Golfing at Heritage Pointe in Alberta

Teeing off on an almost treeless Desert course at Heritage Pointe
Teeing off on an almost treeless Desert course at Heritage Pointe

Located just 15 kms south of Calgary, Heritage Pointe Golf Course is a 27-hole semi-private course designed by famed American course architect Ron Garl in 1992. The three nine-hole courses are the Pointe, Heritage and the Desert, offering three 18-hole combinations. Each course has its challenges, but it’s one of the best courses in the Calgary area, and a favourite of rock singer Alice Cooper, and hockey great Theoren Fleury.

An interesting feature of Heritage Pointe’s services is their association with the Golf Academy. As it states on their website, “The Golf Channel Academy at Heritage Pointe offers a variety of instruction and coaching program options for any level of golfer or corporate group, from new players to aspiring competitive juniors to tour professionals…Golf Channel Academy is among the most expansive golf instruction networks today, including some of the top golf coaches in the world.”

A few tips about the three courses

The Pointe starts with a sharp drop into Pine Creek Valley, and the course generally follows the creek. The fifth hole is one of the toughest we have encountered. It’s a 518-yard par 5, but making par is made extremely difficult by a green that rises some 30 feet from the fairway. That means getting close enough to chip a high shot onto the green. I’m sure there are dozens of golf balls laying in the muddy scrub at the base of the green that couldn’t quite make the shot – mine included.

Avoiding the bunkers on the Desert course at Heritage Pointe
Avoiding the bunkers on the Desert course at Heritage Pointe

If you’re a fan of beaches, you’ll love the 8th hole on the Desert course. A 150-yard bunker runs along the left side of the fairway. It’s a par 4 but bogeys are more likely on this one. Generally, there are no water hazards on the Desert course and, as the name suggests, is almost treeless except for scrub brush on the edges and the trees in the yards of nearby homes. That doesn’t make for an easy round. Watch out for that tall grass at the edge of the fairways where well-intentioned shots go to die.

On the Heritage course, there are several holes with challenges. On the first hole, it’s a 500-yard par 5 that has a steep drop leading to a left turn at the bottom. Try to place well because your next shot has to clear scrub, water and a bridge. On 4, a well-placed shot off the fairway is needed to clear a major water hazard. And on 8, a little oomph is need off the tee – at least 200 yards worth – to clear a canyon to reach the fairway, hence the name of the hole, the Gorge. And on 9, the finish is daunting. The hole is almost completely surrounded by water and rocks, so a well placed shot is needed not only to reach the green but to stay on it. Because of the varying heights and the hazards, it’s probably the most visually interesting course at Heritage Pointe.

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