This is the time of year Okanagan golfers are basking in their good luck. While much of the rest of the country is still feeling the effects of late winter, the greens and fairways of the Okanagan Valley are beckoning.
It’s safe to say that women golfers are as passionate – and competitive – as their male counterparts. On any given hole, they can plunge into the depths of despair with a bad putt or transform their game with the perfect approach shot.
Women anticipate the start of golf season as eagerly as their male counterparts, and Kelowna golfer Dawn Taplay frequently enjoys up to 100 rounds a year at her home course, The Okanagan Golf Club.
Taplay is one of thousands of women golfers in the Okanagan, and the number is growing steadily. When Taplay was ten years old, she used her Dad’s clubs to try the sport. She fashioned a home-made attachment for her bicycle to pull her golf clubs to the course. At age 23 she became a prolific golfer.
“It is an individual sport so I can go anywhere, anytime and I can play with anyone. As a young single adult that was important and it still is. Golf is a game you play for life. You can never beat its’ challenges. There is a great deal of camaraderie in the game,” she observed.
“The Okanagan Club offers two full courses (The Bear and Quail Ridge), so when there is a tournament at one, I always have another course to play.
“There are a lot more fun competitions coming on stream and many courses are promoting women’s’ events all the time. Even if you aren’t a member somewhere, there is plenty to choose from,” said Taplay. “It’s a game you can play well into your 80s in many cases, and it is great exercise. On Canadian golf courses we promote walking, not mandatory carting. And it’s very socially interactive.”
An acknowledged expert on golf equipment, Greg Murtland says TaylorMadeis the number one name in golf. (The company signed a sponsorship agreement with Tiger Woods the day Murtland was interviewed.) Ladies’ golf equipment and apparel makes up about 15 per cent of the company’s product line. TaylorMade has developed a new line designed around women golfers, Kalea, which means to bring joy and happiness.
“In some cases, women golfers are playing with clubs that have been handed down to them. Ladies prefer their own design…clubs that are lighter with shorter shafts and more loft on the club which makes it easier to get the ball in the air.” Murtland explains. “Ladies who are advanced play a stiffer flex and longer shaft.”
Women golfers often prefer to hit drivers, fairway woods and hybrid clubs. Try them at Predator Ridge, The Okanagan Golf Club, The Harvest, Gallagher’s Canyon and Two Eagles.
Predator Ridge near Vernon has a reputation as a premium golf destination and they welcome women of all abilities to this spectacular facility by emphasizing a fun, welcoming environment.
“We have put a positive spin on the experience of this lifetime sport at Predator Ridge,” says Rod Cochrane, General Manager. “We are totally committed to women golfers, and about 30 per cent of our visitors are ladies. We’ve become very good at it!”
Predator Ridge boasts 36 holes of outstanding golf as well as on-site golf cottages and all-suite hotel units. “Golf can tend to be a little bit intimidating for women. We