Trestle Creek GC Takes Shape In Alberta

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by Gord Montgomery

 

New 27-Hole Course, Recreation Area Shaping Up In Parkland County

 

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The dream in two men’s eyes will soon be the venue golfers dream of playing.
 
The team of Alvin Clark and Brad Dupuis, the former the president of Trestle Creek Golf Resort and the latter the designer, feel they’re about to set a new standard for a tried-and-true holiday experience with their package.
 
The pair are combining to build a 27-hole golf course which will be the centre-piece of a 440-acre recreation complex with both indoor and outdoor activity areas and a huge RV park.
 
The project is expected to top $30 million in construction costs.
 
The main focus of this piece will be the golf course, which will open in stages having begun in 2011 with the first nine holes.
 
The second nine was to follow a year later with the third being put into play after a mammoth recreation centre, complete with an indoor swimming pool, gym, games room and other first-class amenities is constructed.
 
The property all this sits on is within an easy hour’s drive of Edmonton, due west on Highway 16 (Yellowhead) a major thoroughfare to Jasper and B.C.
 
The largest component of the area is of course the golf course with Dupuis as the designer. His past successes almost guarantee Trestle Creek will be well received.
 
One of the native Albertan’s first jobs was working for Rod Whitman on the construction of Wolf Creek Golf Resort in the early 1980s.
 
After building courses around the world including in Mexico, Jamaica, France, Spain, Germany, Chile, South Korea, Japan, the Canary Islands, Morocco, and the USA, Brad has returned to Alberta to design and build Trestle Creek.
 
Many of his courses have received awards and recognition including The Ritz Carelton White Witch Course in Jamaica, which is rated as the No. 1 Caribbean course and the Les Bourdes Golf Resort in France which was the top-rated course in all of Europe in 2009. 
 
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photo credit: gord montgomery
Trestle Creek Golf Resort Head Professional Brian Miller (R) And Course Superintendant Are All Smiles As The Course Continues To Move Toward Completion 
 
During his career, Dupuis has worked alongside such notables as Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye and Tom Weiskopf.
 
Dupuis’ courses are memorable, aesthetically pleasing, and most of all fun to play. His design at Trestle Creek blends impeccably with the existing terrain and is in complete harmony with the natural environment surrounding the course.
 
“We started with 18 holes then ended up with 27,” Dupuis said of making full use of the land he was handed by Clark.
 
Each stretch of holes has been named and will be known as the Creekside Nine, the Magnolia Hill nine and the Jack Pine nine and each will have different characteristics from the others.
 
“The front nine will have water, the back nine trees,” the designer explained about building the first 18, then constructing the rec centre before putting the final nine holes into play.
 
“Each nine will be very distinct,” with flow and movement to the course where each hole will differ from the one prior and the one after. “I like a lot of movement, a lot of shadows. If you’re in the rough, off the fairway, you shouldn’t have an easy shot all the time,” he said of one of the course hallmarks he’ll present.
 
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image courtesy trestle creek golf resort
The Vision Of Course Designer Brad Dupuis Is Coming To Life At Trestle Creek
 
At the same time, this won’t be a course that penalizes you harshly for the occasional errant shot. “We’ll try to keep the rough pretty good. There will be a lot of tourists here. The rough will be playable.”
 
The greens will also differ widely in scope, Dupuis noted. “There will be some big ones, some small ones. Some with roll, some flat,” he explained. 
 
“It will vary from green site to green site. I want every hole to have a completely different character than the one before it. I don’t want to play a golf course where every hole looks the same.”
 
“That’s why we picked Brad to design the course,” Clark said. “Every hole he designs, there’s something different about it. Variety is what I like and what you see in his courses.”
 
The course site offered numberous natural ingredients which have been added to the construction cocktail as it provided lots of black dirt topsoil, water, sand and rock.
 
“The water is the main thing for irrigation,” Dupuis said of the area that’s fed by two creeks, Trestle and Anderson, which merge to form the mouth of the Sturgeon River.
 
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“The rock adds feature to the golf course. I’ve done courses with (designer Robert) van Hagge and they look so much better with rock features on the front of the lake. This enhances the golf course. It takes it from a blasé looking green site to a nice area.
 
“The sand we’ve got will be used for greens, tees, the lake, not for bunkers,” and will save the developers about $300,000 in overall costs.
 
 The entire concept and design of the Trestle Creek Golf Resort will set it in a class by itself, Clark continued. 
 
“We want to be a high-end golf course and that’s why we brought Brad in. We want to build a course that there’s nothing else like it in the area. That’s where we want to be.”
 
Asked about the distance from a major metropolitan area, Clark and Dupuis both said people are willing to take time to travel somewhere if the end justifies the means, and they suggest in their case that’s what happens. At the same time, Clark continually pointed out, Trestle Creek is “only 45 minutes from the west end of Edmonton.”
 
“If it’s a good golf course, they will come,” Dupuis said.
 
“If they enjoy it, they’ll tell their friends,” and the clientele will build from there, Clark added. “Build it right, market it right and they’ll be here.”
 
As for the construction timeline, the first nine holes will be seeded this fall and open for play next year when the designer gives it his OK. The second nine will be started in 2011 and be completed the next season, Clark noted.
 
As for the final nine-hole stretch, that’s going to take a bit longer to swing into the rotation, he noted.
 
“Phase 1 and 2 are the first 18 holes, then Phase 3 is the rec centre and RV area. Phase 4 will be the last nine. That will be done when the lots sales warrant it. You can’t build 27 holes of golf without having the three phases sold and having the amount of people we want on it. Eighteen will suffice; most courses are 18 and the back nine will be put in after the third phase is sold.”
 
As for that RV area, that’s what this whole project hinges on. So far, pre-sales of the huge lots have been going well and should continue to do so, the president noted, saying the close location to Edmonton and a world-famous golf course designer are two ingredients that will set this recipe well above all others.
 
For more information on the Trestle Creek Golf Resort, the RV parj and all the other non-golf related amenities, go to their website at www.trestlecreek.ca.
 
 
About the writer:
Gord Montgomery is the sports editor of two weekly newspapers in the Edmonton area. He has written for Inside Golf for the past three years with the majority of his coverage in north and central Alberta.
 
He can be reached at noraltagolf@gmail.com.
 
 
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By Gord Montgomery

About the writer: Gord Montgomery is the sports editor of two weekly newspapers in the Edmonton area and is a member of the Golf Journalists Association of Canada. He has written for Inside Golf for the past four years with the majority of his coverage in north and central Alberta. He can be reached at noraltagolf@gmail.com.

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