As Calgary celebrates 100 years of public recreation, we are reminded that public golf courses are where greats like Tiger Woods developed their signature strokes and love of the game. They’re where fathers take their kids to mould golf’s next superstar (a.k.a. the betting man’s retirement fund).
Want to re-tool your game? No interest in paying a hundred bucks for little more than a lesson in golf etiquette? Play the public greens.
The par-three at McCall has helped generations of Calgary golfers understand and appreciate the game. Beneath the roar of 757s (the course is under the flight path of Calgary International Airport) families chip-’n’-putt the summer days away. A family of four can play for just $33 ($28 if you have your own clubs). No kids, no worries, as for a little more ($40 – $45) you can play the challenging 18-hole course on the other side. 1600 32 Ave. N.E.
A well-maintained nine-hole course more challenging than most. The par-36 features back-to-back par fives on holes four and five, which makes it a longer day, but marshals are quick to enforce the “Speed of Play” program keeping rounds under two-and-a-half hours. “Confed” is one of three public courses in Calgary which offer affordable lessons taught by NGA-certified pros. 3204 Collingwood Dr. N.W.
Transition from the par-three of McCall to this open, longer course. Starting with three challenging par-fours and concluding with six par-threes less than 160 yards, the scenery of the Glenmore Reservoir and a large putting green separates this course from the other publics. 5840 19 St. S.W.
Surrounded by massive trees, many golf nuts argue this beautiful 18-holes is the best public in the city. The dense foliage is mostly avoidable, as many holes at Maple Ridge feature open, well-cut fairways. Calgary golfers voted its 13th hole the #1 par-three in the city in Golf Weekly magazine. 1240 Mapleglade Dr. S.E.
Image by James Teterenko.