by Dave Finn: Kamloops is about a four hour drive from Banff, Vancouver or Seattle and is actually the northern-most part of the Sonoran Desert that is tucked in between two mountain ranges – the Coast Mountains and the Monashee Mountains. Their semi-arid desert climate is perfect for golfers plus the topography changes dramatically offering a tremendous diversity of golfing experiences.
Sun Peaks Resort is about a 45 minute drive northeast of Kamloops and boasts as being the highest elevation golf course and the #2 best Ski Resort in British Columbia. Their majestic 18-hole par 72 Graham Cooke design offers great elevation changes where every hole is picturesque so bring your camera. There are a number of risk/reward shots here so I would highly recommend that you purchase a yardage book to make your decisions a little easier. The back nine is more wide open however the front nine is very tight – target golf at its finest. There is plenty to do après golf including fine and casual dining, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, fishing and horseback riding plus a number of bars to quench your thirst. Sun Peaks reminds me of Whistler but a lot quainter and less commercialized.
Talking Rock Resort is 45 minutes east of Kamloops and set along the shores of Little Shuswap Lake. From the moment you step onto this spectacular piece property you are immediately absorbed into the Native tradition. As their motto suggests “Hear the legend…Feel the spirit…” This Cooke Carleton International design is well forested and offers tremendous elevation changes, large greens, wide fairways and lots of bunkers.
Rivershore Golf Links is one of Robert Trent Jones Sr.’s last signature designs and has hosted many national golf events including the inaugural Canadian Tour’s Western Championship and the 2011 BC PGA Championship. Built in the late ‘70’s Rivershore sits along the northern bank of the South Thompson River with sagebrush-covered hills as its backdrop. Even though the property is relatively flat, the combination of fast greens and 95 well defined bunkers will definitely test your skills.
Tobiano Golf is a 20 minute drive west of Kamloops and was voted “Best New Canadian Golf Course” and I can see why. This Thomas McBroom design is one of the most unique and challenging golf courses you will ever play. With five sets of tee blocks to choose from, ranging from 5,358 to 7,367 yards, my guidance would be to play forward on the tees or you will be faced with long carries over fissures and gullies surrounded by untouched waste areas filled with natural grasses and cacti.
If you like fine wines, great golf and superb weather, Kamloops and the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia will steal your heart away. For more information on the area you can visit Tourism Kamloops or Golf Kamloops to see some of the other award-winning golf courses in the area that I did not get a chance to play like:
Let’s Go Golfing – Cottage Country Magazine May 2018
Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course – Alberta
RVing. The Feel of the Open Road
4 spectaculaire reasons to visit the Laurentians in the fall
7 Tips for Travelling Solo
Golf Mountain Majesty in British Columbia
Alberta Rockies – Feel the Rush
Autumn Magic: Chez Montebello, Quebec