Golfing at D’Arcy Ranch in Okotoks

There are more than 300 golf courses in Alberta. While the big courses attract the most attention, the smaller ones are often challenging and good value. D’Arcy Ranch Golf Club just south of Calgary in Okotoks is one of them. It’s an 18-hole, par-72 public course that offers a range of challenges and exceptional scenery. Open since 1991, this prairie course follows a ravine, giving players water, sand and slope challenges, all with the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop. On the environmental side, it was awarded designation as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

D'Arcy Ranch course as the sun is rising
Golfing early in the day can be a little distracting

Services at D’Arcy Ranch

The clubhouse features a dining room and lounge, pro shop, and banquet and meetings rooms. As of this writing, the dining room is open but with COVID protocols in place. They serve local brews, which are a real treat. And their breakfast sandwiches sell out quickly.

The course offers a Preferred Player program that includes several packages that give you 24 rounds, or a Loyalty Program option for 20 rounds. Regular cost for a round is $99, which includes a power cart, and a bucket of practice balls, but check for specials on the day you want to play. The course open is open April 15 to October 15.


A Few Tips for Golfing at D’Arcy Ranch

This storm came in quickly. Lightning was in the air so we had to stop our game until the storm passed
This storm came in quickly. Lightning was in the air so we had to stop our game until the storm passed

It’s a prairie course, so expect wide open fairways, lined with trees with the usual traps along the way. Some holes are nestled between hills as you wind your way through the valley, so fairways can be narrow at times. Take extra balls with you. If you hit the rough, it’s tricky to find your shot.

The course is certainly walkable, but some extra effort may be needed on some fairways that cross hills. Two examples that will get the heart racing are towards the end of hole 3, and the approach to hole 11.

Also, be sure to check the weather before you go. Prairie storms can blow in quickly, so be prepared.




Wide open prairie vistas a distinguishing feature of D'Arcy Ranch
Wide open prairie vistas are a distinguishing feature of D’Arcy Ranch

The third hole is your first par 3 and it gets – and deserves – a lot of attention. It’s elevated off the tee, but the green is surrounded by sand and water, so a well-placed shot is needed to make par. There are two par 3s on each of the front and back nine, with a nice variety of par 4s and 5s.

The course was designed by Finger Dye Spann from Houston, Texas, who have designed more than 70 courses in North and South America, but only two in Canada – D’Arcy Ranch and the Valley Ridge course in Calgary.

If you’re looking for a fun yet challenging course near Calgary, D’Arcy Ranch should be at the top of your list.


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