The Harvest Golf Club can serve up more than just great golf
KELOWNA, B.C. — Spectacular views, great golf holes, and even some fresh fruit are what await players when they tee it up at one of Kelowna’s top-rated courses, The Harvest Golf Club.
While it’s well know locally as a place where anyone can test their skills, there is often a misconception among vacationers that The Harvest is a private club. That in fact is not the case.
“It’s right on our sign that everybody’s welcome,” said Head Golf Professional Bruce Vermee. “The public’s welcome. We do have a membership base but we are a destination golf course and we want everybody to come visit us at The Harvest Golf Club.”
While they do have a healthy membership roster at this panoramic layout there are tee times available to the greens’ fee player every day of the week.
“We do have a strong membership base but we are a full-fledged public course. We’ve never been private. There are tee times available for the public … and there’s no difficulty in getting those. We host groups of 24, 16, eight, whatever a golfer wants we can accommodate. We are a destination resort golf course and we want anybody that’s a golfer to come and visit us for a wonderful golf experience,” Vermee proclaimed.
Speaking to their layout, Vermee noted that since this course reflects in its name where it’s housed there is lots of room for every player to enjoy.
“It’s a quintessential kind of Graeme Cooke design. It’s generous off the tee which is nice. We’re not heavily treed even though we are in an orchard. Trees in orchards aren’t very tall so there aren’t a lot of tree hazards. There are definitely a few but our claim to fame is we have 91 bunkers. Good fairway bunkering, good green side bunkering. Challenging greens with plenty of undulation. It’s generous off the tee but as you get closer to the greens it tightens up a little bit.”
One of the pleasing aspects to The Harvest is the picture-perfect scenery offered from a variety of locations around the 18-hole layout. Situated above Kelowna proper, you look down upon not only the city itself but also the beauty of Okanagan Lake and the surrounding hills.
“That’s the great thing about this golf course. It’s walkable — a good walk — but it also has those outstanding views off sixteen green, seventeen tee with some of the best views in the Okanagan, for sure,” enthused Vermee.
The one nice design element of The Harvest is that it doesn’t chip any daunting uphill holes at its players. While there are some uphill approach shots there aren’t any steep climbs from tee to green, other than the par-3 No. 16, that can quickly wear thin on some players.
“Basically, all the tee shots are level. Because it’s (formerly) an orchard and most orchards can’t grow on real steep terrain, it’s basically gentle. There’s nothing dramatic in terms of straight uphill tee shots you’ll find at some of the other golf courses. It’s very playable,” explained the pro.
By the way, if your timing is right, there are some tasty treats awaiting your arrival thanks to some low hanging fruit in the orchards that surround this beautiful Okanagan Valley layout.
“If you come at the right time of year you can see the gentlemen picking the cherries, picking the apricots, picking the nectarines, the grapes,” Vermee agreed. “That’s part of the fun here; if you come in early July you can see them picking cherries.”
Yeah, but what if we have a craving for some sweet B.C. fruit while working on the course, Bruce?
“While we do own the land and the orchard, we do lease it out. We say “Don’t fill your golf bag,” but there’s nothing wrong with grabbing one off the tree,” if your volley happens to end up among the apple trees.
Asked to pick a signature hole, Vermee basically said that every hole, in its own way, fits that descriptor. After all, this is a great spot for a fun day of golf with challenges, scenery, great service on-course and in their fantastic restaurant and clubhouse, and yes, even some freshly picked fruit if the season is right.
In wrapping up, Vermee stated, “We pride ourselves on being second to none for service at any golf club in the Okanagan,” even if some of the cuisine is self-serve.
For tee times at The Harvest Golf Club, go to www.playgolfbc.com and follow the B.C. link.
By Gord Montgomery
Inside Golf Writer