Well fellas, it’s really hot out there – but I bet it’s cooler on one of these seven public championship golf courses, just a few minutes west of Edmonton. Or if it’s not – the beverages on the clubhouse patios will be ice-cold at least.
Image: Where you should be right now – from The Links on Facebook.
Carved through the forest
Cougar Creek in Carvel is a championship length, par 72, public course less than an hour west. The course weaves through forest over rolling terrain and around some treacherous water and sand bunkers. Listen to the sounds of a waterfall from the elevated tee on their signature hole 3. You can buy corporate or seasonal passes, punch cards or pay daily green fees – and then relax on the clubhouse patio over cold bevvies.
Friendly and reasonably priced
Edmonton Springs in Spruce Grove is a challenging and scenic 18-hole course at a reasonable cost. Watch for the island green on the 16th hole and lakes on 16 and 18. Right now, you can golf all day for $35 including the cart – and 25-cent wings in the BBQ tent.
96 sand bunkers
Ironhead Golf and Country Academy in Wabamun is a championship length course on the lakeshore. Play around lots of water and 96 sand bunkers. Watch out for the par 5 3rd hole, where you’ll need a powerful shot to cover 577 yards and avoid the ravine down the right. Follow their busy blog for advice on your swing and the top 10 dream courses around the globe.
Great for tournaments
The Links at Spruce Grove is an 18-hole championship course that blends bent grass greens, rolling landscape and tree-lined fairways. You’ll be challenged by water on six holes and 70 sand traps. The course is consistently ranked as one of Alberta’s best public courses and regularly selected for major professional and junior tournaments. Settle yourself on the open patio for classic burgers, striploin and BBQ chicken and ribs from the Grill.
Welcoming and tour-quality
The Ranch in Acheson is a championship-caliber par 71 course that’s hosted multiple Canadian tour events and made Canada’s top 100 public courses. This former ranch winds through mature natural forest, ponds and stone creek beds – interwoven with open links style holes. The resort is full service with a pro-shop, licensed clubhouse and second-story deck, driving range, and putting greens. If you’re the type that likes to be really prepared, you can watch 3D video tours of each hole to find out where the trouble lurks.
Immaculately maintained in Stony
Stony Plain Golf Course is an 18-hole public course run by the town of Stony and gets top honours for services and conditioning. The course has hosted 15 major regional, provincial and national championships and is home to half a dozen leagues including family, senior and junior leagues. Have breakfast or luncheon on the licensed greenside patio.
Five tee boxes on each hole
When complete, Trestle Creek in Entwistle will be a 27-hole championship course, 45 minutes west of Edmonton. Eighteen holes are open now on two distinct and challenging courses. They wind through creeks, lakes, forest and hills and each hole has a set of five tee boxes to challenge any level of golfer. Bring the whole family for nine holes on the par 3 short course – open Fridays, weekends and holidays. Or just practice on the 11-acre two tier driving range, then head to the grill for steak and lobster.