Thursday, September 20, 2007
The Okanagan Valley in Canada?s British Columbia is packed with spectacular golf and extraordinary wine.
Resembling a ski lodge more than a golf oasis, Predator’s Ridge can easily double as a cozy, wintertime retreat. But with one look at the golf course, though, you’ll see this place was built for pure golf. Designed by Canada’s own Les Furber, Predator Ridge has 27 holes to choose from that, unlike The Bear course at the Okanagan GC, pack a vicious bite. Each nine begins in a unique setting, overlooking an expansive area of rolling hills and wild grass, much like what you’d expect on a links course in Scotland or Ireland. And speaking of links, be ready to tackle all 27 of them, since there’s not a hole you’ll want to miss. The Peregrine nine weaves through dense woodlands with a glimpse of the spectacular Lake Okanagan in the distance. The links-style Redtail nine places a premium on second shots, often requiring a golfer’s best ability to “stick and hold” the tough, tight pin locations. And finally, the Osprey nine is, in my opinion, the toughest, but with that comes a whole lot of satisfaction when you make par or better on any hole.
With the increased level of difficulty on each of the 3 nine-hole layouts, let it be known that these courses are anything but unfair. With a little practice and some serious discipline, the three nines at Predator’s Ridge can be tamed. Just don’t forget to take advantage of the 11-acre practice facility before your round and be ready for some beautifully manicured greens.
After an exciting round of golf at Predator’s Ridge, get ready for a little reprieve as you head back to Kelowna for some sightseeing and wine tasting. Whether it’s water sports, outdoor recreation or shopping, Kelowna doesn’t disappoint. However, it’s the vino that’ll really get you in the mood for relaxation. Among the favorite local vineyards is Quail’s Gate (www.quailsgate.com), featuring an idyllic setting just on the northern edge of Lake Okanagan. Known for producing stellar Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines, one would be remiss to not taste and enjoy the sweet taste of ice wine, which is made with grapes carefully plucked from the vine while frozen. If you want to couple the experience with cuisine, the Old Vines restaurant on site at the Quail’s Gate winery is just the ticket. After a few tastings and a delicious meal, round out your evening with a stroll along Kelowna’s Cultural District showcasing a variety of art, cuisine, music and more.
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