Golf Course Architecture in Kelowna: Design and Beauty

a golf course with a pond in the foreground and a golf course in the distance with mountains in the background
Kelowna Springs Golf Club

Amidst natural beauty, Kelowna's golf courses stand as masterpieces of design and architecture. These courses, more than just venues for the sport, are canvases where the artistry of architecture meets the wild grace of nature. Each swing and putt here is an experience, woven into the stunning landscapes crafted by some of the finest architects in the golfing world. Here we review the architectural brilliance that shapes these courses, making them not just sports facilities but destinations of beauty and challenge.

Notable Golf Courses

Kelowna boasts an array of golf courses, each with its unique charm and design. The Harvest Golf Club, for instance, is celebrated for its enchanting ambiance, making it a sought-after venue for events. The Kelowna Springs Golf Club, with its welcoming atmosphere and challenging greens, caters to both amateur and seasoned golfers. The Sunset Ranch Golf & Country Club's narrow wooded fairways and creek hazards offer a delightful yet challenging experience, while Black Mountain Golf Club is known for its demanding greens and breathtaking vistas.

Tower Ranch Golf & Country Club stands out for its impeccable views and well-maintained course, inviting golfers to a visually stunning game. And then there’s Shannon Lake Golf Course, set against the backdrop of a serene lake, offering pristine fairways that are perfect for golfers at all skill levels.

Architectural Highlights and Designers

The architectural grandeur of Kelowna's golf courses is exemplified by the Okanagan Golf Club. The Bear, designed by Jack Nicklaus's renowned company, embraces the challenging game with its dynamic curves and elevation changes. In contrast, The Quail, conceptualized by Les Furber, tests golfing acumen with its intricate mix of demanding holes set amongst striking rock bluffs.

Gallagher’s Canyon, another marvel designed by the duo of Bill Robinson and Les Furber, offers a classic parkland experience. Its 18-hole championship layout is famed for its stunning vistas and meticulously manicured fairways that wind through forest-clad canyons. Meanwhile, Kelowna Springs Golf Club, another creation of Les Furber, welcomes newcomers with its less intimidating terrain, while still engaging experienced players with its unique water features.

Les Furber's Impact on Kelowna Golf Courses

Les Furber, a luminary in golf course design, has significantly influenced Kelowna's golfing landscape. With a portfolio of over 50 courses, Furber’s designs underpin several of Kelowna's premier golf destinations. His approach, honed under the tutelage of Robert Trent Jones Sr., balances playability with challenge. Furber believes a course should be enjoyable for golfers of all abilities, offering aesthetically pleasing layouts that are engaging yet not overly daunting.

This philosophy is evident in Kelowna's courses, where each hole is a blend of beauty and strategy. His designs invite players to immerse themselves in the game while enjoying the settings, thereby enhancing the overall golfing experience in Kelowna.

Signature Holes and Their Unique Features

Kelowna's golf courses are also known for their signature holes, each offering a unique challenge and visual appeal. For example, Tower Ranch’s Hole #17 is renowned for its 360-degree panoramic views of the Okanagan Valley and a demanding par 5 play. Gallagher's Canyon's Hole #6 requires precise shots along a tree-lined fairway, with a breathtaking view of the valley as a reward at the end. Similarly, the Bear Course at the Okanagan Golf Club features Hole #13, a picturesque par 5 where water hazards add to the challenge.

These holes are tests of skill that also offer moments of awe, as golfers navigate the intricacies of the course against the backdrop of Kelowna's natural splendor.


The fusion of architectural ingenuity and natural beauty in Kelowna's golf courses creates an unparalleled golfing experience. Each course, with its unique design and scenic vistas, invites golfers to play a game and embark on a journey through landscapes crafted by masters of golf course architecture. It’s an invitation to experience the harmony of design and nature, challenging every golfer to elevate their game amidst the beauty of Kelowna.