Monday the 18th July was my 45th birthday and this year I celebrated in the beautiful Okanagan Valley. We had a relaxed start to the day before a nice walk around the lake down in Kelonwa. We then enjoyed a relaxed lunch at Bliss Bakery before heading out to the Kelonwa Golf & Country Club. We were lucky enough to be invited by Mike and his wife Brenda who are members there. Steve met Mike while playing in the Holland Derby at Predator Ridge.
The first golf in Kelowna was played in 1899 on a 9-hole course located near the present day City Hall and Memorial Arena. In 1914 the golf course moved to a new location in the Bankhead area where a 9-hole course was established. This location proved unsuccessful due in part to members leaving to join the Armed Forces to fight in World War 1 (1914 – 1918).
In 1920, the members decided to purchase and move to the present location known then as the Wolaston property. The Club had 72 members at that time. Funds to purchase the property were raised by the sale of shares to members. The Club was incorporated in 1920 as the Kelowna Golf Club. Play commenced on the new course consisting of nine holes with sand greens. Due to an increasing membership the course was extended into an 18 hole course which was officially opened in 1962.
We teed off at 3pm and it was really hot which was a nice change. It is a really nice course – Steve and Mike were enjoying playing off the Blue Tees rather than the Tips which they had played off in the tournament. On about the 6th hole the skies started getting darker and we could hear thunder rumbling in the distance. We also saw the odd bolt of lightening. Mike didn’t think we would be affected but we did get the odd spot of rain. We were just about to putt on the 9th when the hooter sounded for everyone to get off the course. We did putt out and then decided to go to the Clubhouse for an early dinner. It was a Monday which is Seniors Day at the Club so they had a CAD12 roast beef special plus dessert. Steve thought I now qualified given I was now 45!
After the roast beef the thunder and lightening threat had passed so we went back out to finish the back nine. We had dessert after we finished which was a chocolate mint cake – I decided that could be the equivalent of my birthday cake.
Gary had dropped us at the golf course before leaving the car at the airport – he was flying back to Calgary. He had only bought one set of keys with him so on the Sunday we had a debate about what the best course of action was re where to leave the keys etc… It was decided after consultation with some of the guys that Kelonwa is a pretty safe place so the car and our luggage would be fine in the airport carpark with the keys hidden in the car : 0. Living dangerously in the Okanagan Valley!
Mike and Brenda dropped us at the airport and we found the car and our luggage safe and sound.
The logo on the flag is Ogopogo – Lake Okanagan’s answer to the Loch Ness Monster
We saw many Marmots on the golf course – we had first come across Marmots in Switzerland up on a mountain where they were very shy. These guys were very used to people and were living the life of Riley eating the lush grass on the golf course.