Designed by Graham Cooke and opened for play in 1994, the bent grass fairways of the 18-hole layout at The Harvest Golf Club lie within a working orchard and small vineyard just outside Kelowna in British Columbia, with golfers afforded sweeping views of the Okanagan Valley from every hole on the course.
Five varieties of apple and three different types of grapes are grown around the perimeter of the estate and these fruit growing plantations completely surround the golf course, an extensive practice area and the clubhouse, all of which are located in the middle of this 254-acre site.
Measuring 7,109 yards from the tips, the course plays to a par of 72, featuring four par threes and four par fives. Water, in the shape of a small lake, comes into play at holes 3, 4 ,5 and 9, with the toughest holes on the card regarded as the left doglegged 7th and very long par four 17th.
The Harvest Golf Club is one of Graham Cooke’s original designs that meanders along the hillsides of productive orchards, offering amazing views of the city and the Okanagan Lake. This 5,454 to 7,109 yard layout is a perfect way to start your golf trip as you can spray the ball off the tee without getting into too much trouble. You will find that most of the difficulty here is on your approach shot where accuracy is the key.
A true resort-style course and if you pick the right set of tees, you will enjoy yourself without losing any golf balls (as I can attest to). I was very proud of the way I played however I was shown up by a fellow writer who pulled off five birdies on the day, a feat that I have never witnessed before, so you can definitely score here. Remember to stop at the turn so you can appreciate one of the most breathtaking views from the clubhouse to the 18th green, overlooking the waterfalls with the mountains in the background. A true Kodak moment indeed!
For those wishing to have a layout nearest to the center of Kelowna a round at The Harvest will do quite nicely. The layout is done well but many of the key details are kept to a fairly rudimentary level. The opening series of holes is good -- especially the dog-leg left par-5 2nd. The mid-length par-4 3rd is quite good with a pond hanging close to the putting green.
The rest of the holes on the outward side are fairly straightforward in what's required. The only one that stands out is the dog-leg left par-4 7th. Here the tee shot must be well played and the approach is also tested.
The inward half is a good mixture of holes -- plenty of fairway movements so players have to be quite certain on the line of attack taken from the tee. The par-4 12th is a quality hole -- the land turning left in the drive zone and appropriately protected with two bunkers on that side. The green is also contoured well and getting near via the approach is anything but a sure thing.
The concluding holes are a good mixture -- but as I said at the outset -- the layout is devoid of a range of needed details to secure an even higher rating. For those visiting the immediate Kelowna area and in need of a golf option that is clearly good and relatively inexpensive the time spent at The Harvest will reap a bumper crop -- especially with the plethora of different apple tress scattered around the property.
by M. James Ward