Several years ago, it was speculated that if the Okanagan built destination golf facilities, the world would come. At the time, there were only 12 golf courses in the Okanagan valley. Today, thousands of golfers head to the region every year and the number of golf courses has grown to an astounding 53, with five incredible championship courses all within a 40-minute drive of Kelowna.
Golfers return regularly to the Okanagan for its hot, sunny climate, extended golf season (March through November) and the diversity and sheer concentration of premium courses which meander through orchards, rolling hills and past expansive lakes and canyons. There are sixteen courses, five of them championship courses located in the Kelowna area, providing golfers of all ages and abilities with enviable golf experiences.
Jack Nicklaus officially opened the Bear Course at the Okanagan Golf Club in 2000, adding to the existing Les Furber-designed Quail Course, both now on side-by-side sites. Also in 2000, Predator Ridge hosted the Export A SKINS game, featuring Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Mike Weir and Fred Couples. The Harvest Golf Club’s course is carved out of a huge orchard of cherry, apple, pear and peach trees. Gallagher’s Canyon features an 18-hole championship “Canyon Course”, a nine-hole mid-length “Pinnacle Course”, as well as a state-of-the-art learning centre.
A number of tour operators (like Horizon and Alaskan Air Vacations & GolfCan) are now offering golf packages like Okanagan Wine Country Tours’ Chip and Sip tours of the area that combine golf with winery touring.
OKANAGAN GOLF CLUB – BEAR COURSE
Positioned to become the flagship course of the Okanagan Valley, the Jack Nicklaus’ Golden Bear-designed, Bear Course is an exhilarating addition to the Okanagan Valley, offering unprecedented excellence in a rare, natural setting. Officially opened by Jack Nicklaus in June 2000, the course concept has meticulously transformed terrain into 18 eminently playable and receptive fairways. Designed by one of the best golf course architectural companies in the world, the Bear Course challenges all golfers and ignites a true passion for the sport. Okanagan Golf Club is a 15-minute transfer from Kelowna.
OKANAGAN GOLF CLUB – QUAIL COURSE
The Okanagan Golf Club’s Quail Course has become a golfer’s favourite. The Quail Course offers one of Les Furber’s best designs, sporting dramatic elevation changes, multi-tiered fairways that meander around majestic rock bluffs, undulated greens and breathtaking vistas. Many holes imprint themselves on the minds of golfers, like the 18th, where a spectacular view of Els Lake makes it a signature hole.
PREDATOR RIDGE GOLF RESORT
Host of the 2000 Export A SKINS game, Predator Ridge is situated in the heart of the Okanagan Valley, just a 30 minute transfer from downtown Kelowna. Set high on a scenic plateau, the surrounding hills, mountains and lakes provide a breathtaking backdrop for a supernatural golf course. Designed by Les Furber as the Okanagan’s only links-style golf course, the 1,200 acre resort provides a bounty of unique attributes, ranging from enormous wheat grass meadows, to rugged pine forests and natural lakes. This combines with beautifully constructed landing areas, showcases Predator Ridge as an unforgettable golf experience.
GALLAGHER’S CANYON GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB
A 15-minute transfer from Kelowna, nestled in an old-growth forest of towering ponderosa pines, Gallagher’s Canyon Golf & Country Club is an internationally-acclaimed course that provides an atmosphere of tranquility that’s nothing short of magical. Designed by Bill Robinson & Les Furber, extraordinary fairways thread through forested groves and flow along Gallagher’s Canyon, where broad vistas of the Okanagan Valley captivate the eye. The Pinnacle, a beautiful 9-hole mid-length course, offers a surprising challenge to any golfer. A Golf Learning Centre with a double-ended driving range is also available.
HARVEST GOLF CLUB
Just 10 minutes from downtown Kelowna, The Harvest was voted the Okanagan’s best golf course and British Columbia’s “Golf Facility of the Year” in 1999 by Okanagan Life Magazine and the BCPGA respectively. The resort-style course meanders through a majestic hillside of apple orchards, overlooking Okanagan Lake, offering a golf experience that is second-to-none. The traditional design features impeccably manicured bent grass tees, fairways and greens and an abundance of strategically placed water hazards and bunkers. The Harvest Golf Club is truly one of nature’s most picturesque courses and challenges golfers at any skill level.