We had some friends in town who wanted to go check out Predator Ridge, and we happily obliged. Predator Ridge isn’t far from home, but there are so many golf courses in Kelowna that we don’t make the trip up to that resort often. It was also smoking hot the last time we played at Predator, so I was a little worried about how much fun we could have while melting from the heat. It was a really nice visit with our friends and there were plenty of safety protocols in place. I’ve been saying for a long time now that golf is the perfect activity for physical distancing!
Golf is perfect for physical distancing and catching up with friends and people who are not inside your bubble. Not much changed, other than the contactless ball extractor. There’s a little lever on all holes now where you can use your putter to lift a small platform inside the hole to get your golf ball. We also haven’t been golfing much this year, so it was the first time we saw the plastic divider inside the golf cart. Each cart also had a personal sand rake.
Before the pandemic, when you arrive at Predator Ridge, you follow the signage for golf check-in. You drive up around the decorative roundabout, and there is staff waiting to unload your golf bags onto the golf cart, and then they valet your car. It feels luxurious. The new process is just dropping off your bags and parking your own car. Then you bring your own golf bag to a cart of your choosing. Everything was open-air and felt safe for physical distancing. There were a couple of attendants present, but we weren’t sure what they were supposed to be doing other than repeating instructions that were also printed on sandwich boards.
We had lunch on the patio afterward. All of the servers were wearing masks. The menu had a lot of options outside of burgers! Lots of appetizers and fun things to eat like chicharrones. We kept our order simple because we had plenty of food to keep eating through at home. Our fridge and freezer had broken down a few days prior to our golf day, and I wanted to make sure we ate through as much as we could. My tuna tacos were a perfect order to tide me over, and Justin ordered the chicken burger which looked amazing.
It was a pretty lovely experience golfing at Predator Ridge, as usual. The only thing that wasn’t so nice was that there was a Player’s Assistant who was constantly around and then started rushing our party as we were on the last few holes. Our friends are really good at golf. Justin and I normally play pretty fast, and I’m super mindful to keep up. There was no one ahead of us, and the party behind us fell behind pretty quick. Yet the Player’s Assistant would come by and let us know that there was 1 hole ahead of us. And came by again and told us there were 2 holes ahead of us. All this time, there was no one behind us!
I’m not sure what kind of “course flow management” this is, but it definitely added unwanted “pressure”. I ignored it because it honestly made no sense. We were on the 16th hole by then, with no one in front or behind us. Afterward, when I mentioned to another friend that I wanted us to play here on their next visit in August, she mentioned how they were made to hustle the same way (maybe by the same Player’s Assistant?) and they were made to skip holes! So now I’m a little wary of returning so quickly because the green fee is on the upper end and I just don’t want to be hassled like that.
Eventually, we’ll get around to checking out the Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa. But since we’re in a pandemic, we are choosing to stay close to home (read: stay home). And we heard that many of the amenities at their acclaimed spa are closed. So for me, what’s the point? Sparkling Hill is also dog-friendly, and it’s only mountain-view rooms. I think those rooms face the golf course, but if you’ve seen the views that Sparkling Hill offers… the mountain view is really the last view you’d want while staying there. I want to enjoy the in-room soaker tub with views of the lake at sunset!