For the golf aficionado, the new Mickelson National course just outside of Calgary is a real treat. The Windmill Group, which offers six high-end courses in Alberta, partnered with golf great Phil Mickelson to create his first signature course in Canada. Phil is a leftie, so the course has been set up with left-handed players in mind.
The 18-hole course is billed as a private course, but is currently open to the public, features challenges you won’t find on any other Alberta course – rolling hills on the fairways, a large number of bunkers and water features and greens that complement the rolling fairways.
Just one look from the first tee and you know this is something different. Do you want to hit high to the left to get to the green, or follow the lower valley with a high shot to the green? Both options are available on the first tee and on several others, giving players with varying levels of ability a welcome option. Phil is a master of the short game, so chipping and putting puts those skills – or lack thereof – to the test. Watch for the abyss along holes three and eight. Stray too far off the fairway and your shot is gone. Plus, there is a large, continuous sand trap between those two holes. Yet another challenge!
The course isn’t full service yet. A portable trailer serves as the clubhouse, check-in and food service. However, we understand a clubhouse is being planned and will hopefully be up and running soon. Obviously there are areas that need more attention to make this a truly professional-level course, but we were impressed with how the course plays, which can only improve as time goes on.
The placement of the bunkers and water hazards forces one to focus on performing perfectly placed drives. We chuckled among ourselves while watching one poor soul in the foursome ahead of us hit from one trap to another. I’m sure he was at par before getting halfway to the green. There is some forgiveness on the fairways, but for the most part accuracy is essential.
Your short game will get a workout as each green offers challenging slopes that make reading the greens a guessing game. It’s clear a great deal of thought has gone into the design.
We were very impressed with what the course offers so far, and we expect that each year as trees grow and changes are made, time will give this course much to consider as a destination for those who want to experience something special closer to home. For now, the course will offer tee times to the public, and we hope this remains the case for the next couple of seasons.
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A Word About Our Partners
We’re big fans of golfing. In fact, we live on one of the finest private courses in Alberta! If you are planning a trip to Alberta or B.C., send us a note and we would be happy to help with your arrangements – even providing a third and fourth if you need some golf partners. We’ve partnered with a few big names to help get you to where you want to go…in style! You’ll find them along the right side of the page.
We’ve just partnered with Consistent Golf, a great place for advice on ways to improve your game. Trying to improve your swing? Take a look at The Stress Free Golf Swing – Ben Hogan’s Secret to get you started. How is your short game? Could use some improvement, right? Try this book from Consistent Golf.
We are very pleased to welcome Peter Millar golf apparel to our site. Peter Millar features a wide range of casual sportswear, tailored menswear, and luxury and performance golf apparel appropriate for the golf course, the office or a night on the town. So if you’re looking for golf clothing for men, or golf clothing for women, click their link here or on the right side of the page.
Looking for golf clubs? Check out the deals at Carl’s Golfland. Click this link, or check the right side of the page.
Amazon carries a large assortment of golf clubs and accessories. Click here, or on the right side of the page to get you started in your search.
And we’re partners with the new eBay new and used program, so if budget is a consideration, check out the eBay link here, or on the right side of the page for golf club deals and more.
Have a look at our Cheap Flights page for some search suggestions, and check out our partners listed along the right side of the page who can help with flights, accommodation and travel resources.