Birchbank Golf Course Review
Birchbank Golf Course is located in the interior of British Columbia 10 minutes from the Washington State boarder ten minutes north of Trail. The golf course sits on a plateau overlooking the banks of the Columbia River. Originally the club constructed 9 holes in 1964 and added another 9 holes in 1969, the course was designed by the local golf pro and Canadian Curling Hall of Fame member Roy Stone. The course is very walk-able as most holes are flat with the odd hill here and there. The fairways are tree lined and over all very generous. The course is 6800 from the back tees and a very enjoyable 6200 yds from the next tees, during the summer the ball flies pretty far here because of the 85-95 degree weather. The golf season starts at the beginning of April and lasts to the end of October depending on the first snow fall.
Birchbank holds a special place for me as it was my very first golf club that I played golf at, I joined the club in grade 8 as a junior and stayed there until I went away for school. Like any kid who caught the golf bug I was there from sun up until sundown in the summer, working at the course allowed my friends and I to play there in the mornings and afternoons during summer regularly passing 3-5 groups before we started work in the afternoons, yes we played really fast.
Hole Review and Pictures
1st Hole Par 4 430 yds
The first hole at Birchbank golf course is a stern test, at 430 and a carry over a pond on your second shot this hole demands a tee shot in the fairway in order to get over the pond. The fairway here is generous and there is one bunker on the right around the driving area. The second shot is over a small pond that you can’t see from the fairway. The green like most of the pre-renovation are round and fairly flat giving you a good chance to make putt or pull off a good recovery shot.
2nd Hole Par 4 440 yds
The second hole is another demanding par 4 that doglegs to the right. The play here is to keep it close to the corner giving you the shortest shot into the hole. The second shot it uphill to a green guarded by a couple of bunkers left and right. This is one the greens that has been redone is recent years, its definitely one of the more challenging greens to hit on the golf course.
3rd Hole Par 4 414 yds
The third hole used to be tree lined until they put a giant pond between this hole and the 6th hole. There is OB down the entire left side on this hole so an accurate shot from the tee is imperative. The second shot into the green is here isn’t difficult, there is a small bunker and creek on the right side if your ball strays. This green hasn’t been renovated and is flat and round in nature.
4th Hole Par 4 400 yds
This par four is designed in a penal style, from the tee there are two bunker left and right in the landing zone and at the green. The hole doglegs slightly to the right from the tee, the fairway here is very generous and as long as you don’t find the trees your shot to the green should be impeded. This green hasn’t been renovated but it does have a fairly curved shape and some slope on the green surface.
5th Hole Par 3 170 yds
The first par 3 at Birchbank is medium length par 3, the green is guarded by two bunkers and the front of the green so the safe play is to go long here. The green on this hole is round in shape and is fairly flat. There is lots of room around the green for a recovery shot.
6th Hole Par 4 405 yds
The tee shot on this par 4 is tougher than it looks, there is a large tree on the right side that shrinks the tee ball into a narrower landing area. If you can get your ball between the trees on the left and right the fairway is fairly wide. The one thing the large tree on the right does it aims you away from the three ponds that come into play. The shot into the green is slightly elevated and guarded by a couple of bunkers. This green has the most undulation of any green on the golf course and getting it on the correct level will help you immensely.
7th Hole Par 5 553 yds
The first par 5 on the front nine of Birchbank golf course gently doglegs to the left off the tee. There is a fairly large driving area here and even if your shot finds the tree you’ll most likely have room to advance your ball up the fairway. The second shot it a very long shot but a very wide fairway allows you to swing a little harder to get you ball as close to the green as possible. The green is on the smaller side here and if you miss the green its usually a difficult chip depending on the angle of recovery.
8th Hole Par 3 196 yds
This medium length par 3 is straight forward there are no bunkers here and there isn’t much around the green that will get you into trouble. The green itself is round and has two small tiers front and back that bisect the green. This green hasn’t been renovated yet and still has its original contours.
9th Hole Par 5 492 yds
The last hole on the front nine is a short straight away par 5. The fairway is very generous and its another good opportunity to lets one loose. The second shot if you’re in the go range is uphill about 20ft to the green that is guarded by two giant trees on either side of the green that can deflect the ball in any direction. For most players its best to lay back to a yardage your comfortable with for your third shot. The green here is round and flat and situated is a small depression.
10th Hole Par 5 500 yds
This used to be the opening hole at Birchbank golf course, it was a short par 4 but it since been turned into an interesting par 5. The drive is straight away here and the further you can get down the fairway the easier the second shot will be. The longer hitters can reach in two with a good drive across a valley to a green situated on the top of a hill. The second shot for the majority of people is to play into the valley below the green giving the player an uphill third shot. The green has four bunkers around it that are all tough to get out of.
11th Hole Par 4 419 yds
Another wide open straight away par 4, they have redone a couple of bunkers down the left side of the fairway. If you can keep your drive between the trees you’ll have a good chance at reaching the green. The green has one bunker guarding it and if you can avoid that bunker you’ll have a good chance at saving your par or making birdie.
12th Hole Par 4 420 yds
Another straight away par 4, keep your shot between the trees and you’ll have a good chance to reach the green on your second, there is a dip in the fairway around 250 yds from the back tees which can add some yardage to your tee ball. The second shot it one the harder 2nd shot on the back nine, you’ll have to hit an accurate shot in order to reach the green.
13th Hole Par 3 173 yds
A picturesque par 3 with the mountain drop in the background, use one club less for the elevation drop here. There are a couple of bunker in front on the left that can be difficult to get out of, the safe shot here is to play to the right side of the green where there is more room for error.
14th Hole Par 4 261 yds
This short uphill reachable par 4 is a very good hole, it gives all players multiple options. The shorter hitters can layup to a favorite yardage and the longer hitters can challenge the green here. There are a couple of bunkers on the left side that will catch offline tee shots and can be nasty to get out of. The play here is to layup to your favorite yardage and have a wedge in for your second. The second shot can be played directly at the hole or with a little luck off the bank on the right side of the green. I would love to see that bank cut down to where the ball rolls back onto the green every time, it bring a little luck into your second shot.
15th Hole Par 4 422 yds
This par 4 doglegs slightly to the right and at 422 yds from the back tees can be a stern test. There is a bunker on the inner corner of the dogleg here to catch a tee ball that strays to far to the right. The green here is guarded by two bunkers left and right of the green but there is a good amount of fairway between both to play a run up shot. The green here is round in shape and has a slight slope from back to front.
16th Hole Par 3 174 yds
A nice par 3 here, the green is fairly large and accessible, if you can keep your ball out of the sand your chances at par are very good. The green doesn’t have a lot of slope to it so if you can put it on the green you’ll have a good shot at par.
17th Hole Par 4 405 yds
This par 4 doglegs to the left, at just over 400 yds it isn’t the longest hole, the closer to the left side you can hit your drive the shorter the second shot you will have into the green. The shot has a couple of bunkers guarding the left side of the green. The green here is round and has some undulation.
18th Hole Par 5 514 yds
The last hole at Birchbank golf course is a reachable par 5 for the longer hitters. The hole doglegs to the right off the tee so the closer to the right you go can take off some distance on your second shot. In recent years they have added a couple of bunkers on the corner of the dogleg to prevent the longer players from cutting the corner. The second shot into the green has a couple fairway bunkers left that can catch a layup shot and the green has two bunkers either side guarding the front. The green hasn’t changed much it has a very gentle slope from back to front.