The early morning air is cool, crisp and clean – perfect for our golfing holiday. I inhale deeply, enjoying the silence and the beauty. A layer of dew blankets the finely manicured fairway on the 8th hole at the Waterton Lakes Golf Course. The jagged outline of the Canadian Rocky Mountains looms so close, I feel I could reach out and touch the ancient outcroppings. Sunlight bathes the rock, creating hues of pinks and purples. Beautiful.
I’m with my three best girlfriends on a weekend getaway. I focus on my shot, lining myself up in perfect symmetry, feet poised, and hips straight. I feel a nervous tingle run up my spine as I contemplate my options. Although it’s a straightaway, if I hit the rough, the long, prairie grasses will swallow my ball – even though it is pink. If I aim slightly to the left, I can avoid the sand traps surrounding the elevated green, perched on the edge of the bluff.
Whack. I hear the resonant ting of perfect connection. It’s the sound of the sweet spot. I take a breath and hold it, waiting and watching. A pink blur whizzes along the middle of the fairway, bounces once and then rolls to a stop. Success. I exhale and throw an over-the-shoulder grin to my girlfriends, happy for the moment – at least until my next shot.
Long Summer Days for Golf
Southern Alberta is home to more than 15 courses that offer challenges for every skill level. With long, warm summer days, you can hit a course early in the morning and play until after 10 p.m. And there are dozens to choose from, most with an interesting story or two.
Waterton Lakes Golf Course in Waterton Lakes National Park is one of the oldest in the country. Built in 1929 and designed by renowned golf course architect, Stanley Thompson, its fairways are carved alongside the magnificent Canadian Rockies, their beauty offering a stunning backdrop to a challenging 18-hole course.
This is definitely one for my golfer’s bucket list. As is the 27-hole Picture Butte Golf Club – just 15 minutes north of the city of Lethbridge – with its winding fairways flanked by water features and sand hazards. No wonder it was once chosen as the host site for the Canadian Senior Match Play Championships.
The girls and I are on a mission to golf as many courses as we can this summer. Next on the list? The Les Furber designed Lee Creek Valley Golf Course near the town of Cardston. This par 71 course with its many elevated tee boxes will challenge us on club selection. Are we up to crossing one more course off our bucket list? You bet!