Saturday, June 15, 2013

Golf Story Ideas from Destination British Columbia, June 2013

(News Release)

Here is a captivating collection of Golf Story Ideas from Destination British Columbia. Visit

Destination British Columbia is on Twitter. Follow us at @TourismBC.

BC's Mountain Courses Are Calling: Challenge. Drama. Reward for skilled play. Welcome to BC's mountain golf playground.

At Greywolf, success on the course really can get the heart thumping. After all, when you tee up at the mountain course's signature hole, dubbed the Cliffhanger, you might just be white-knuckling it as you face an island green perched across the aptly named "Hopeful Canyon." It's an experience that makes the Doug Carrick-designed wonder, at Panorama Mountain Village, a true must-play.

Near Invermere, east of Panorama, Eagle Ranch embraces its Rocky-and-Purcell-mountain setting with 18 holes set high on the bluffs overlooking the Columbia River. Here, open fairways and valley views along the course's upper region will cause the pulse to flutter, while the hushed shelter of Eagle Ranch's mini canyons encourage equally dramatic play.

Head south to Kimberley and you'll find that the area's rugged alpine landscape defines Trickle Creek Golf Resort. Eighteen thrilling holes, complete with tricky shots and precision putts, is par for the course at this Les Furber gem that incorporates rushing creeks and North Star Mountain's steep slopes to its best advantage.

Continue south to Cranbrook, and you'll discover one final show-stopper: Wildstone Golf Course. The newest addition to the mountain course scene, Wildstone is the first Black Knight Design by Gary Player Design in Canada. An added bonus? Thoughtfully crafted over gently rolling terrain, this must-play promises dramatic bunkering, plenty of variety and a jaw-dropping Rocky Mountain backdrop.

With Former Pros at the Helm, Predator Ridge's Golf Academy Sets the Bar High: When your executive director of golf is a two-time PGA Tour Champion and Canadian Golf Hall of Famer, odds are you're a destination that's serious about swinging the clubs. Such is the case for Vernon's own Predator Ridge, a two-course draw that promises 36 championship holes, all within a stunning semi-arid, mountainous setting.

Here, Richard Zokol leads the golf experience charge; Zokol doesn't just know the game, he's acted as founder, architect and CEO for various courses throughout his illustrious career. And he's in good company: former LPGA Tour pro AJ Eathorne is at the helm as head of Predator Ridge's Golf Academy, overseeing all camps, clinics and lessons, including ladies' instruction and the junior program. For Eathorne, her teaching experience has been a homecoming of sorts; Predator Ridge served as her training ground for a career that earned her ranking as three-time British Columbia Ladies Amateur champion and winner of the Canadian Ladies Amateur Championship.

Hardware aside, there's a reason why these two pros chose Predator Ridge as their home. It is, after all, an ideal setting for first-time and single-digit handicap players (and everyone in between) to develop their game. The Ridge Course, for example, is a Doug Carrick design that promises a formidable test on the fairway alongside lush landscapes, postcard-pretty elevation changes, rock outcroppings and lake and mountain views. And we can't forget the original Predator Course — a Les Furber beauty that has long been considered a classic, thanks to its own collection of grassy dunes and top-notch links. In all, this is one setting where instruction is sure to be inspiring.

Attention Golfers: The Sun is Shining in Kamloops: Summer months mean long, sunny days in Kamloops. Add 13 gold-standard golf courses to the mix, and, well, you've got a lot of happy golfers basking in the sun. The best part? Diverse offerings are a mere hop, skip and a chip shot from the city's downtown core. Here are three that are worthy of the tee.

For design that expertly blends challenging play with scene-stealing views, the Thomas McBroom-crafted Tobiano, west of the city, delivers. Set on historic Six Mile Ranch, the course's backdrop cleverly showcases its offering of clay dunes, hoodoos, bluffs and lake views from every hole, making precision shots along a memorable 18, well, a little more of a challenge.

The Dunes at Kamloops Golf Club also embraces its natural topography: dubbed nature's course, this 18-hole draw showcases lush fairways, meticulous greens and, of course, plenty of sand. A challenge for all levels, The Dunes offers a selection of four tees, encouraging first-timers to perfect their swing alongside seasoned pros.

For a final round, Sun Rivers, five minutes from downtown Kamloops, is a true desert course, promising natural sage, rolling hills, bent grass fairways, gently contoured greens and sweeping views of the Thompson Valley. Reason enough to tee up, but when you add a host of out-of-the-box programs that include Learn to Love the Game, Friday Night Rock n' Range and the increasingly popular Sun Rivers Family Golf, you've got even more incentive to swing.

Discover Vancouver Island's Ale Trail (And Don't Forget Your Clubs): When you're home to the country's oldest licensed brewpub, chances are you know a thing or two about a frothy pint. And golf? Thanks to a host of championship courses in and around Victoria, you're sure to earn your tall, cold reward at round's end.

To start, tee up at Olympic View Golf Club, a scenic par 72 set on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, 20 minutes from the city's downtown core. Here, you can swing the irons year-round on a forested 18-hole championship course that boasts 12 bluer-than-blue lakes, plenty of wildlife and a signature hole that is backed by a 12-metre (40-foot) waterfall and a lovely Japanese garden. Olympic Mountain views included.

Further north of the city, Bear Mountain Resort tempts with two challenges: the Jack & Steve Nicklaus co-designed Mountain Course and the Nicklaus Design Valley Course. Diversity is on the menu here at the Island's only 36 holes of Nicklaus Design golf; challenge and playability are balanced along the Mountain Course while the Valley Course takes a friendlier approach with generous fairway widths, fewer bunkers and larger greens.

At Highland Pacific Golf, a short drive north of downtown, rolling fairways give way to stunning viewpoints — not to mention a few punishing drop-offs. With two nine-hole layouts, the Pacific Nine and the Highland Nine, you can test your skill year-round at this gem, and even take aim at the course's award-winning practice facility that features heated, covered stalls and lights for evening swings.

Efforts off the playing field will be rewarded in one of Victoria's breweries or brewpubs, where the history of this frothy drink flows deep. Here, micro brews at their best are celebrated at favourite haunts that include Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub (the country's oldest licensed brewpub), Canoe Brewpub & Restaurant and Buckerfield's Brewery at Swans Suite Hotel. A bonus? You can follow the city's self-guided, and walkable, Ale Trail, for sips that are authentic and oh-so tasty. Oatmeal stout, India Pale Ale or Red Canoe Lager, anyone?;;

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