BOW VALLEY – Local golf courses are driving towards opening day following the Alberta government's announcement that golfers be allowed to head to the links starting Monday (May 4).
Near Seebe on Highway 1X, Brewster’s Kananaskis Ranch Golf Course is scheduled to be the first local course to open this season. Owner Janet Brewster said the earliest golfers will be allowed to tee-off is this Wednesday (May 6) and at the latest, Friday (May 8).
“We’re excited to open the course, it’s in really good shape and has been playable for a week now,” Brewster said. “We’re just putting systems in place to follow the government and Alberta golf association protocols.”
Brewster added the sudden announcement to open golf courses caught the team off-guard, and they'll lose out on a few days of business.
“We could have opened today (May 2) without a doubt, so that’s a bit disappointing,” Brewster said.
Here are tentative opening dates for local courses:
Brewster’s Kananaskis Ranch Golf Course (Bookings by phone can be made Monday, and online bookings Tuesday)
Canmore Golf and Curling Club (Driving range expected to open earlier)
To Be Announced:
Golfers are encouraged to book tee times online, or by calling ahead of time.
During a press conference last Thursday's (April 30), Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced that as part of its early actions for residents to access provincial parks and public lands, it is ready to take steps that will allow activities to start, including opening golf courses "with restrictions including keeping clubhouses and pro shops closed. On-site shops and restaurants can open in stage one, consistent with other businesses and retailers."
Other courses in the valley, such as Canmore Golf and Curling Club, were also surprised by the announcement and are busy getting grounds and greens organized and bringing employees back.
“We still have wee bit of snow on course and we are getting all the protocols in place, so there’s a bit of scrambling,” said the club's director of golf Darren Cooke.
Steven Young, director of golf at the Banff Springs wrote in an email that they are "watching our progress and will consider options before this, but have not made any changes to our (planned opening date of May 29) at this time."
On Twitter, Kananaskis Country Golf Course wrote its target opening date is June 1 due to snow still blanketing the links.
"With a large amount of snow over the winter and in particular April, we find ourselves behind where we normally are in terms of getting Mt. Kidd and Lorette ready for you to enjoy," the tweet said.
2/2- as it relates to our opening date- with a large amount of snow over the winter and in particular April, we find ourselves behind where we normally are in terms of getting Mt. Kidd & Lorette ready for you to enjoy! As a result we are planning for June 1 as our 1st day in 2020 pic.twitter.com/66MwR4LAyf— Kananaskis Golf (@KananaskisGolf) May 1, 2020
Five local courses have tentative dates to open in May or June, however, Stewart Creek Golf Course is still working out details.
In an Instagram post, the Canmore golf course wrote "While we are excited to hear the news that we will be able to open for the season and share this space with our member and public players, we are hard at work making all of the necessary steps to ensure the health and safety or our guests and staff. Stay tuned for our opening date announcement in the coming weeks."
Our grounds crew along with various core team members have been working hard to help transition the course for the Golf Season. While we are excited to hear the news that we will be able to open for the season and share this space with our member and public players, we are hard at work making all of the necessary steps to ensure the health and safety or our guests and staff. Stay tuned for our opening date announcement in the coming weeks. Until then enjoy the outdoors in a safe and respectful way. We miss you all and can’t wait to see some familiar faces (from the appropriate distance of course). ~The Stewart Creek Team