Les Furber’s Hidden GemsMay 15, 2013
|For renowned Canadian course architect Les Furber, British Columbia’s Kootenay Rockies region has proved an ideal landscape to perfect his signature style, namely white-sand bunkers, huge, undulating greens and holes aligned with the surrounding peaks. But what about the Furber courses that aren’t entrenched in this mountain playground? They are atypical, perhaps, but each bear the defining stamp of an architect that has stylishly shaped the golf experience in British Columbia.
The promise of challenge, plus a little Okanagan scenery, has drawn enthusiasts to the Salmon Arm Golf Club for over 80 years. With two courses carved from the extinct volcano cone of Mount Ida, the natural topography of this gem is all Furber, but it is just one of the attractions; here, the designer’s links-style layout meanders along the flanks of the mountain, backed by towering fir and pine forests. www.salmonarmgolf.com
Further south, Oliver’s Fairview Mountain Golf Club boasts a rather unique address: not only is it set in Canada’s Wine Capital, but the mountainside design, overlooking South Okanagan vineyards and wineries, is right at home in a cacti-rich pocket desert. While boasting a different style and a more open layout than a traditional Furber design, this spot promises mountainside desert golf at its best, with generous fairways, aggressive play off the tees and some of the purest putting surfaces in the province. www.fairviewmountain.com
Those up for a challenge will be right at home at Storey Creek, a Vancouver Island favourite which also happens to be a big draw for the region’s wildest residents. Here, south of Campbell River, hawks, eagles and even deer mingle happily with golfers as they follow a course that feels distinctly Furber, punctuated by old-growth and second-growth forest — a design that is indeed a unique “course in nature.” www.storeycreek.bc.ca
Courtesy of Tourism British Columbia