Golf in the Kootenays
On the other side of the Rockies there are so many good courses to play, it may be hard to fit them all into one golf trip.
Located in Cranbrook, BC Wildstone is the first Gary Player design in Canada
Wildstone was the first Gary Player designed the course in Canada and has described the site as one of the most beautiful he had ever worked on with his senior designer Jeff Lawrence. Wildstone offers several tee options from 4947 yards up to the tips at 7127 yards. The course is challenging but very fair from any set of tees. A par 72 layout, Wildstone offers spectacular views of the mountains as it weaves its’ way thru the trees. No 2 holes are the same and you will certainly get the chance to use every club in your bag. It is a very unique design/layout with 2 par 3’s and 3 par 5’s on the front nine and then the opposite on the back nine. There are plenty of waste bunkers, water and trees along the fairways to keep you focused on your game.
This is the most beautiful site that I've ever had the privilege to design a golf course on. - Gary Player
Wildstone features a terrific warmup/practice area with a large putting green, separate chipping area and world class driving range. Must say one could be excused from temporarily losing focus on the range as you gaze off at the mountains. Wildstone is part of a master planed community which is developing at a good pace. Future plans include adding a permanent clubhouse, additional single and multi family development on lots bordering the course. When you are in the Kootenay’s it's definitely worth booking a tee time. www.wildstonegolf.com
•Par 72 | 7127 yards
•5 sets of tee-boxes
•Set on the rolling highlands above Cranbrook, BC, Wildstone exposes stunning postcard views of the Rocky Mountains from start to finish.
•$69 walking weekday includes range
•$79 walking weekend includes range
After a bite to eat on the patio we headed into Cranbrook to the Days Inn, conveniently located in the middle of town close to several restaurants. We were super impressed with the Days Inn, friendly staff, very modern décor throughout the hotel and generous sized rooms. Other amenities include a fitness area, pool, outdoor patio & BBQ and a terrific complimentary breakfast including made to order omelettes! Monday through Thursday they offer up a really cool treat each night as they serve complimentary chocolate? The Days Inn is a great place to stay for a night or two.
On day two we headed to Shadow Mountain. Shadow Mountain was designed by the Cooke/Carleton team was opened in the summer of 2009 located just minutes outside Cranbrook, in fact a couple of the holes can be seen from the highway. We received a warm welcome from the gal at the front, then checked in and headed out to the range which features several greens to aim at to warm up, pitching green and oversize putting green leaving very little excuses for a bad warm up.
Known for spectacular views and the signature hole “The Monster,” Shadow Mountain is a 18-hole championship golf course located just outside Cranbrook, BC
The first few holes on the course are played on reasonably flat terrain weaving thru towering pines with strategically placed bunkers to keep your attention on the task at hand. We managed to stop staring at the spectacular views of the peaks of Fisher Peaks, the Steeples & Purcell Mountain ranges long enough to focus on the occasional golf shot. Fairways and tee boxes were in terrific shape considering it was only May, undulating greens rolled very true, quick but very good.
After the first few holes the course takes on a whole new look as we headed into a more mountainous terrain with holes featuring elevation changes, rolling fairways and bunkering along most fairways. Heading back towards the finishing holes brought us to some of the most talked about, most photographed on the course starting with hole # 15 – your tee shot starts some 125’ above the generous fairway bordered by trees on the left and a lake on the right and yes a few bunkers all framed with a spectacular view of the snow capped mountains off in the distance.
Just two holes later you arrive at the last par 5 on the course, # 17 a 606 yarder aptly named ‘The Monster.’ Again you tee-off on a super elevated tee only this time the trees are on the right and the water on the left. Your tee shot seems to hang in the air forever before dropping back to the ground. Designers did a great job with the layout and provides golfers of all abilities a challenge from the forward tees at 5000 yards to the tips at 7405 yards from the back Gold tees. Shadow Mountain is definitely worth checking out on your next trip out to the Cranbrook area.
To see more about the course and to book a tee time check out their website at www.shadowmountain.ca
•5000-7405 yards | Par 72
•6 sets of tee-boxes
•$104 includes GPS cart, range balls