Baby Ryan used to work and frequently play at the Sherwood Park nine hole Golf Course (now Coyote Crossing) growing up. The 5th hole was a Par 3, uphill, 190 yards-ish, always into the wind (at least it seemed that way), with a 3 tiered green and bunkers everywhere. If I walked out of there with a bogey I was happy.

I also didn’t do myself any favours when I would cut the pin in tough locations. I’m a sucker for punishment?

But I deemed it the “hardest hole in Canada” and it soon became a running joke any time we would tee off on the hole. It even branched out to a few more holes in the Edmonton area and we had a little list going. For me, it was usually holes that dog legged to the right (Victoria Golf Course #5 (I have a thing for 5th holes obviously)) or had a lot of trouble left. usually resulting in utter catastrophe. But having the excuse of playing one of the “hardest holes in Canada” did make it sting a little less when I took that little pencil to the scorecard.

Now I have grown up a little (emotionally, my girlfriend would disagree) and wouldn’t have to hit driver into that daunting Par 3 at Sherwood Park Golf Course but I should probably revisit the course that birthed the phrase “hardest hole in Canada”.

Grown up Ryan has since crowned the hardest hole in Canada to be out in Ryley, Alberta. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the shimmering black sands, blustering winds, and (North American) style links golf out at Coal Creek. Spectacular course and if you haven’t been out there it has to be on your bucket list. But we need to talk about the 9th hole. It’ll be some sort of therapy for me I guess…

coal creek 9
Don’t let the beautiful scenery fool you. Coal Creek’s 9th hole is as tough as they come.

So what’s the strategy here? Apart from trying to make double and run to the back nine as fast as possible? Where’s the landing area off the tee? Blind approach shot? Hazard all the way up the left? Uphill and into the wind? Bush right? WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?!

I have come to terms with bogey and using one golf ball being a monumental achievement. And after those 15 minutes of torture I can go back to enjoying one of Alberta’s best.

alex hole 17 cc
My good buddy Alex taking on the Par 3 17th hole.

So I want to know. What holes have you played that would make a new list of “Alberta’s Hardest Holes”? The idea here is to visit them, maybe capture it on film for the rest of our Golf Life Alberta community to enjoy as your pal Ryan flails around the course trying to put that little white ball in the hole. I think that would be fun wouldn’t it? For the viewers anyway. I’m a man of the people.

Let me know on Twitter or by leaving a comment down below! Let’s get a list of the “Hardest Holes in Alberta” going!


  1. Mike W

    I would put the 7th at Springbank as one of the hardest. Tee shot requires a 200 yard carry. You tee off from the North on a hole that runs East to West. Any left-to-right ball flight puts you further away, while a right-to-left ball flight adds to the distance you need to carry.

    The fairway is sloped upwards, making your 2nd shot play 1.5 clubs longer than the yardage says. And it’s another one of those holes that always plays into the wind.

    The green is guarded by a steep hill and long grass if you come up short, and forest long as well as left.

    The scorecard would say it’s the 3rd hardest hole, but having been a member there in my younger days, my friends and I would tell you it’s the hardest.

    • neilerknows

      I’ll definitely l have to put that one on the list! Thanks for the tips and the suggestion Mike!

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