Date: 2006-Sep-24 Review by Alberta Bound
The greens were Poa and were fast. They were in very good shape and had slight undulations that break to the valley. The fringe and greenside bunkers were in good condition with two or three rakes in each bunker
The fairways were very good with enough landing room. The first cut was wide before you reached the rough. A small creek runs across or beside 7 holes and can present big problems if you hit a wayward shot. Fairway bunkers were well groomed. On a number of holes on the lower elevations you could recover from a bad shot as there was only one line of trees separating a joining fairways. The fairways were marked at the 200, 150, and 100 with rocks on the side at 150 yards.
The course has four sets of larger tees. They have blue, white, red and gold. All the tees were well cared for and had attractive flowers, benches, medal horses for tee markers, ball washers, shoe cleaners, and good signage with a map of the hole. We sent our time on the tee boxes admiring the plants and shrubs that surrounded most of the tees.
The course is very interesting with two different sections. On the upper level we experienced three holes that were new. These were more of the links style and were elevated over the rest of the course and fairly tight. The creek flows through the course creating a hazard on a number of holes. There were elevated tees on holes number one, eight and ten. Number six, seven and eight on the upper level were very interesting with difficulties left and right. Number 14 on the lower level is an excellent hole as you have to hit your tee shot through a narrow opening between the trees. The creek flows along the left for the length of the par five. The course has a couple of very attractive small ponds with nice flowers and rocks. You do get a feeling of a little crowding of holes on the lower section. You may walk the course but you will have a climb from five to six. There is a walkers short cut at number eight as you make your way back down the hill. This course has large, mature popular, pines and spruce trees. The course has five par fives, and five par threes and you will probably use every club in your bag
At $55 for midday for a very good course, the Sunset Ranch represents good value. Golf carts are not included at this price. They indicated that they rented the power carts by rider rather than by the cart. This is a good idea if you are a single or the only one that wants to drive. The power carts were electric and had a wind screen. The course indicated that a new fleet of carts were on order for next year.
The course is a par 72 with a slope of 133 from the blues and 129 from the reds. The length from the blues is 6500 yards with only three shorter par 4s. From the blue tees the par fives are all over 512 yards. There is one par four at 449 yards as well as a short one at 286.
The course is located on the eastern side of the valley. From the clubhouse you have great views of this very green looking course. From the higher elevations you get a good look over apple orchards, and into the valley. There are houses on the south and part of the east side.
All the staff we meet were very friendly especially the fellows in the pro shop as well as the restaurant staff. We did not see a beverage cart.
The clubhouse was very attractive, with two nice balconies, a good size banquet room, locker rooms, a nice bar and eating area. We had a two meals there and found the food to be excellent. The pro shop was well stocked and the grounds were very nicely landscaped. The parking lot is paved and there are a number of beautiful flower beds around the parking lot and club house. The entrance to the course is very impressive.
The pace of play was very good for the first 14 holes then we ran into the back of a small tournament. The washrooms had running water, were very attractive and well spaced around the course. We did not see a beverage cart or any course marshals. They have practice facilities which include a driving net, chipping green and two putting greens.
The Sunset Ranch Golf Club is a must play when you are in the area. You will enjoy the experience as the course is different than the other ones you might play while in the valley. This is a more traditional course that is well cared for. On our next visit to the Okanagan we will play here again.