Sun Rivers In Kamloops
by Scott A Sumner
Golf Digest magazine must have known what they were doing when they choose the Sun Rivers course in Kamloops BC as the best new course in Western Canada in 2003. Carved out of the sunny bench lands at the base of Mounts Peter and Paul, Sun Rivers is one of the few desert courses in Canada. The Graham Cook design offers dramatic elevation changes, sagebrush, classic bunkering and majestic vistas.
Kelly OBrien is the Golf Marketing Coordinator at Sun Rivers Golf Course. The course opened in 2001 with the front nine and the back opened in 2002. "We won the best course for 2003 by Golf Digest and are very happy about it. Our superintendent did a great job of manicuring the course and getting it into great shape after being so new," states Kelly Obrien. "The Austrian owners started the Harvest golf course first in the area. We started off with our first adult community here and are just getting ready to announce the ninth green community, which are single detached homes right off the club house on number nine green. We expect that to sell out quickly." You can contract out or use the firms construction team to build the homes which will start at $225,000.
"It is a public course or a resort destination course. We are totally open to the public. A lot of marketing is done in Vancouver because we like the proximity. In addition we like to extend a bit to Calgary and Edmonton." states OBrien. "There are no jet aircraft that fly in here. Air Canada fly in on Dash 8 aircraft, roughly a couple times a day from Calgary and Vancouver. It would be nice to have some lower cost flights to come in from Eastern Canada."
"It costs from $62.00 to play Sun Rivers, thats our advance booking fee. Book one to four days in advance and its $48.00. A walk on rate is $40.00. It is all based on when you book you tee time. We do approximately 20,000 rounds especially with the group bookings and corporate events," smiles OBrien. "I love the scenery in Kamloops. It is beautiful. Vancouver is a short 3 1/2 hour drive. For us having the golf Digest award as well as the Dunes getting in 1997 has made a big difference. People want to come out to a few premier courses."
Sun Peaks has about 30 staff for maintenance in a season which runs from early March to mid October. In the winter they do a lot of catering events and weddings and are planning to have a new club house built for next season. The clubhouse will be 10,000 square feet and have full amenities.
The Sun Peaks course was my first desert type course to play. It was fun to walk into the waste sage brush area and find your ball. Special thanks to local resident Linda who played with our group and showed me her very nice on course retirement home. This is an ideal area to retire for a golfer!