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BRIEF HISTORY OF KOKANEE SPRINGS GOLF RESORT
Kokanee Springs is considered a Norman Wood’s masterpiece. Carved from the wilderness and situated along the base of the Purcell Mountain range, Kokanee Springs has long been regarded as the flagship of golf courses in the Kootenays. World renowned golf course architect Norman Woods had been commissioned to design the layout after a long apprenticeship under Stanley Thompson. (Thompson designed the Banff Springs and Jasper Park Lodge Courses in the Canadian Rockies).
With more than 300 golf courses to his credit, Woods considered Kokanee Springs as his greatest challenge. “The entire area looked as though it was nothing but bush, water and rocks”, Woods said at the time, “with a towering mountain running into it, my choices were certainly restricted. I was sure the mountain was not going to move, so it was up to me to fit the course in around it”.
Woods had moved on site and was living in the historic Murray Cabin near #7 to oversee the construction. Some of his enhancements included the hundreds of feet of rock walls along the tiered tee decks, log trestles and bridges to route traffic and stone wishing wells. The pond at #14 was created, fed by a small streams; this pond is a beautiful hazard as well as a practical reservoir for the irrigation system. The smaller ponds on #9 and #18 were also built under Woods’ watchful eye. In fact, he designed the 120-acre course to take full advantage of its scenic beauty and to challenge the golfers who now play upwards of 20,000 rounds per year.
Sixty-four bunkers, twelve water hazards and 124,000 square feet of elevated, multileveled greens and 90,000 square feet of terraced tee surface were all a part of his plan. As if the hazards Woods created weren’t enough of a challenge, Kokanee Springs is a big golf course. A well played round can take you 6.5 miles. The yardages are 6604 from the blue markers, 6260 from the whites and 5747 from the reds, on this par 71 course.
Click here to download a PDF of the full history of Kokanee Springs Resort.