The return to milder weather conditions has paved a path for the official opening of a number of golf courses located throughout the Smoky River region.
That includes the scenic Lakeside Golf & Country Club, located just east of Eaglesham off Highway 49, where golfers have been in the swing of things since last Wednesday when staff opened up the course for the first time in nearly seven months.
“We did all right over the winter,” says general manager Glen Cross, who replaces former GM Art Ewasko for the 2002 season. “The greens came through in excellent shape with very few signs of winterkill.”
Last week’s start to the golfing season was on temporary greens with staff giving the putting services additional time to spring back to life. Cross says that with any luck that trend will be short-lived.
“If the weather keeps going like this we will be open on permanent greens on all nine holes by this week,” he said.
Avid golfers at the par-36 golf course won’t experience any significant changes to the features of the course in 2002, and for good reason. Cross says it’s a “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” mentality..
“This is a superbly designed golf course in every aspect. It’s a beautiful little course which challenges golfers to think about every shot they make regardless of whether it’s your short or long game,” he adds.
It’s those same prominent features which makes the Lakeside Golf & Country Club an extremely popular golfing destination of choice each year for thousands of duffers who flock to the area for a taste of paradise¬Ö northern Alberta style.
The golf course has a fully operational club house, complete with a wide variety of golfing accessories, including club and power cart rentals.
Cross says they are still looking for staff for this season.
Rates for this season are: $14 for nine holes and $21 for 18 on weekdays and $16/$23 on weekends and holidays.
Membership fees are: $357.50 (plus GST) for singles and $561 (plus GST) for couples.
Golfers are encouraged to book tee times in advance by calling the club house at 359-2520.
5-Star Golf Course
Located approximately 10 miles south of Falher in the scenic surroundings of the Little Smoky River valley is the 5-Star Golf Course.
The 9-hole grass greens golf course, described by many people as a diamond in the rough, offers duffers of all ages a unique and challenging experience each time out.
The golf course offers approximately 2,300 yards of pure golfing pleasure with four par 3’s, four par 4’s and one par 5 – the longest hole on the course at 453 yards.
5-Star Golf Course offers club and power cart rentals in addition to four campsites with power and water hookups.
Efforts by Express staff to find out whether the golf course is now open were unsuccessful.
For more information, call the clubhouse at 837-2100.
Smoky River Regional Golf Course
Convenience and affordability are two factors behind the success of the Smoky River Regional Golf Course, which is now open.
“We opened May 6 on temporary greens,” said Smoky River Regional Golf Course Society Vice-President Leo Giroux.
“The way everything’s looking right now, we should be running on permanent greens within a couple of weeks.”
Located on the southwest edge of McLennan’s corporate limits off Hwy. 2, the local 9-hole golf course offers a clubhouse, licensed lounge, club and power cart rentals.
There’s also a driving range at the golf course, which has received much in the way of attention in the past week.
“Business has been pretty steady on the driving range,” said Giroux, adding that it’s a nice change of pace for people who’ve been suffering from cabin fever since last winter.
An added incentive for visitors to the area is the Kimiwan Campground, located within a nine iron distance of the clubhouse.
The campground comes complete with more than one-dozen sites (many of which are fully serviced) in addition to free shower facilities, making it an added convenience for weekend golfers.
The responsibility for clubhouse operations this season rests on the shoulders of Carolyne Dubrule, who was awarded the contract by the society prior to the start of this season.
The Smoky River Regional Golf Course varies in length, ranging from 3,304 yards for men to 2,940 for women, and features two par 3’s, five par 4’s and two par 5’s.
Membership fees for 2002 season have increased by 10 per cent and are as follows: $117.70 for juniors (12 to 17 years of age), $149.80 for students (college and 18-year-old students), $235.40 for seniors, $331.70 for singles, $567.10 for couples and $684.80 for families.
Green fees are $12.85 for nine holes, $19.25 for 18 holes and $26.75 for a day pass. Twelve-pack prices are $107. All prices include GST.
Memberships purchased prior to May 15 are GST-exempt.
Giroux says the membership drive is continuing to go well.
“We have several new members and a lot of returning members, and they’re still coming in,” he said.
The first tournament of the season is June 8 to 9 when the YL Country Annual Open comes to McLennan.
To register or book a tee time, call the clubhouse at 324-3661.