The Toughest Holes on the Columbia Valley Golf Trail

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Written by Andrew Penner 

Not gonna lie, after hammering a 300-yard drive (it was a little downhill and downwind!) I was a little disheartened when I got to my ball and found out that I still hadn’t reached the midway point of the hole. Indeed, the 620-yard “Fairmontster” – easily one of the toughest par-5s I’ve played – required the type of firepower that I just didn’t possess. A couple of three-woods later (don’t ask) and, well, I still had a tough-as-nails pitch shot to get close to the hole. The final tally? Chalk me down a triple. Perhaps the toughest hole on the Columbia Valley Golf Trail, the legendary par-5 fourth at Fairmont Mountainside got me again!

Yes, we all need a little challenge here and there. A crazy-long par-4 where we can let the big dog eat. An uphill into-the-wind par-3 that requires heavy metal to reach. A par-5 that can buckle your knees and melt your mind. Of course, we don’t need too many of these holes. After all, making birdie is a little more fun than making bogey. Or triple. Or octuple.

But, yes, sprinkled throughout our round – or, say, an amazing week-long sojourn down the Columbia Valley Golf Trail! – there should be some sizable challenges. Some mind-benders. Some “monsters!” Just to keep us honest, I suppose. And humble.

Yes, every course on the Columbia Valley Golf Trail – there are now 10! – has a hole, or two, that can bring you to your knees. Here are, in my opinion, the hardest holes on each of the 10 courses.


#1 Fairmont Riverside, Hole 11, Par-4, 438 yards – Long and narrow with OB left and right, the tee shot on the par-4 11th is a key shot during your round at Fairmont Riverside. A big score lurks if you miss the fairway!

#2 Spur Valley Golf Resort, Hole 1, Par-4, 433 yards – A long, laser-straight drive will serve you well on the difficult opener at Spur Valley. A snap hook to the left? Not so much.

#3 Radium Course, Hole 13, Par-5, 543 yards – If you bomb your tee shot – a high fade (for a right-hander) is preferred – a birdie isn’t out of the question here. But a big slice will spell disaster!

#4 Springs Course, Hole 2, Par-4, 400 yards – The approach shot here, which demands a high all-carry shot to the perched green, is the toughest on the course. The deep front-right bunker is jail!

#5 Fairmont Mountainside, Hole 4, Par-5, 620 yards – Yes, the infamous “Fairmonster” is a beast. Hit every shot hard and hang on for dear life. But enjoy the amazing view while you’re at it.

#6 Fairmont Creekside, Hole 6, Par-3, 140 yards – True, the short, family-friendly Creekside course isn’t going to intimidate a seasoned player. That’s not the mantra here! However, for beginners, the 140-yard 6th – the longest hole on the course – is a feisty little test!

#7 The Point Course at Copper Point, Hole 13, Par-4, 468 yards – After your perfectly-placed 250 yard tee shot, you’ve still got to hit a high mid-iron or hybrid to a raised green guarded by sand. Godspeed, golfer.

#8 The Ridge Course at Copper Point – Hole 4, Par-4, 463-yards – For a short and sporty course, this particular hole can be a killer! Pipe a drive and you’ll make your life a lot easier.

#9 Eagle Ranch Golf Course, Hole 16, Par-3, 173 yards – From the elevated tee the target here – situated on the other side of a massive ravine – looks very small. Make no mistake, it is. Just avoid the hoodoos and admire the view.

#10 Windermere Valley Golf Course, Hole 4, Par-4, 443 yards – Sure, thanks to the elevated tee you get some “bonus” yards with your drive. However, the narrow green and the trouble left will definitely keep you honest!


Thankfully, all of these holes get a little easier when you play the regular or forward tee boxes (yardage given is from the back tees). So there’s that. And there’s also the fact that, even if you make a high number, or two, you’re golfing in the beautiful Columbia Valley. And there is certainly plenty of redemption in that!

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