Walk your dog, cross country ski, or swing a club at this unique North Okanagan golf course - InfoNews

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Walk your dog, cross country ski, or swing a club at this unique North Okanagan golf course

Dog walkers are welcome at the Lumby Golf Course.
Image Credit: Lumby Chamber of Commerce
January 16, 2017 - 9:00 PM


LUMBY - It’s been around for almost 50 years, and if a stubborn local has anything to do with it, the Lumby Golf Course will keep on going for many more.

Situated just east of Lumby off Highway 6 on a hilltop overlooking the valley, the scenic 40-acre course isn’t well-known, even among many longtime residents of the North Okanagan, president and games keeper Verne Abney says.

“It’s a beautiful area,” Abney says. “We’re up about 600 or 700 feet higher than the highway below. We can see Camel’s Hump and all the surrounding area over the town of Lumby — probably 20 miles in any direction."

The land is owned by the Village of Lumby, and leased for $1 a year. Usage is $5 a day for adults and $2.50 for youth under 14. Payment is made via an honour box.

Lumby Golf Course
Lumby Golf Course
Image Credit: Contributed

The club was created 45 years ago, Abney says, and while it was a busy place in its heyday, membership has been falling over the years. When Abney became president a couple years ago, the course was barely making enough money to stay operational.

“Membership was shrinking year after year with old age and people moving,” he says.

Instead of giving up, they got creative. Instead of just being used for golf, they opened up the land for hikers, dog walkers, cross country skiers, snowshoers, and even the odd stag party.

“We encourage people to use it for anything they want,” Abney says.

There are currently 27 members. Memberships are $100 a year for adults and $25 for juniors. On top of the membership income, roughly $1,400 came in last year for daily green fees. An annual garage sale raises another several hundred dollars for the community course.

“Between all the little things we do, we have enough to keep up,” Abney says.

He hopes word will spread and more people will take an interest in the spot.

“I’m a very stubborn person, I took it upon myself to keep it going as long as I could,” Abney says. “Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Use it or lose it.”

Green fees are $5 a day.
Green fees are $5 a day.
Image Credit: Contributed

Visitors will find an array of complimentary clubs at the course, and can phone Abney ahead of time if they’d like to use a cart. He’ll bring one right up for you. The longtime Lumby resident just wants to see the course used.

“I’d love to see a stranger up there every day,” Abney says. “I’ve been up there in the summer and not seen anyone. I joke with the wife I could run around naked.”

All jokes aside, he says the only thing you might see streaking past is wildlife.

“You might have to wait for a deer to go by,” he says.

The course has received some notoriety in the golf world, particularly for its low green fees.

“We have had people come from Idaho because they saw on a site that you could play for $5 and they couldn’t believe it,” Abney says.

He says the nine-hole course (the longest of which is 380 yards) is a local gem — you just have to get used to the sand greens.

“We encourage people to come up, dog walk, sightsee, have picnics, family reunions — and even play golf,” he says.

For more information, to become a member, or to request a golf cart, contact Abney at 250-547-9890.

— This story was corrected at 10:19 a.m. Jan. 17, 2017 to say the course is located about 600 to 700 feet above the highway, not 6,000. Thank you to reader Justin McDermid for pointing out the error. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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