Photo Review: Salmon Arm Golf Club (Heritage 9 + Champions 18)

Information:

  • Salmon Arm, British Columbia
  • Public – Daily Fee
  • Unknown (1928), Les Furber (1984, 1995)
  • 56th public golf course in Canada (ScoreGolf)

When you think of the Shuswap, north of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, you don’t go right to golf courses. Sure, you go to a beautiful region that looks like it could be in Star Wars or any sort of nature show, but it doesn’t have the big guns Kelowna or Kamloops might. There is, however, decent golf between Talking Rock in Chase, and Salmon Arm Golf Club + Shuswap National (review coming soon!) in Salmon Arm. More than enough to keep the locals and tourists who come to the area happy alike.

Salmon Arm is lucky enough to have 27 holes, 9 of which is called the “Heritage” course. The original 18 included the Heritage 9, and when Furber came in in 1984 to build a new 9, the 9 hole course across the highway became the Heritage 9.

Heritage 9

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The par 4, 1st green features interesting mounding surrounding the green
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The mid length par 3, 2nd to a pushed up green features some nice green contouring
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The uphill par 3, 3rd might be my favorite on the Heritage 9, no more than a 9 iron on the worst day
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The green at the par 3, 4th is tucked on a shelf into the hillside
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The 360 yard par 4, 5th features a ravine with a stream running through the hole at about 270 yards
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A short iron over the water hazard awaits the player at the par 3, 6th
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A 250 yard par 4, the 7th features a well-guarded green by some of the few bunkers on the golf course
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What looks like all carry over the natural lagoon on the par 3, 8th, a fairway is just over the hazard to provide some leeway
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The 9th is a weird par 3 to close out the course, playing 230 or so odd yards. It didn’t feel like the rest of the golf course and was kind of dull

The Heritage 9 is a good warm up for sure. I had a lot of fun, and played 9 holes in 40 minutes (!). Now, onto the big golf course.

The “Champions” course as its called is a creation between 1984 Les Furber, and 1995 Les Furber, over some of the original land. It’s got some good holes, and some really bad holes, and overall is a decent golf course worth playing once. On a local scale it’s pretty solid, and the membership should be (and certainly is) proud of their facility. Let’s kick things off.

Champions Course

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The tee shot at the mid length par 4 opener
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The approach to the par 4 2nd, a 370 yard or so par 4 doglegging around the corner
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The tee shot at the shorter par 4, 3rd, the third of three holes that dogleg to the left
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My vote for one of the nicer holes on the golf course comes at the 4th, a long, 590 yard par 5 over some dramatic land
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The massive green on the par 3, 5th moves around the artificial hazard short left
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Another dogleg left moves up and over the hill towards the two-tiered green at the 6th
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At 206 yards, the par 3 7th forces the player to fly everything with a long iron
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Doglegging left off the tee, the 486 yard par 5 8th moves straight up the hill to a well guarded green
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A refreshing dogleg right moves over some decent land. A good hole to end the front nine at the 405 yard, par 4 9th
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The 10th doglegs left up the hill, playing at a 363 yard par 4
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The… interesting par 4, 11th doglegs left around a hazard, then up the slope. At 407 yards, it’s no pushover, either
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206 yards, all carry, the 12th is a difficult par 3
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The 416 yard, par 4 13th is one of the most simple holes out here, making is a nice change of pace
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Once you get past weird, sharp dogleg right tee shot at the 508 yard par 4, 14th, the hole is a nice three shot par 5
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The 15th is a short par 4 that is one of the best holes on the course given the options throughout 
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The par 4, 16th is a benign 434 yard par 4, straight away. A tough green complex awaits the player after the tee shot
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Shortlisted as one of the best holes on the course, the slightly uphill, the 150 yard par 3 17th is well bunkered
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A well guarded green awaits the player to finish off the round. The 18th is a reachable par 5 at 504 yards–a risk reward hole to finish off a good day!

While Salmon Arm may not be my favorite golf course, there’s some good holes out here. The 15th and 17th are the standouts for me, and the 4th is also good. There’s a number of holes out here that make it worth the round at least once.

It’s just too Les Furber for me. Nothing wrong with that, some people really like him, but my Favorite Les Furber course–Fairview Mountain–is the least in your face Furber I’ve played. This is among the most. But in a setting like this, with a course in good shape, it’s hard to complain. And when the locals are as spirited about the golf course as Salmon Arm members are, it’s a great place to hangout. I would recommend Salmon Arm for someone who enjoys going out to the golf course with his buddies, having a beer and some laughs in a great spot in Western Canada. The Shuswap is world-class, and a buddies trip to Salmon Arm should include a round.

 

 

 

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