Those itching to dust off their shoes, clean up the clubs and whack a few balls are now delighted.
Both Wolf Creek Golf Resort and the Ponoka Community Golf Club opened over the past week, with Wolf Creek experiencing its earliest opening day in their nearly 30 years of operation.
The course opened the front nine holes of the Links course on Wednesday, March 30, then welcomed golfers with the full 18 holes two days later – April 1 – that had more than a few golfers questioning whether it was a joke or not.
Aaron Miller with Wolf Creek explained the course is looking in great shape, but that golfers will only be allowed to walk the course until the new carts – complete with GPS technology – arrive later this week.
“The new carts are expected to get here on Friday (April 8),” said Miller.
“Last year we opened on April 8, which was the earliest we had opened to date. However, this year was exciting for everyone and our members were pretty pumped to get out there. We had several people come out when we opened at 11 a.m. just to say they were able to golf in March.”
While the Links course is up and running, Miller added the 18-hole Old course will likely be open for play by the end of the month.
“Our superintendent said the entire circuit is looking great and he is really happy with how it all came through the winter. However, the plan for the old course is (that) there are still a few projects he wants to complete, so it probably won’t open until right around May 1,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the clubhouse and pro shop continue to get set up with Miller commenting they are just tip-toeing through things at the moment as they prepare for their full opening later this month.
Not as early
Over at the Ponoka Community Golf Club, the driving range was packed most of the day when it opened on Saturday, April 2 with the 18-hole course available to golfers as of this Saturday, April 9.
Head professional and club manager Rob MacPherson said everything around the course looks good, even though this isn’t the earliest opening ever for them.
“Several years ago, we opened on April 4, that was our earliest opening day,” he stated, adding the restaurant is open for lunch this week then regular hours as of this weekend.
“Only a few times has the course opened in April during the past 10 years and anytime you can golf at this time of year is a bonus.”
MacPherson added the 6,700 yard course – from the back tees – is very friendly for the average duffer, but remains a challenge for any level of golfer. He also said the club’s league play remains that same – Men’s night Thursdays, Ladies play Tuesday nights and Thursday mornings with Seniors playing Monday mornings – while their junior golf program will start on May 1 aimed at youth golfers eight years-old and up.
While both courses will have the usual special events and tournaments, Wolf Creek will be hosting a huge event this August.
The course will play host to the country’s top amateur female golfers Aug. 24 to 26 in the Senior and Mid-Amateur Canadian Championship.
Miller added one woman from Nova Scotia, who was out travelling in Alberta last month, dropped by Wolf Creek and was amazed that she was allowed to go for a bit of a walk on the course that she will be back playing on during that event.
“Wolf Creek continues to be a destination for golfers,” he said.
“There are a few more links-style courses in the province now, but you can certainly tell the influence Wolf Creek has had on those designs.”