Top 10 Public Course in Canada
Doug Carrick and his team built the $10 million Ridge Course, which features eight completely redesigned holes from the old Peregrine course and ten brand new ones. The terrain is absolutely spectacular, with holes climbing up and down the mountainside, rock outcroppings galore and beautiful vistas of surrounding mountains and lakes always a constant.
Opened in 2010, the Ridge Course has quickly become known as one of Canada’s best golf courses. A challenging but playable course taking advantage of the natural topography of the area, the Ridge Course is defined by incredible vistas, long, scenic fairways and beautiful granite rock outcroppings
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The Ridge doesn’t feature a “figure 8” routing, instead of starting and finishing near the clubhouse on very open land in an “out and back” style.
The first hole plays on this links-style land but a very long cart ride awaits in order to get to the second tee and right away you can see the character of the course change, as you move into more of a parkland setting, albeit on a mountainside with rock outcroppings at almost every turn.
The downhill par four second is a beauty and the two-shot third takes you right back uphill. The dogleg right par four 4th is another strong hole, as you get your first glimpse of the lake well down below.
The 244-yard par-three 5th is just a gorgeous piece of business, falling straight downhill the whole way with the mountains and lake providing a memorable backdrop. Things get even more interesting on the 438-yard par-four 6th, as a very large and intimidating rock outcropping obscures the landing area from the tee, making first-time play quite a challenge! I think we sat on that tee for at least a minute before figuring out our line! What a golf hole!
You continue your descent on the par-five 7th, a lovely dogleg left that starts to climb from the landing area all the way to the green.
From there, you must deal with a tough 229-yard par-three before concluding the outgoing nine on the visually stunning par five 9th, a reachable 509 yarder that features rock outcroppings on both sides of the hole.
You begin to climb back up the hillside on the par-four 10th, which again features an outcropping that comes into play just left of the green. The 11th is a lengthy par five that climbs the entire way uphill and features a narrow entry into a well-protected green site.
The 12th is a picturesque mid-length par three measuring 171 yards with a large and undulating putting surface and the 13th is the last par five on the course, a lengthy 562 yarder with a bit of a halfpipe-styled fairway that runs between the outcroppings.
The 14th requires a precise touch both from the tee and green. Not long at only 396 from the tips, the tee shot plays downhill but the second shot is uphill to a partially blind green site, especially if you lay back too far, with a large outcropping on the left side always on your mind on the approach.
The 15th is the last one-shotter on the course, a little 165 yarder with water fronting the left side of the green and an outcropping in the back right that causes trouble for any players that decide to bail out.
The 16th is a bit of an awkward hole, a 336-yard par four that tumbles downhill with a green site hidden behind the treeline and a water hazard on the left. A definite “position-first” hole.
The course moves back to open, links-style land for the last two holes and both are absolute brutes.
The 17th is a 472-yard par-four monster, featuring a diagonal carry across a water hazard with bunkers through the fairway on the right. Meanwhile, the 18th goes back the other way toward the clubhouse and the second shot is a doozy, uphill, over a little creek to a very elevated and expansive putting surface.
Almost all of the Doug Carrick courses I’ve played share similar characteristics and The Ridge Course is no different. You’ll find plenty of elevated tee shots throughout the round, wide playing corridors, more than a fair share of uphill approaches, and large and conservatively contoured putting surfaces. He designs fun golf courses and The Ridge definitely qualifies.
As usual with Carrick, the architecture is strong and he’s done a very good job using the land given to him. The routing is a bit awkward in spots but I’d be hard-pressed to offer an opinion on what he could have done to make it better. The course is very playable for players of all levels and it’s certainly a heck of a lot of fun.
The golf course was pretty much brand new when we first played and I must say that I was extremely impressed with the overall conditioning. You can tell that the resort didn’t rush people onto this course, instead of letting it grow in and settle before having some play. The turf was nice and firm through the greens and the bunker edges didn’t have that brittle look that you sometimes get with newly-designed courses. Bravo!
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the views, which certainly rank up there with the best our country has to offer. Simply stunning!
Unfortunately, the course really isn’t walkable, with a couple of significant green-to-tee transfers and a lot of downhill/uphill climbs throughout the round but I don’t want that to deter any ardent walkers from experiencing this fine track.
Predator Ridge’s Ridge Course took home some “Best New Canadian” awards upon opening in 2010 and it is considered by many to be among the top 50 courses in the country. It’s a must-play for any visitors to the Okanagan region in British Columbia and I look forward to returning, hopefully, sooner rather than later.
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