From a tee box raised 75 feet above the fairway, the Okanagan Valley spreads out before golfers as they tee up their first shot at the Summerland Golf and Country Club. This sort of panoramic vista is commonplace on the 18-hole course—named a PGA of British Columbia Bronze Facility in 2012—from the opening drive to postround drinks on the clubhouse’s 1,500-square-foot balcony overlooking the course below. Before toasting good fortune, players must first navigate through the groves of tall Ponderosa pines, calibrate for wild swings in elevation, and best the mighty par 5 18th hole. Measuring 522 yards from the back tees, this final hole borders the edge of the Trout Creek Canyon, one of five holes on the course to do so without falling in.
Course at a Glance:
At Okanagan Street Striders, mobile elliptical machines break free from the gym’s stationary rows and help exercisers grab some fresh air during their cross-training workouts. A fitness-savvy staff acquaints riders with their mounts, which target muscles all over the body without unnecessary impact or unnatural motions. Riders glide along paved trails and pathways, taking in a scenic alternative to staring at television screens, helping riders avoid the cardio room’s cramped confines or tempting smells from the gym's in-house bakery. In addition to daily rentals, Okanagan Street Striders also organizes group night rides.
Diving Dynamics primes aquatic explorers for underwater adventures with an in-depth introductory diving course taught by experienced instructors. The 60-minute session—known as the Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) course—orients participants with a comprehensive tour of the facilities that covers essential scuba equipment that students can touch and tango with. Once geared up in provided equipment, pupils dip into a custom-built pool to practice breathing underwater and sea-friendly manoeuvres for 30 minutes. The introduction also enlightens interested parties by explaining the best practices for transforming a scuba hobby into a vocation. A hot-dog cookout further bolsters the discovery course and serves as bonding time for participants and teachers. Diving Dynamics requires participants to bring their own bathing suits.
Located on Ellis Street, Sunplex Sports Arena is a privately owned indoor sporting venue that hosts a wide array of roof-topped sports. Sun-shy sportsmen can drop in on any number of ball-centric back-and-forths, including roller hockey, ball hockey, or futsal. FIFA-approved futsal is an incarnation of indoor soccer that pits two five-person teams against one another on a wall-less playing surface, making for more strategy and less of the treacherous geometry of traditional indoor soccer. Meanwhile, roller hockey and ball hockey allow athletes to improve their hand-eye coordination while successfully avoiding rouge zambonis. Each of Sunplex's inspired athletic bouts take place on polyethylene flooring, known for its improved traction and gentle, knee-forgiving surface.
When players peer down the first fairway at Pine Hills Golf Club, they may feel a bit like a placekicker in football, aligning themselves for a shot between uprights formed by tall Ponderosa pine trees. And though successful strokes may not result in fans rushing the course to lift golfers up onto their shoulders, the difficulty involved can give players a deep sense of accomplishment. Challenges such as this one, which arise from a confluence of elevation and natural surroundings, are frequent on the nine-hole par 3 course, draped as it is over the craggy hillsides along Okanagan Lake’s southern rim. As golfers look up from their tight lies and lift their blindfolds after daredevil approaches, they can feast their eyes on the expanse of Okanagan Lake to the east and the town of Penticton, due south.
Inside a steamy studio, the experienced yogis at Bikram Yoga Westbank spend 90 minutes leading students of all skill levels through a series of 26 poses developed by Bikram Choudhury. Bikram brought his system from India to the U.S. at the request of the American Medical Association. Since then, he founded the Yoga College of India and has taught both actors and athletes. During each class, poses massage internal organs, stimulate nervous systems, and release deficient enzymes and hormones—a process that brings balance to the body, increases flexibility, and enables the average person to sleep inside a sock drawer.