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Described as “the greatest game mankind ever created,” golf has been used as a metaphor for life. P.G. Wodehouse observed that “to find a man’s true character, play golf with him.” It’s a game both deceptively simple and endlessly complicated, according to legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, who once observed that golf “satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect.”
Others have not been so charitable. Mark Twain famously characterized the game as “a good walk spoiled,” presumably after a particularly bad round.
Regardless of which side of that particular fence you occupy, there’s no denying the overwhelming popularity of the game. According to a recent NAVICOM study, Canada boasts an estimated 5.7 million golfers and the number is growing.
Much of that success has come from fundamental changes in the way golf courses are constructed and operated. The days of the static, staid, old-fashioned courses as the domains of the wealthy and privileged are gone. Today’s golf resorts are ever-changing destinations that combine the amenities of a vacation resort with the neighbourhood feel of a fun and friendly community.
Predator Ridge, in the heart of the Okanagan Valley near Vernon, is one such resort. With 36 holes of championship golf and a resort community of more than 600 homes, it’s no surprise that Predator Ridge is recognized as Canada’s premier golf resort community.
“The inclusive nature of the resort and the amenities we provide for the community are just amazing. We create a different vibe here…always changing and improving, and that’s what sets us apart,” observed Brodie Carle, the head of (golf) instruction at Predator Ridge. Carle was named the 2016 PGA of BC Teacher of the Year and Canada’s 2014 CPGA Moe Norman Apprentice/Assistant Professional.
Naturally Carle is excited about the two ever-improving championship golf courses at his Predator Ridge. But he’s quick to praise the community-like nature of the golf resort as well.
“Our newest neighbourhood, the Commonage, opens a new chapter at the resort and really represents a strong aspect of our future. It’s going to feature 200 single-family homes set in amongst 27 acres of dedicated parkland.
“We have two hotels on the property, as well as cottages right alongside the courses…and we have hiking and biking trails, tennis, a fabulous 25-metre pool, wine tours, a fitness centre, spa and some fabulous restaurants. We also have what I think is the best golf academy,” Carle said.
The Academy, where Carle and his team of pros (including Sean Burke and former LPGA Tour Professional AJ Eathorne) teach the intricacies of the game, has been called the finest practice facility in Canada. Talented new members include Justin Baillargeon and Kyla Inaba – both well-known pros whose arrival at the Academy will only strengthen the already impressive roster.
The Academy boasts a variety of programs, clinics and camps geared to help improve your game while engendering a love of the game. The facility features state-of-the-art technology, like the TrackMan-4 dual radar system and the Boditrak System, but Carle is quick to point out the true strength of the Academy lies in the expertise and attitude of the staff.
“In the end, you still have to know the old ways…watching what the ball does. Sure, we keep up with technology, but there’s always the human element, and that’s what’s important. We know that at the Academy, and we apply the same principles at the resort in general. The resort is only as good as the people on site, and our people at Predator Ridge are second to none.”
The courses at Predator Ridge open on Wednesday, April 12, and Carle is confident the season will be better than ever. Find more information about all the amenities at Predator Ridge at predatorridge.com.