Review: Tower Ranch Golf Club

Tower Ranch Golf Club is located in Kelowna, British Columbia, in the heart of the beautiful Okanagan. In addition to golf, the Okanagan boasts beautiful lakes, orchards, vineyards, and Tower Ranch has a birds-eye view of it all. Carved high up in the hills, Tower Ranch offers up some of the best vistas in the area.

At a $123 green fee (including cart) during peak season, expectations were high going into the round. As we drove up into the hills and spotted the beautiful property, we all had a great first impression. The clubhouse, pro shop and restaurant were all nice and felt inviting. Did I mention the view?

We showed up about 40 minutes before our tee time so we’d have ample time to get acquainted with the facility and have a good warm-up. We were a bit disappointed to learn they don’t have a driving range. I’d like to see some sort of option in the future to make full swings before the round, even if it is just hitting balls into a net. I’m not a big fan of my first swing of the day (and in this case my first full swing in a week) to be a driver off the first tee, especially when you’re forking out decent money to play. However, they did have two great practice greens where I spent some time knocking rust off my short game.

As we approached the first tee, the starter was very friendly and informative. He gave us a heads up that the halfway house was closed that day, but that there was a beverage cart on the front-nine, so we could plan our food and beverage intake accordingly. He provided us with a few local tips and off we went after ripping our drives off the first tee.

The par-4 opening hole: Tower Ranch 1st hole

I fell in love with the visual appeal of the golf course right from the get-go. Beautiful rolling fairways, rugged bunkers, and long brown fescue off the beaten path which provides a gorgeous contrast to the lush, green golf course.

Looking back on the par-5 2nd hole and my lovely wife Beth (middle), bro-in-law Matt (right), and our friend Bryon (left). Shout out to Bryon for draining his long birdie putt:

Tower Ranch Golf Club 2nd hole

We knew ahead of time that it was a cart-only golf course. The holes are fairly spread apart and the nature of it being built on the side of a mountain makes for some significant elevation changes. We were pleasantly surprised that as crazy as the routing was, and despite wondering if our cart was going to make it up some of the hills, that the course actually played nicely. They managed to build a ton of great holes which were challenging, fun and fair. The sloped fairways were fairly forgiving and rewarded good tee shots. There were also some favourable bounces to be had if you hit it into the long stuff…not that our group would know anything about that.

Tee shot on the short and strategic par-4 3rd hole:

Tower Ranch 3rd hole

Overlooking the par-5 4th hole:

Tower Ranch Golf Club Views

All of the par 3’s at Tower Ranch were beautiful to look at, and a lot of fun to play. They look inviting and taunt you to attack the pin, but the big nasty bunkers make you think twice.

The par-3 5th tee shot:

Tower Ranch Golf 5th hole

Nothing but smiles with views this good:

Tower Ranch Golf Club selfie

The tee shot on the par-4 16th hole (right) paralleling the 10th hole (left):

Tower Ranch Golf 16th hole

As our round neared the end, and the sun started to set, I yearned for more holes. The uniqueness of the course and beauty of the setting made me wish it didn’t have to end. The excitement during each cart ride of what they would throw at us next made for an exhilarating round of golf.

The approach to the par-5 17th hole:

Tower Ranch 17th hole

The course was in great condition, and the greens were receptive despite being aerated about a week prior to playing. I imagine under normal playing conditions the greens would roll fast and pure, which could make for some interesting approach shots and putts on the large sloping greens.

I would classify Tower Ranch Golf Club as a modern golf course balanced with a rustic feel. They sacrificed convenient routing to build great golf holes. A golf course built into such severe terrain could go wrong very quickly, but they definitely got it right. Challenging, playable, fun golf in a breathtaking setting — nothing wrong about that. Although Beth narrowly beat all the boys with the only sub-80 round of the group, we all left with smiles, but next time she is playing from the blue tees!

Although I’m generally biased towards walkable layouts, I will make an exception for this one. I wouldn’t hesitate returning to Tower Ranch Golf Club for a round, or recommending it to a friend. The views alone are worth it — the golf is a nice bonus.

Happy golfing!

Josh

Advertisements

  10 comments for “Review: Tower Ranch Golf Club

  1. September 17, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Josh, great review. You summarized up Tower up nicely. I too am bias towards walking friendly golf courses but it’s always a joy to play Tower Ranch as the individual holes are that good. Also to note, there is hitting nets by the chipping green but a little more to warm up would be nice!

    • September 18, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Drew,

      Thanks man! Sure was a joy, I’d love to go back. Thanks for the heads up about the nets. I was either totally oblivious, or they moved them. Either way, when I asked about a driving range in the pro shop, they should probably have mentioned them as an option.

      Thanks!
      Josh

  2. September 17, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Josh

    What an awesome looking course! Congrats to Beth!

    Cheers
    Jim

    • September 18, 2015 at 10:07 am

      Jim,

      It was indeed! I will pass on the congrats to Beth.

      Cheers!
      Josh

    • Beth
      September 18, 2015 at 10:19 am

      Thanks Jim! It was a really fun day on a fun track. I had a solid start with a birdie on the first which really gave me some momentum to put in a solid round. Beating the boys was just a happy bonus 🙂
      Beth

  3. September 18, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Sounds awesome. Will have to put it on my list of golf courses to visit.

    Thanks as always for sharing,

    Tina

    • September 18, 2015 at 10:08 am

      Tina,

      My pleasure. I’m eventually going to wear you down and convince you to come up the coast and into Canada for some golf!

      Cheers
      Josh

  4. September 19, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Aloha Josh,

    Good review and good pictures!

    I seldom stop at the range before going to the first tee – all warming up seems to do for me is make me sweaty. However, that first hole would make me nervous about my first swing of the day.

    And I am glad to see the smiling faces of happy golfers in your pictures. I think golf courses should have people on them.

    Good job!

    A Hui Hou,
    Wayne

    • September 20, 2015 at 10:19 am

      Aloha Wayne,

      Thank you! I’ve noticed that ever since I entered my 30’s, my body doesn’t like it very much when I don’t get a little warm up in. Maybe living in Hawaii is the secret?

      Cheers
      Josh

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: