By Andrew Penner
Not sure if you’re right-handed or left-handed? What’s that? You often perform a funky little spin-o-rama pirouette thingy after you swing and miss? Your longest drive was a wormburner that nearly killed someone on a different hole? Congratulations. You are a beginner golfer. But wait, before you snap your clubs in half and throw them into the pond, know this: you’re not alone. Kamloops, thanks to its golf-crazy ways, is ground zero for beginner golfers!
And, happy happy joy joy, there are things that every happy hacker can do to up their game. Or lack of game. For example, Kamloops is home to numerous CPGA teaching professionals that ply their miracle-working trade at a handful of excellent training facilities. Unquestionably, if you’re a beginner, enrolling in a beginner golf class or taking a series of three or five private lessons is the ideal way to jump start your game.
And, while practising at the driving range and honing your putting stroke in your living room (trust me, diehard golfers do way weirder things than that!) will also work in your favour, at some point you’ve got to just get out there and play! Thankfully, there are courses in Kamloops that cater to, well, “the less skilled.”
Here are a few of the facilities in Kamloops that wormburner specialists should consider.
Eaglepoint Golf Resort
Not surprisingly, given its user-friendly layout and laid-back vibe, Eaglepoint is a long-standing local favourite in the Kamloops community. Weekend hackers, juniors, raw beginners, old-timers, you name it, this place is for you! Their full-length driving range and short-game area are a great starting point to get your feet wet in the game.
The Dunes at Kamloops
Sitting tight along the North Thompson River in north Kamloops, The Dunes is another beginner-friendly oasis. Wide-open playing corridors, minimal elevation change, and run-up options (or, “wormburner” options, if you prefer we put it that way) on numerous holes make this a beginner’s delight. Also, the spacious driving range and excellent Bill Bilton Jr. Golf Academy (Kamloops’ first full-service golf academy) are both geared to get people like you into the game.
Kamloops Golf & Country Club
Ok, so I know what you’re thinking. What’s a past-its-prime, hoity-toity, semi-private golf club doing on this list? Well, here’s the thing, the Kamloops Golf & CC is certainly not any of those things! It’s a vibrant, fun-loving, in-its-prime facility that’s full of young people getting into the game! Also, the beautiful and mature course, while challenging, isn’t overly difficult. And the experienced golf professionals (they don’t hit wormburners) offer coaching programs, weekly clinics, and beginner programs for every skill level.
Rivershore Golf Links
Besides length, the most important aspect of a course’s “playability” is width. (And timely beverage cart service.) Yes, wide playing corridors – that can accommodate those beautiful banana balls, those happy-go-lucky hooks, and all those saucy shanks is key. And, bless your little worm-killing shenanigans, Rivershore Golf Links has plenty of room to play. Just make sure you avoid the big bunkers. And the water hazards. And try not to have more than 246 swing thoughts happening simultaneously on every shot.
Yes, the life of a beginner golfer isn’t easy. The shot-making can get a little, ah, creative at times. But take heart, hacker, Kamloops is full of great places for beginners to work out those kinks. And you won’t be alone. And, yes, if all else fails, hail down the beverage cart for extra swing lubrication.