Nine is fine when the hours required for a championship 18-hole round of golf aren’t available. In fact, some days nine is the perfect balance for golf with other activities.
Fortunately, around Penticton there’s a number of nine-hole options. On the south side, past the airport heading out Highway 97, you’ll find Skaha Meadows. As the name suggests it is situated in a natural meadow and is well-maintained with native trees and shrubs lining the fairways plus attractive flower beds. It’s a busy course and for good reason because it is incredibly friendly and hosts a number of fun events such as dinners with live music and dancing. Welcoming golfers of all ages and abilities, it offers an easy-to-walk 2,435 yard layout with six par 4s, one par 5 and two par 3s. The fully stocked Pro Shop offers golf cart rental and there is a practice green and driving net where you can warm up your game. Speaking of warm, except when there is snow covering the fairways and greens, it is open year-round.
On the north side, head up into the Sage Mesa area where Wow Golf Club offers a panoramic vista overlooking Okanagan Lake to Penticton and Skaha Lake beyond. While I generally walk, it’s carved into the hillside and if you prefer to ride, electric golf carts are available to rent. It offers three par 3s, four par 4s and one par 5 – unless like me, you play the forward tees and one of those par 4s is rated par 5. I truly love the stunning views on this course and the challenge of hole 5 where you shoot off a cliff to the green below. The practice facility here includes grass tees, covered mats, chipping and putting areas. Nearby you’ll find the executive par 3 Pine Hills Golf Club which uses the natural elevation gains and ponderosa pine forest to create a tract fun for beginners and experts. Power carts are available and you can linger at the licensed clubhouse to enjoy its breathtaking view overlooking Penticton and Okanagan Lake.
Work on your game at Doc’s Golf Centre with CPGA golf professional and owner/operator John Ferrier. Doc’s has practice facilities with driving range and 9 Moons Pitch & Putt at the corner of Highway 97 and West Bench hill. Considering the importance of your short game in golf (within 100 yards of the green), 9 Moons Pitch & Putt is a treasure you can complete in under an hour. I enjoy the picturesque layout through the trees and find I learn a lot negotiating the synthetic turf on the tee boxes and greens.
To get in a quick game by Kaleden, I enjoy St. Andrews by the Lake, which offers a bargain for golf between 1 and 4 p.m. It’s a wildlife oasis with five par 4s and four pars 3s – one of which is an island green to test your target golf. At this gorgeous and easily walkable executive course, you’ll also find a fully-stocked Pro Shop, licensed restaurant and even accommodations with access to an outdoor pool and tennis courts.
At Summerland, I enjoy Sumac Ridge Golf & Country Club for a challenging nine. While it is a mid-length par 28, it winds through some difficult terrain through meadows, forests and canyons. You can rent pull carts or power carts from its Pro Shop. When time permits, after the round I like to linger at its restaurant where I can enjoy the golf course views, grab a bite to eat and sip local wine and craft beers.
Golfing in the Thompson Okanagan region