By Andrew Penner
Why do you play the game? The hot dogs at the halfway house? Household chore avoidance? The opportunity to teach annoying friends important life lessons? Yes, those all have merit. Indeed, the reasons why we play are a dime a dozen. But how about the adrenaline rush of making a sub-par score? Yes, when you strip it all down, makin’ birds is what it’s all about! And when you play golf in Kamloops, hell ya, you’ve got some opportunities!
Whether it happens on a go-for-broke par-5 or a short-and-sweet par-3, making a birdie is always a rush. And it doesn’t really matter how you get ‘er done. Bank it off the ballwasher. Chip it in. Roll it up and over the clown’s nose. If your ball goes in the cup in fewer strokes than par, you win!
Here are, in my opinion, your best bets for making birdie on each of the eight awesome courses in Kamloops.
Eaglepoint Golf Resort
Hole 14, par-5, 452 yards – Dipping and diving with the topsy-turvy terrain, the par-5 14th at Eaglepoint (a perennial local favourite) is a very reachable par-5 with a large and inviting green. Bomb it down the middle, hoist a mid-iron onto the green, and tappy, tappy, tap, tap, your little 3-footer in for eagle! Easy.
Kamloops Golf & Country Club
Hole 17, par-3, 144 yards – Late in the round – when the stakes are high, when the match is on the line (hopefully you’re not yet seeing double) – at the beautiful and underrated Kamloops Golf & Country Club, this little teaser will give you a chance to be a hero! Or a zero. But be careful. Due to the tilted green, every putt is a knee-knocker!
The Dunes at Kamloops
Hole 2, par-5, 482 yards – Dunes members would likely say – thanks to the generous landing area the protocol here is fairly simple: grit your teeth, reel back with reckless abandon, and try to smash your tee ball to the moon. If it comes down, fingers crossed you’ll be able to hit a short iron onto the elevated green and two-putt for a ho-hum bird.
Hole 15, par-3, 155 yards – Yes, the amazing lakeside loveliness Tobiano and specifically of this hole can make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Knock a short iron to two feet (tip: use the bank right of the green) and you’ll want to start kissing babies. Or your playing partners.
Bighorn Golf & Country Club
Hole 11, par-4, 296 yards – Thanks to the cacti and sagebrush-coated hills that envelop this hole, the par-4 11th at Bighorn has a distinct Arizona-like aura. But if you’ve got the firepower to blast a drive through the narrow slot that fronts the perched green, well, the geographic nuances of the hole won’t matter much. You’ll just be tickled pink. Period.
Sun Peaks Golf Course
Hole 18, par-5, 444 yards – The proper strategy here? 1) Enjoy the jaw-dropping Sun Peaks mountain view from the tee. 2) Throw caution to the wind and blast a drive somewhere “down there” onto the short stuff. 3) Wedge it onto the green and 4) Accept your gimme eagle from your inferior playing companions.
Rivershore Golf Links
Hole 4, par-5, 467 yards – Yes, even medium-length hitters who don’t do steroids can potentially hit this green in two and have their moment of glory at Rivershore. Tip: Hit a fade off the tee. As Lee Trevino once said, “You can talk to a fade, but a hook won’t listen.”
Talking Rock Golf Course
Hole 17, par-4, 289 yards – The predicament here is kinda obvious from the tee: avoid the evil-sand-pits-of-doom that pepper the landing area at this fun Talking Rock hole. However, bomb it over the bunkers to the right of the green and you’ve got an easy pitch to the pin. Piece of cake.
What’s that you say, friend? No birdies on your scorecard today? It’s okay. If you’re golfing in Kamloops, you’re already one-under par for the day! And that’s what it’s all about, right? Hehe.