The Kelowna Golf & Country Club is a very popular semi-private club nestled in the tall pines right in Kelowna. Despite the fact that it does 55,000 rounds in only nine months, this layout is immaculately groomed, fun and very playable. A rock-exposed mountain rises directly up from aside the par-five sixth hole and that unique feature dominates much of the scenery. Then there are the lake holes that the locals refer to as “Amen Corner.” The par-five 12lh, par-three 13th, and par-three 15th play around a lake that is eye-catchingly gorgeous. Most impressive of the three for me is the approach shot to the 12th that features water left, back, and right. Whether with a tempting second shot or a simple pitch, the water lurks in your mind as you face your shot.
The only weakness of the course was the somewhat open, modern stylized looking stretch of the second through fourth holes, which seemed a bit out-of-place with the rest of the layout. Had the course followed that theme, it would have lacked the appealing character I found. And how about a 239-yard flat and relatively straight par-four? What a fun hole! The seventh can be a quick birdie (or better?) and just as quick a double-bogey – and there is no water! Throughout the remainder of the golf course, there are similar teases as this would typically be a layout you might want several cracks at before you begin to decipher all its mysteries. Great stuff.
The other challenge of the golf course is that the greens are small and most of the fairways are relatively narrow guarded by tall pines. There is also enough movement in the terrain to provide some interesting lies.
At only 6,315 yards from the tips, length is not a prerequisite, but accuracy is. The 441-yard par-four tenth that plays down what seems like a relatively narrow corridor of trees is one of the toughest I can remember. You play your second shot most likely from a downhill, sidehill lie to a narrow elevated green. I cannot imagine that making four there wins many a hole.
Fagan Grade: B. There is a reason this golf course is very popular. The service, facilities, and conditioning are all first-class for this very attractive, playable golf course. The more I reflected on this layout, the more it grew on me and I appreciated it with it’s mix of stout holes and somewhat benign ones. It is easily walked and a far better than average golf course that I could thoroughly enjoy playing everyday.
Below is another view of the tough tenth looking back from the green.