The sight of eight gnomes and an accompanying pair of plastic characters that looked like they came out of Huckelberry Finn made me inquire, What the heck? I laughed because it made me think of that hilarious scene in the classic English movie, The Full Monty. But I saw these small statues on Hole. No. 11 at Sunset Ranch Golf Club in Kelowna not during a serious job interview like the flick. There is a story behind the placement of these guys. Ask the pro shop about it.
Now, back to the golf course. After a friendly greeting from the pro shop we were on our way with a very economical deal of golf cart and golf. Alison and I roared off to the first tee. The grounds looked very nice and I others told me of the good value of playing at this course. The opening drives on the first three holes were tight as trees lined both sides. I came to understand that this course strongly suggested that you hit long irons or fairway woods on many of the holes. The greens rolled well.
My personal favourites on the front nine were No. 6 and No. 7. The drive on the longer par 4 6th had to be positioned away from the red stakes on the left hand side and a wonky hill on the right. My hybrid club delivered the shot but it needs to be accurate. The following shorter Par 5 has a tremendous view with the green neatly tucked into the beautiful backdrop. This is one of the holes you can smash the driver and I did with great affect. The green is reachable in two if you can hit the long ball.
One of the comforting sounds on Sunset Ranch is the running water of Scotty Creek. It meanders throughout the course and you first hear it on the side of the first green. It comes into play on several holes. A lake lurks on No. 10 and the final hole. I like the finishing par 5 as you have to place the ball strategically away from the water on your drive and trees that may come into play on the right hand side near a creek running in front of the green. Some may feel they can reach it in two but it needs to be hit very well and precisely or add a stroke penalty.
Alison felt that this had an Ontario feel to it. The trees were there to enclose the holes. Some of the sights and sounds included: a deer munching on shrubs only a few yards away from us as we drove our cart by it at the end of the second hole; a red squirrel carrying a pine cone bigger than its head back into the woods on No. 9 tee; an airplane landing in the background of No. 9 green; chimes quietly singing in houses set along No. 12; a rusted Inuksuk sculpture by the 17th tee reminding you of the Vancouver Olympics; and the electricity running through the power lines on No. 6.
Other top views to appreciate are: the 4th tee looking backwards, No. 10 from the tee through the shoot on the drive, and the clubhouse as the backdrop on No. 18.
We finished off with a drink and some finger foods on the nice patio. After chatting with our waitress we found out that business is going well. There is a good established membership, the club holds many weddings and golf tournaments and the course has been busy with daily players. This bodes well for this course that also promotes the sales of homes surrounding the course. It looks like Sunset Ranch has found a solid position to cater to those golfers who want good value, a tree-lined but not beat you down golf course and nice scenery including wildlife sightings. Well done.