free af­ter 1 p.m. on days when ac­com­pa­nied by a pay­ing adult.

The Fair­mont Chateau Whistler Golf Club of­fers fully li­censed premises, menu pack­ag­ing, pa­tio seat­ing with BBQ, bev­er­age cart and a stop at the Bear House (ac­cessed twice dur­ing your round) for re­fresh­ments.

Com­bin­ing clas­sic el­e­gance in a mod­ern alpine set­ting, the Fair­mont Chateau Whistler de­fines moun­tain lux­ury. With 539 gue­strooms and 32,000 square feet of meet­ing space, this moun­tain re­sort is the ideal lo­ca­tion for a leisure stay as well as meet­ings and in­cen­tive pro­grams. Lo­cated at the base of Black­comb Moun­tain, this award-win­ning ho­tel fea­tures on-site shop­ping at trendy lux­ury bou­tiques like Keir Jewellers, Moun­tain Gal­leries, Roots and Snowflake. Guests have ac­cess to the Health Club with its fit­ness cen­tre, weight room, three pools, hot tubs, sauna and eu­ca­lyp­tus steam rooms.

World renowned for its sparkling blue lakes, dry desert cli­mate and boun­ti­ful vine­yards and or­chards, the Okana­gan Val­ley stretches 120 kilo­me­tres from north to south. Per­haps the most spec­tac­u­lar lo­ca­tion is Preda­tor Ridge, a height of land that sep­a­rates Okana­gan Lake from Kala­malka Lake south­east of Ver­non (pop­u­la­tion: 30,000).

Preda­tor Ridge boasts two of Canada's finest 18-hole golf cour­ses; the Preda­tor course which once hosted Canada's Skins Game, and the Ridge course, where holes are lit­er­ally carved be­tween gran­ite bluffs. Both cour­ses of­fer mul­ti­ple dis­tance op­tions to en­hance ease of playa­bil­ity with­out com­pro­mis­ing on chal­lenge.

There's much more to Preda­tor Ridge than play­ing golf, how­ever. Ingrid Dilschnei­der, Di­rec­tor of Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment for Preda­tor Ridge Re­sort and Real Es­tate, says “the Preda­tor ex­pe­ri­ence starts with our staff who are in­cred­i­bly ap­proach­able and friendly and who will look af­ter your ev­ery need. Our lodge suites and cot­tages are lux­u­ri­ous but com­fort­able and de­signed to make you feel right at home from the minute you step in the door.” The re­sort's ex­ten­sive ameni­ties in­clude 25 kilo­me­ters of hik­ing and bik­ing trails, a state-of-the-art fit­ness cen­tre with 25-me­tre lap pool, and the only two out­door yoga plat­forms in the re­gion where classes are con­ducted over­look­ing Lake Okana­gan.

Liv­ing the “golf plus” life at Preda­tor Ridge is about to be­come eas­ier, es­pe­cially if you're in the mar­ket for a va­ca­tion home.

Dilschnei­der says, “We are about to launch The Com­mon­age neigh­bour­hood which will fea­ture 27 acres of ded­i­cated park­land, in­clud­ing a laven­der meadow, tennis and pickle ball courts, dog park, chil­dren's play area and more.”

Out­side of Preda­tor Ridge, a whole world awaits that in­cludes multi-hued Kala­malka Lake, win­ery tours to Mis­sion Hill Fam­ily Es­tate and the nearby Scenic Sip Tour, and bik­ing the many back­roads that weave be­tween lakes, ranches, or­chards and vine­yards in the re­gion.

Grassy golden hills and dra­matic vol­canic cliffs are ge­o­graphic land­marks of the Sono­ran Desert, which pokes past the Usa/canada bor­der near the south­ern Okana­gan towns of Oliver and Osoy­oos. Con­ve­niently lo­cated less than fif­teen min­utes from each other, four cham­pi­onship cour­ses com­prise the South Okana­gan Golf Trail.

Ranked as one of Canada's Top 100 cour­ses, Fairview Moun­tain is known for its gen­er­ous fair­ways and chal­leng­ing greens. Nk'mip Canyon Desert Golf Course un­folds through neigh­bour­ing vine­yards and is al­ways in su­perb con­di­tion. Osoy­oos Golf Club boasts 36 holes of cham­pi­onship golf. The Park Mead­ows and Desert cour­ses each dish out chal­lenges in two dis­tinct land­scapes.

The South Okana­gan Golf Trail is also in close prox­im­ity to Oliver, the self-pro­claimed wine cap­i­tal of Canada. Fairview Moun­tain backs onto Tinhorn Creek, Hester Creek and Fairview Cel­lars. Nk'mip boasts its own award-win­ning Spirit Ridge win­ery.

There's so much more to the South Okana­gan than just golf and wine tours. There's boat­ing, swim­ming stand up pad­dle board­ing and para­sail­ing on Osoy­oos Lake. By foot, on a bi­cy­cle or even in a car, the best view­point of the en­tire val­ley is atop dis­tinc­tive Gi­ant's Head Moun­tain, lo­cated near Sum­mer­land. Culi­nary tourists will be wowed by Mi­radora restau­rant at Tinhorn Creek and Ter­ra­fina at Hester Creek or the sun­set din­ner at Sun­rock Vine­yards. Fam­i­lies can en­joy a tour of Covert Farms, while the Nk'mip Desert Cen­tre lets you get up close and (not too) per­sonal with live rat­tlesnakes.

Preda­tor Ridge

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