The Best of 2019

This past year of golf was a crazy one and perhaps one of the best ones yet. And it has absolutely nothing to do with my overall scoring performances because for the most part that was a massive disappointment. Remember when I called out for a shrink in my last article? To that fine person who volunteers their time, we may have to look at covering this topic in the off season as well…

I made a promise to you guys around this time last year that the content was going to be more locally based and it motivated me to get out and play out wherever, whenever (shout out Shakira). Expanding out from my normal Edmonton bubble of courses was the best thing I did this year and I cannot recommend it enough to play the hundreds of different courses our province has and to meet the people that make those places unique all on its own.

2019 was a huge success but has only motivated me even more to step up my game and see what’s out there. But let’s take a look back at what made 2019 so much fun.

Playing Alberta’s famous mountain courses

I can’t think of a better way to start the season than a May Long weekend at JPL and Banff Springs. Alberta’s pride and joys when it comes to golf. I grew up playing Jasper a lot during high school so there’s a special place locked away in my heart for Stanley Thompson. So to play his other mountain gem for the first time was a weekend in paradise.

It got steamy. Like parents strongly cautioned, PG-13 rated, steamy golf action.

Enjoying our beautiful Rocky mountains, playing ridiculous car games with your buddies, and enjoying the best our province has to offer for golf is something you’d read about if someone more talented than I was writing a tourist blog piece for Travel Alberta. Instead, I’ll just tell you it was one of the best experiences I had all year golf or non-golf related.

Coal Creek

Without a doubt the best golf course conditions I played all year. I feel spoiled that this golf course is as close as it is to my home base here in YEG. It also helped that I played lights out shooting 3 over on a golf course that really can fill a scorecard with a lot of squares.

hole 18 from hole 2 wide
2019 Coal Creek: Immaculate

The golf course is so much fun and I think this course is slowly making it’s way into the limelight and out of hiding from it’s “hidden gem” history.

First Timers

This would have to be an all time record in a year for me when it comes to playing new courses. And that’s without mentioning my trips to Vegas, Kelowna, Kamloops, and Vancouver Island. But it seems I’ve set a standard for myself in the coming years of trying to play as many new courses in Alberta as possible because there were 13 this year.

My list included:

  • Stony Plain
  • Westlock
  • Cardiff
  • Banff Springs
  • Heritage Pointe
  • Darcy Ranch
  • Beaver Dam Golf and RV Resort
  • Priddis
  • Ponoka
  • Red Deer Golf and Country Club
  • The Ranch
  • Links Of Glen Eagles
  • Bearspaw

Biggest Surprise? – Priddis

I knew it was going to be good. The amount of hype around it was high but it crushed any expectation I had. So much so I had to write a love letter to the course.

Need to go back to reassess – Stony Plain & Banff Springs

The rule of 2. A rule I have for myself that means it takes two rounds to properly get a gauge of how much I enjoy a golf course and how good it really is. These courses apply to this rule big time because of a cruel mistress known as Mother Nature.

I don’t think it’s too crazy for me to say that Banff is one of the best courses in the Province. I mentioned earlier we played it in the middle of May and I think the 8 degree weather may have taken away from what should have been an unforgettable golf experience.  Or I should have been better prepared and had more layers for mountain golf in early spring. You decide.

And Stony. For years I wanted to play the course and heard amazing things about the greens. We know due to recent issues they pulled the trigger on 18 brand new rugs which had everyone pumped about the course once more. And when I finally book a tee time to go play, the Alberta weather demons that plagued us all year saturated the golf course the night before I was supposed to play to a point where conditions were not ideal.  Nothing the course can do about that but my initial thoughts about the golf course in general were largely positive. Just means I’m going back next summer.

Throw it in the rotation – Beaver Dam Golf & RV Resort

I think this is the perfect golf course for a buddies trip travelling south for a mountain golf trip to play on the Friday before they make it to the hotel for the weekend. Buck a hole – I think that’s all I need to say.

hole 3
Beaver Dam was a pleasant surprise. Props to the Golf Life AB community for the recommendation!

One and done – Links at Glen Eagles

For the price I just think there needs to be a little bit more. I’d say there’s 11 pretty darn good golf holes on this course but there aren’t too many places I play for $125 where my expectations are met by 60% of a golf course.

Nine hole journey to find Alberta’s “Greatest Nine Hole Golf Course”:

Really proud of committing to this as a project I can continue year to year. 4 tracks this year, I’m going to try for 8 next year. There’s something about driving through rural Alberta that really gets me fired up.

Courses played:

  • Fort Saskatchewan Golf and Curling Club
  • Mannville Riverview Golf & RV Resort
  • Trail Creek Golf Course
  • Elk Island Golf Course.

Current crown for Alberta’s greatest nine hole course belongs to: Mannville Riverview Golf & RV Resort

For full reviews of my experiences make sure you’re checking them out on the website!

hole 5
Mannville was just too good.

It’s a little sad that we have to think of golf in the past tense as winter creeps back into our lives. But I’d like to hear from everyone else what their favourite golf experiences were from the past year so we can have a few final moments together reminiscing about the good ‘ol days of 2019. Make sure to comment wherever you follow Golf Life AB to share it with the rest of our loyal golf community.

 

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