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Golf season swings in early in the North Okanagan

Spallumcheen Golf and Country Club is already open, with other courses opening soon
Vernon’s Predator Ridge golf course is expected to open Wednesday, April 10, 2024. (Contributed)

Spring has sprung early in the North Okanagan, and that’s made for an earlier start to the golf season.

Spallumcheen Golf and Country Club’s executive and championship courses opened Wednesday, March 13. The courses are currently walking only while the driving range is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Vernon Golf and Country Club, including the restaurant, is set to open Thursday, March 21, with the driving range to open March 19.

General manager Adam Blair says the course is opening about 10 days earlier than last season.

“There’s still some growth that needs to happen but aesthetically, the course is in as good a shape as I’ve ever seen it,” Blair told The Morning Star.

The course is undergoing a major irrigation replacement this year, which means Monday through Saturday only 17 holes will be open, and green fees will be discounted accordingly.

“One hole a day will be closed until (the project) is done, which will be around the end of June,” Blair said. “For players that still want to get out and play some golf and don’t mind missing one hole, there’s some pretty good pricing available.”

Meanwhile, Hillview Golf Course – which has new owners this year – opened its driving range Thursday, March 14. The restaurant and both nine-hole courses are slated to open April 4.

The two courses at Predator Ridge are expected to open on the second Wednesday of April, as is the case most years regardless of weather conditions.

“Despite that small cold snap that we had (in January), the course has wintered really well,” Predator Ridge general manager Rod Cochrane said last Thursday.

“Because of the earlier spring, this year we expect to be in better opening shape.”

Cochrane said the driving range will open at the same time as the courses, adding this will be the first full season that Predator will have its Toptracer radar technology operational, which tells golfers using the driving range how far they are hitting each club, factoring in the up-hill lie.

“We’re the first course in Western Canada to get this technology,” Cochrane said.

Up above Vernon, The Rise golf course is expected to open April 12. The course’s new 30,000 square- foot restaurant and events centre will have its grand opening this summer at a date to be determined.

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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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