‘It’s a pretty exciting, pretty emotional, pretty long-awaited day for us’

By Stephen Hunt, CBC News Posted: Mar 12, 2018 4:15 PM MT Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018 5:53 PM MT

Five years after the flood of 2013, golfers will once again be teeing up at Kananaskis Country Golf Course.

The 36-hole course began accepting online reservations Monday. In an interview with the Calgary Eyeopener, course general manager Darren Robinson said the moment was a big one for himself and four staff members, who have worked throughout the half-decade-long rebuild.

“It’s a pretty exciting, pretty emotional, pretty long-awaited day for us,” Robinson said. “We’re just excited for 8 a.m. to roll around to start accepting tee times.”

The reopening begins on May 10, but the full opening of the course will come in stages, Robinson said. It will start with the 18-hole Mt. Lorette course, which will be followed on June 1 with the front nine of the second course, Mt. Kidd.

On Aug. 1, the back nine at Mt. Kidd will open.

Discounted rates for Alberta residents

The course will continue to offer significant discounts to Alberta residents, with weekend rounds discounted from $125 to $95 and weekday rounds priced at $85, as opposed to $115 for out-of-province residents.

Robinson said the courses are only slightly different than back in 2013, and hopefully better.

“While the flood was pretty devastating to what it did to the property, the layout of the golf course has remained intact,” he said.  “The integrity of the layout essentially didn’t change.”

Robinson said he hopes the courses look, feel and play better than they ever did.

“The modifications that we were fortunate to make are subtle enough in nature that they probably will be difficult for the average person to pinpoint,” he said.

Robinson said the cost of rebuilding the course came from the federal government.

“Because it was a natural disaster, the federal disaster relief program funds 90 per cent of the work done to the golf courses,” Robinson said.

“The price tag for the golf course reconstruction is less than $16 million.”

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Monday’s announcement unleashed a whole new deluge on the course, namely online requests from golf lovers anxious to book tee times.

Around 1,200 people flocked to the course’s online reservation system when it went live at 8 a.m., as a result, system crashed. The course had everything back up and running shortly after noon.

Beginning Wednesday, the course will accept phone reservations between 8 a.m. and 4.p.m., during the week. The reservation number is 1-877-591-2525.

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