I made it up to Kamloops in the Fall of 2022 to do some golfing and sampled 4 golf courses that they have to offer - Tobiano, Big Horn, Talking Rock (technically not in Kamloops but close enough), and Kamloops Golf & Country Club. Each course was beautiful and challenging in their own right but for me, it was easy to pick a favourite: Tobiano.
Big Horn Golf & Country Club
Aptly named, Big Horn Golf & Country Club has a number of big horn sheep roaming around on the course. You play on the side of a mountain so the course has a lot of force carries and long grass that can prove challenging. I found the lay out to be fun and there are a lot of risk v. reward situations. As there isn't many trees that protect the fairways, there can be some errant shots from the opposite hole to look out for.
There was some construction going on around the fairways and greens so there were some holes where the conditions weren't the greatest. Some of the putting greens had some spots without grass or damage that made it challenging to putt through.
Maybe when the construction is complete, I'll go back.
Tobiano Golf Course
Probably one of the best golf courses I've played in the my life. I can see how Tobiano has won the honours of being BC's #1 golf course for a number of years now. There are 5 tee boxes to choose from with an additional 2 combo tee options which makes it fun for all skill levels.
I found this course to be both physically and mentally exhausting. It is so intimidating to walk up the tee box and see a gorge that you have to hit over, or the OB left/right that you hope your ball doesn't shape into, or being buffeted by the strong winds, or seeing a huge uphill incline to get to the green... there's a lot to think about. But when you crest that hill and see the gorgeous backdrop, you quickly forget about it all and just enjoy the view.
The holes were very well laid out with lots of space around you. The fairways and greens were well maintained and rolled very true. If you've never played this course, I urge you to go and expect to score 5-10 strokes more than what you normally shoot.
Talking Rock (in Chase BC)
Talking Rock Golf Course in Chase BC is so beautiful. The lush green grass and tall trees surrounding each hole will take your breath away. We decided to walk the course to enjoy the scenery a bit longer but I found it quite tiring: some of the holes are quite spread apart and there are some where you need to climb up tall hills. When I return, I will not be walking!
I found the layout of the holes very challenging. Even though there wasn't too many holes with out of bounds, it was often difficult to find your ball in the long grass that borders the fairways that you'll still need to take a penalty. It is a good thing that most of the fairways are wide enough for my errant tee shots. It was nice to play a course where you needed to strategize instead of just relying on a long tee shot.
Unfortunately, the Quaaout Lodge suffered a devastating fire in early 2022, so the rooms and some of the facilities are still closed. I hope to stay here one day when it is rebuilt.
Kamloops Golf and Country Club
It was a very rainy the day we played Kamloops Golf which kept a lot of people off the course and it felt like we had the course to ourselves. Luckily, I often play in the rain in the Lower Mainland so it was just like being home! The course plays very similar to courses in the Lower Mainland and after playing Tobiano and Big Horn where there were so many force carries, it was a nice change. There isn't too many elevation changes, or force carries. But there were a lot of trees that can get in the way.
While it is a very fun course, I feel like the reason you go to Kamloops to play golf is to experience courses like Tobiano, or Big Horn. Even though I shot a personal best 77 at this course, I feel that it can be skipped if you're in the area unless you've had enough of losing balls at Tobiano!
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