There aren’t many opportunities to have a fine single malt out on the links, but then again, there aren’t that many chances to golf at Sagebrush, the new Dick Zokol golf course in Merritt, British Columbia.
Voted the best new course in Canada (and possibly North America, watch Golf Digest), Sagebrush is the most unique golf experience I’ve ever had. About 2 hours from Vancouver, the course entrance is entirely inconspicuous, with no nameplate or sign of green fairways from the road. The current proshop is a glorified tent where you are instantly greeted by the course President, Terry. Terry actually followed us around the course for the first few holes to give tips on playing these wildly imaginative golf holes. Sagebrush is links style golf, with minimalist landscaping and enormous greens. Often rolling a shot onto the green is more effective than throwing a dart at the pin provided you know where to aim. One member of my foursome putted into a bunker twice. Golfing at Sagebrush is a riot, each shot feels daunting but is always fair.
A key to the experience is the lunch tent after hole 12, which is styled after a hunting lodge, complete with Football on flatscreen televisions.Anglers will find complimentary fly fishing rods and a lake stocked with 1000 trout just outside the tent. We had lunch there during the first round, dinner as we passed through on the second round. The bar had a respectable selection of overpriced single malts – I chose a more modest Glenfarclas 17, sweetly spiced like a fresh cinamon roll. I’m already campaigning to get invited back.