Photo Review: Shuswap National Golf Club

Reading Time: 5 minutes Local architect Dave Barr attempts to blend old Scottish design with modern, rugged BC golf. See the results here:

Reading Time: 5 minutes


  • Salmon Arm, British Columbia
  • Public – Daily Fee
  • Dave Barr (2007)

The town of Salmon Arm also features the newly rebranded Shuswap National Golf Club, just a little bit south of Salmon Arm Golf Club. What used to be Canoe Creek, the new ownership came in and rebranded, revamping the course. I’ll admit straight up: this golf course is weird, and isn’t really my cup of tea, but they are truly marketing geniuses. The name has no impact on the golf course, but the conditioning, the scorecard (very clean), the logo is an improvement, and the overall vibe of this place is cool. I like nearby Salmon Arm Golf Club more, but I think I’d choose Shuswap National to play at every day.

But now that I’ve given props to the new owners for the brilliant rebrand, I can’t believe they chose the name Shuswap National. If you didn’t know, usually, if a club has “national” in their name, it’s a national membership. Think about it: Augusta National, Butler National, Bluejack National. Most of their members don’t live in Augusta, Oak Brook or Montgomery. It’s weird to me that a public golf course, in Salmon Arm, British Columbia (pop. 17,000) decided to put National in their name. But anyways, that’s besides the point, and not an issue if the golf is good. Let’s get into the photo tour!

The rolling land at the opening par 4, measuring around 450 yards

After walking 185 yards back to the 2nd tee (no, really, 185 yards. The picture below shows me behind the 150 stake from hole 1)…


…you’re greeted with a weird 550 yard par 5 that kinda bends around fake mounding. I assume this is to tie in with the whole Scottish low country theme on about 2/3’s of the hole.

The par 3, 3rd, 170 yards from the tips, tumbles down the hill with a water hazard short and right
One of the strange holes on the front, the sharp dogleg left par 4, 4th features a nice pushed up green
Some good topography awaits the player short on the 551 yard par 5, 5th
A drop shot downhill par 3 on the 6th
The 7th, a tough driving hole, is pinched at the 150 yard marker by a bunker right and rough on the left
431 yards, the 8th features a tight fairway over some dramatic land
At 411 yards, the 9th works back the direction the 8th came from, moving slightly to the left
The really difficult approach shot to the 370 yard, uphill 10th, fronted by a creek that swings up the left as well
Maybe the worst hole in existence comes at the 11th, a par 5 that literally goes 90 degrees left
A weird, 234 yard par 3 fronted by the creek and some trees block out some of the views of the green. This is from one of the tees up so I could capture the green complex
From the front of the blue tee box, the 450 yard par 4 13th features a blind tee shot off the back deck. The hole slightly moves to the right
Back to the flat part of the golf course with the low profile green complex on the 14th
Avoiding the marsh left on the 375 yard par 4, 15th is the key to scoring well
The 16th plays along the boundary fence on the left, the hole can be stretched as much as 570 or so yards from the back deck
The 17th is a short par 3 playing over Canoe Creek
Showing off the bunkering style at Shuswap National, the 404 yard par 4 finisher is a tough one

So as you can see in the photos, it goes from flat and a faux links style course, to crazy mountain golf, then back down to the faux links style. And I don’t even mind the links inspired holes. It’s the mountain stretch from 10-14 that ruins the course for me. Everything else you can overlook in my opinion, because most of the local golf courses always have something wrong with it that must be overlooked, but the crazy mountain holes are really poorly done.

Overall, not the best golf course. Weird, gimmicky and strange at times, but the course was in great shape which is shocking for this area in early June. It’s got a cool vibe, and I would return to play the front nine only as a quick little jaunt around.


  • Andrew Harvie

    Based in Toronto, but having lived in Alberta, British Columbia, Montana, Arizona, and Texas, I have been lucky enough to see over 400 golf courses and counting!

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