For all the attention the Kootenays get as a mountain bike and ski destination, the region also has another ace up its sleeve. Eleven of them in fact. Seven of them offering a challenging 18 holes, and four of them with playful 9 holes. Affordable and spectacular, they epitomize mountain golf, with rivers, creeks, lakes, mountains, forests and wildlife providing a compelling backdrop.
The East Shore of Kootenay Lake boasts two courses, including the ridiculously beautiful Kokanee Springs Resort. With on-site dining and accommodation and stunning views, it’s worth making a pilgrimage to Crawford Bay to stay a while and play a few rounds. Make it a double header by taking the free Kootenay Lake ferry west to Balfour for a game at the Balfour Golf Course, featuring 18 holes of challenging golf in surreal surroundings. Nearby 9 hole courses in Kaslo, Riondel and Balfour’s Eagleview are good options for a shorter game.
Nelson’s natural amphitheater setting makes for a challenging yet rewarding mountain golf experience at Granite Pointe Golf Club. You’ll find some of the best views of Nelson and Kootenay Lake from the course and give your legs a workout in the process. Golfhiking anyone? Don’t worry, there are plenty of carts if you’d prefer to cruise around the course in comfort.
The golfing terrain is a little gentler as you head further west. Birchbank Golf Course in Trail and Redstone Resort in Rossland each offer 18 holes of striking fairways. Don’t miss grabbing a bite and beverage at Redstone’s historic log clubhouse; you might find yourself thinking you’ve been whisked away to a backcountry ski cabin.
There are not too many places on Earth where you can enjoy golfing on perfectly manicured fairways and greens located beside one of the world’s longest rivers and between snow-capped mountains. Castlegar is one of the most amazing golf destinations on the planet and the best part is its relatively undiscovered so you don’t have to wait long for your tee times!
There are over a dozen golf courses located within a 45-minute drive of the city but the most acclaimed and easiest to access is the Castlegar Golf Club, which is less than 10-minute drive from the downtown core. Honoured with a four star rating by Golf Digest, The Castlegar Golf Club is one of the best courses to play in Canada. It’s been the host of the BC Men’s Amateur Championship four times as well as numerous other Provincial and National Championships. And the best part is if you have an RV you can stay right on site!
The other notable links site within the city is Little Bear Golf Course, an executive par 3 that’s a great spot for your next meeting or a quick round of disc golf.
Meandering creeks, rolling terrain, towering cedars, colourful leafy trees and densely forested mountains make for an unforgettable setting at each course. Add in spacious patios, great comfort food, and great value and it’s a winning combo. Even if your golf game needs some work, you won’t need any mulligans when it comes to figuring out where to play a round in the Kootenays.