Review: Greywolf Golf Course

Western Canada is chalk full of beautiful golf courses. Regardless of what style of course you prefer, there’s no denying the beauty and uniqueness of Canadian mountain golf, and Greywolf is no exception.

Greywolf is perched up among the Purcell Mountains in British Columbia’s stunning Columbia Valley, a 20-minute drive up the mountain from the town of Invermere. It is part of the Panorama Ski Resort which adds to the rustic, alpine feel of the experience. Designed by Canadian golf course architect, Doug Carrick, Greywolf opened for play in 1999. This was our second visit to a Carrick-designed course, the first being stunning Magna Golf Club.

The course will challenge you right out of the gates as you march uphill on the first three holes.

Greywolf golf course 2nd hole
Looking up the par-4 2nd fairway

However, what goes up, must come down. The reward on the 4th tee is well worth the grind through the first few holes. It felt like my tee shot here soared toward the mountainous backdrop for about 7 minutes.

Greywolf 4th hole
The dramatically downhill par-4 4th hole
Greywolf 4th hole
The downhill approach of the par-4 4th hole

If you’ve ever heard of Greywolf, you’ve surely heard of their signature hole, “The Cliffhanger”. An absolute jaw dropping par-3 perched on the edge of a cliff, surrounded by mountain views. This hole is not for the faint of heart, and is a good time to pony up one of your best iron shots of the day. No pressure, though.

Greywolf Cliffhanger 6th hole
Yours truly sending it on “The Cliffhanger” (photo by Beth Strukoff)
Greywolf 6th green
Side view of “The Cliffhanger”

The terrain at Greywolf never stands still. For every uphill shot, there’s a downhill shot, and you’ll be lucky to find a flat lie, which requires you to constantly adapt. While the terrain and setting is completely different, much of Carrick’s bunker work reminded me a bit of Magna Golf Club. The way he layers multiple bunkers to challenge your depth perception, or stagger them diagonally along a dogleg.

Greywolf 14th hole
The uphill approach to the par-5 14th hole

We saw some rain roll in on our back 9 which made it a challenge to keep my camera lens dry, but it did not dampen the beauty and peaceful seclusion of the back half of this golf course. A stern challenge, but the width of the playing corridors keep it playable. I found myself focusing on the design features of each hole, rather than just “hoping it stays out of the forest” like some tighter courses can make you feel.

Beth thought it was a challenge too, but it didn’t seem to bother her, as she casually made 5 birdies in the first 12 holes.

Greywolf 16th hole
Tee shot on the par-4 16th hole

For a late May round, I was impressed that they had the course in near mid-season conditioning, particularly after our harsh winter in Western Canada.

We stayed at up at the Panorama resort for a night, and while the vibe of an alpine resort felt a little more subdued in the summer compared to ski season, it turned out to be a fun and chill getaway. If I had to complain about one thing, the hours of operation for the hot tub at our lodge were a little stingy. Perhaps they are just trying to keep those buddies trips in check.

We visited Greywolf’s restaurant, The Cliffhanger Restaurant, before and after our twilight round and had two fantastic meals, and were impressed with the friendly and welcoming service.

The peak rate at Greywolf comes in at $149, while not a steal, it is good value when compared to some other mountain courses in Western Canada. There are also cheaper shoulder season and twilight rates, or group package deals which can help the value-seeking golfer get the most out of their visit.

Greywolf offers up everything you’d expect from a mountain golf experience — dramatic terrain, beautiful vistas, and a unique and challenging golf experience you simply can’t replicate anywhere else. No matter what your taste in golf courses is, a little mountain golf is good for the soul.

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