There probably is not just one single reason why Predator Ridge has succeeded while so many other mega golf resorts have failed in British Columbia.
But great golf certainly has a lot to do with it.
Yes, the scenery will take your breath away and the service is outstanding, but it’s the golf that keeps players coming back to the Vernon facility. The Vancouver Sun’s Best of B.C. golf panel certainly seems to love it. The 12 panelists selected Predator’s Ridge Course as their favourite public or resort course in the province.
“The Ridge Course at Predator is visually stunning, eminently playable, and just pure fun and that is what golf is all about in British Columbia,” says panel member Kris Jonasson, executive director of British Columbia Golf.
“It combines the best of meadows, woodlands and mountain terrains with outstanding lake views to create a memorable day. The weather is generally exceptional and in my mind it is the must-play course in B.C.”
This is the second time we have compiled a panel to rate B.C.’s best courses. In a 2009 survey, Predator finished second to Big Sky in Pemberton. This year, the two courses swapped places.
Our 12 panelists were each asked to submit their own top 10 lists and through a points system a top 10 list of their lists was compiled.
Predator received more first-place votes (three) than any other course.
“I chose Predator Ridge as my No. 1 because it offers the complete package: a gorgeous layout, great conditions, top service and expansive patios in one of the most beautiful regions of the province,” says panelist Holly Horwood, a two-time B.C. Senior Women’s champion.
“We try to play it every year with another couple when we visit the area. Memories of golf played there include thoughts of warmth, beautiful vistas and a crisp glass of Pinot gris from Burrowing Owl afterwards. It doesn’t get any better.”
“Predator Ridge is No. 1 for me as it has a wide variety of interesting, yet very playable holes,” says panelist Mike Carroll, a Vancouver lawyer who is serving a one-year term as president of Golf Canada.
“The course is always in great condition and the level of service, quality of the food and beverage operations, and the practice facility are all first-class.”
Predator Ridge has been open since 1991 and, for most of those years, it was a 27-hole facility. But noted Canadian golf architect Doug Carrick was recently asked to design nine new holes and re-do one of the existing nines.
His creation, the Ridge Course, has drawn rave reviews since officially opening in 2010.
“The Ridge Course is a perfect complement to the existing Predator Course,” says Brad Pelletier, who runs the facility for the owner, Vancouver-based Wesbild Holdings Ltd.
“Very infrequently with a site that has significant elevation change are you able to deliver a very playable golf course. I think that is what Doug Carrick has achieved with the Ridge Course. It offers that unique B.C. setting with an experience that isn’t going to beat you up. It’s going to make you feel good about your game, not demoralize you.”
While many other B.C. golf resorts with significant real estate components have struggled in recent times, Predator Ridge has continued to flourish.
“I always say that Predator Ridge has four unique things,” Pelletier says. “It has a great piece of property, it has a great brand, it has great people and it has always continued to innovate. So many facilities, at some point in their life cycle, run out of ideas and don’t know where to go next.”
That has not happened at Predator.
Under Pelletier’s leadership, the facility has added former LPGA regular A.J. Eathorne to its instruction staff and hired former PGA Tour winner Dick Zokol. Predator also has become the summer home of Hockey Canada.
“Predator Ridge deserved them,” Pelletier says.
“I truly believe we are the best in our category in the country. And we have committed to owning that segment. We have not discounted. Where others have diminished the brand equity that they have had, we have held firm to our pricing and quality and value and it has paid off. Last year, we had the strongest performance ever within our resort.”
Read full story at: http://www.vancouversun.com/Predator+Ridge+tops+Best+list/8323660/story.html#ixzz2SGmhGOnl
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun