The Golf Trip 2012 Look Back

Well, I forgot to make an entry for the golf trip I organize for 2012:  The Golf Trip 2012.

This year’s golf trip featured 18 guys going to Kelowna, BC.  It was our first time golfing in Kelowna for this trip and for many of us it was the first time golfing in Kelowna.  Kelowna is considered at the higher end of the golf get-a-way spectrum in British Columbia.  We had spent so many years doing Kamloops, Osolyoos..etc it was time to reach out to Kelowna.

We put together a package, 3 nights, 5 rounds in a quality hotel in the middle of town for $600 before tax.

The courses we played included:

Thursday: The Harvest

A course that was well regarded in the area.  It’s built in an apple orchard and it provided some great views of the area.  I was expecting more from this course to be honest from the way people talked about it.  It’s a very playable golf couse and I can see why it would get lots of golfers wanting to play it, however, I felt like there were some goofy holes and at one point there was in course OB that was in the oddest place.  You probably guessed it, I went into it and wasn’t pleased to see my ball sitting on groomed grass to only have to take a penalty.

I was happy to play it, tho, and it had a unique look, having the holes designed within the orchard.

Friday: Tower Ranch

This is your classic resort course.  Hard as nails, great views and in great shape.  Not saying it’s a everyday playable course, but it has a bit of the ‘wow factor’ the guys on the trip love.  The course was designed by Thomas McBroom, the same designer as Tobiano, and it has a very similar to Tobiano.  It’s not as nice of condition and some of the holes are slightly goofy, but it definitely leaves you with a Tobiano-esq feel.

The course it built high above Kelowna and every bloody green would be running lightning fast towards the lake and slow as Molasses away from the lake.  3 putt city.

All in all, definitely a course you want to experience if you’re in the area.  It has the views, conditions and some great holes you won’t be able to find in any regular course.

We actually played Tower Ranch twice.  The second round in a two man scramble format.  Good times.  A must on a golf trip.

Saturday: Gallagher’s Canyon

This was our Saturday course and we like to put the best the best course on the trip on the Saturday.  And I gotta say, I thought it delivered.  Gallagher’s was awesome.    Heavily treed course, where you felt each hole was independent from the other holes.  The holes were great from the eye and had a stunning layout.  I don’t remember any cheesy holes.

The course isn’t old, but it has that old growth, classic course feel.  Well worth the money.

The only negatives we felt were the greens.  They were slow, but I felt like they were intentionally slow if that makes it better?  And the 18th hole isn’t a limp finish to an otherwise unbelievable round.

All in all, Gallagher’s is a stunning course.  One of the best I’ve ever played.

Sunday: Shannon Lake

And the last day was here! We ended it with Shannon Lake.  Located in West Bank on the way back to Vancouver.  This course didn’t have that wow factor or name drop feeling the others had, but it was still a quality course.    Your Sunday course on any trip will usually be the weakest.

This course had some serious wind to it and a few not so great holes.  But there were many good holes and it’s a locals type course.  the 17th is an unreal hole which you face gusty winds and water all along the right side of the fairway.  I love holes where you gulp before you tee off.

Like I said earlier, we had 18 guys on the trip.  18 is not an ideal number.  We had 16, but some guys convinced me to go up to 20 because another guy wanted to go.  We got to 20, but two guys bailed on the trip 2 weeks before we left.  Nice.  In any golf trip make sure you get guys committed.   We had to have two 3somes playing in our trip because of these guys and when you’re trying to plan an overall tourny, 3 somes aren’t good.

Like in 2011, this year I tried to put together a Ryder Cup esq style tourny.  And frankly it wasn’t inthe cards.  It was a combinations of a few things that led to this.  For starters, not everyone keeps a proper handicap, so guys are facing off against guys and you’re not really sure its a fair text.  Secondly, guys thew in restrictions on who they wanted to play with, not idea for match making and finally, not everyone plays the same tee box.  So in an effort to make sure guys aren’t ‘by themselves’ on a tee box you face further restrictions on who can play with who.

Overall, the match blue vs red actually ended up tied, but not everyone followed it because of those restrictions I mentioned.  The fact it tied is poetic justice. haha – I don’t think I’ll be putting in the effort for a tourny like that for future years.

All in all, it was a great trip Kelowna.  The City has the amenities, the weather (mostly) and great courses that make a golf trip like this a no brainer.

PS – I’m hoping in 2013, it’s more golf trip, less drinking trip.

A mixed bag on the golf trip. Here we are at Tower Ranch in Kelowna. Good times.

A mixed bag on the golf trip. Here we are at Tower Ranch in Kelowna. Good times.

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