Tower Ranch GC Still Seen As One Of The Best Plays In Kelowna

By Gord Montgomery, Senior Writer, Inside Golf

KELOWNA, British Columbia — Focus. That, among other things, is a key element in posting a good score at the end of any round of golf. Standing on the first tee at Tower Ranch GC in Kelowna, it’s hard to maintain that state of mind. What lies in front of you — a panoramic view of the opening hole backed by both the bustling city and Okanagan Lake — is enough to fracture your focus, if even for just a few minutes.

That opening assignment, a downhill par-4 is a work of art crafted by architect Thomas McBroom around 20 years ago. The golfing landscape stays that good, or even better, as you make your way around this amazing layout.

Asked about this track holding onto its reputation as one of the premiere plays in this entire area, Tower’s General Manager Jeff Richard noted the course has never faltered in the playing public’s eyes. “Tower Ranch is consistently voted as the top course in Kelowna. It commands some of the highest review rates. It’s probably one of the toughest tracks to get on. It’s a very popular spot for the members, locals, and all the golf groups coming in from out of town.”

In describing what makes Tower Ranch such a popular place to test one’s abilities, Richard spends no time at all in coming up with an answer.

“Two things. It’s probably the only course in Kelowna that has this design and layout. The views of Kelowna, Okanagan Lake, and the whole valley are outstanding. The staff and the service that we have there; they’re just a dedicated team. Whether you’re just coming for a cup of coffee or you’re a group of 24 playing golf, we want to make it an enjoyable visit for everybody. I think that’s why it’s become such a popular spot [because of] the service, the conditions, and of course the view.”

Remember when you step onto the tee to focus on what you’re doing. This course can be demanding given the challenges in front of you from that opening test until your last putt of the day drops. There are forced carries. There is plenty of bunkering, both on the fairways and alongside the putting surfaces. The fairways throughout a lined with rough. Then to top all that off, fescue grasses come into play on wayward shots. Mind you, there aren’t a lot of trees out there, but given other obstacles along the way, they aren’t necessary. Even with all that being said, this is a great place to tee it up and chase good scores.

“You do need to hit the ball straight off the tee to be successful at Tower Ranch,” Richard continued. “It’s a unique track that forces you to make all kinds of good shots.”

Now don’t get the wrong idea about this gem. While it offers some physical and mental demands, it’s also a place for everyone. Yardages off the four tees plus a combo tee range from 7,200 yards from the back blocks down to 5,500 yards from the forward tees. Richard said, “It’s a course the better players want to play because it’s a great test of golf but there are so many selections of different tee boxes that the course is still enjoyable for the higher handicap people who don’t play as much.”

To help you prepare for your round, two new hitting nets have been installed as driving range space in this part of the country is extremely limited. There’s also a putting green and a chipping/bunker area to practice those scoring shots and maybe take in the spectacular view from high above the city. This way, you can keep your focus on your game once you hit the fairways of this wonderful layout.

In closing, let us give you a hint: When you’re putting, make sure you figure out where the Kelowna airport (YLW) is located because that’s the way the majority, if not all, of your putts are going to break.