Last Updated on Sunday, 24 June 2012 15:48
Sunday, 24 June 2012 13:06
by Gord Montgomery
Heritage Pointe Golf Club may be eye candy at first glance but in the end you still have to hit the ball sweetly to score well on this fantastic 27-hole Calgary track.
Given its natural beauty thanks to the great design and the river valley it sits in, this is a track that’s not only gorgeous but one that’s a treat to play whether it’s in a tournament or as a foursome.
And what’s really neat is the fact you can mix and match any of the three nines here for a day of great golf at a Calgary-area golf course that actually offers deals on specific weekday green fees.
John Wilson, the director of golf at Heritage Pointe noted that on Mondays, Tuesdays and weekends the public is able to feast to its heart content at reduced rates on a course that has a great reputation including a No. 3 ranking in service and a No. 5 standing in playability by SCORE Golf.
Of course achieving honours like that, and then maintaining them, are two different things but Heritage Pointe strives to better itself each and every day.
“It’s just part of our mandate,” Wilson said. “When the course opened in June of ’92 we wanted to bring on line a golf course that would compare to the private clubs in Calgary and we thought there was an opening here for a really good, high-end, public golf course.
“That’s part of how Heritage Pointe was born and we always pride ourselves on our service levels, the course conditions, the service in the clubhouse and the golf course. It’s how we built our reputation – by doing things right.”
One area the club got right is with their green fees, be it early in the week or on weekends. The public loves that approach as they make up 50 per cent of the play in green fees at the course.
“During the week we offer reduced rates on Monday and a slightly reduced rate on Tuesday,” said Wilson. “We have our twilight rate of $85 which is really popular after five o’clock and includes a meal.
“We do a weekend foursome rate of $340 after two o’clock Saturdays and Sundays, so there’s lots of opportunity for the public golfer to get out here. To be where we’re at, and stay busy, it’s by all the different options we have available to people.”
The three nines at Heritage Pointe also offer a variety of playing options.
“We do have three great nines here,” Wilson noted. “The Desert nine is more of a links-style nine that’s on the top, above the valley floor.
photo credit - gord montgomery
This Hole Appears On The Desert Nine And Features All Kinds Of Hazards, Including The Water, A Large Bunker Fronting The Green And Thick Fescue-Type Grasses
“The Pointe nine is a slightly shorter nine. There’s lot of elevation change out there and it’s more of a shot-maker’s course.
“The Heritage nine would be more of a traditional parkland golf course. So all three are a little bit different; all very challenging.”
Asked about what two nines the public tends to favour, Wilson said it’s likely the Desert and the Heritage, the rotation that was used when his course hosted the Canadian Tour for four years.
“We do have lots of people though that love the Pointe and the Heritage,” he added. “It’s down in the valley and very beautiful. There’s lots of elevation change and the Pine Creek runs through there.”
photo credit - gord montgomery
The Tee Shot Off No. 1 On The Pointe Course Provides A Breathtaking View Of The Valley Down Below. While It Would Appear To Be A Huge Carry At Approximately 260 Yards To The Landing Area Below, It's Not That Bad As The Downhill Part Of The Fairway Chews Off A Substantial Amount Of Yardage. From The Landing Area The Hole Takes A Sharp Dogleg Right To An Elevated Green
Another thing that shows Heritage Pointe is a popular course is the fact that the Alberta PGA plays its major team championship at the course each year, using all 27 holes on each day of the two-day event.
One of the Class A pros who has taken part in a number of such events over the years is Jeff Sveen, from www.playgolfalberta.com
He noted he loves to travel down south from the Edmonton area to play at Heritage Pointe no matter if it’s for a competition or just for a day of recreational play.
“This is my favorite golf course in Calgary with its three unique nines,” he stated. “Heritage Pointe prides itself on exceptional service and you sense that right from when you're greeted by the Outside Services staff.
The course is in great shape and I'd have to say it has the best greens in Alberta, bar none. Enjoy your day at Heritage Pointe, a must play for you this summer!”
photo credit - gord montgomery
This Shot From The Tee Box On A Par 3 On The Pointe Shows The Beauty Of The Valley That Part Of Heritage Pointe GC Sits In
There’s no argument coming from Wilson on any of his peer’s comments.
“I think we’re known for the great course conditions and the greens we have down here at Heritage Pointe,” the local pro said in closing.
“I know the Alberta PGA guys love coming here and we enjoy hosting it,” as much as you, the public player, will enjoy playing this facility and the facility will enjoy having you take on the challenges here, no matter which two nines you choose to play.
Practice Makes Perfect
Besides the trio of amazing nines Heritage Pointe GC offers, there’s also a wonderful practice facility available to help you refine your game.
Bob McArthur, the head teaching pro explained the club can handle anyone’s practice wants and needs.
“It’s pretty diverse as far as our clientele goes and for what we do from kids’ junior camps to corporate outings to couples to groups sessions to women-only.”
One of the great things about the instruction here is it can be tailored to meet a player’s time specifications from short to long term.
“We tailor make it to the individual or groups coming in,” McArthur stated about lessons. “We do everything from a 45-minute session, or if they’re here for a week and want to do something every day and play golf on top of that, or have us play golf with them, there’s a number of different options.”
At Heritage Pointe, the practice facility is set up so students can work on every aspect of their game to hone their skills for the course. The facility includes a short game area, grass teeing areas and a three-hole loop.
The cost to access the area is $25 for a day’s pass, which allows for an unlimited supply of practice balls and you can play the loop as many times as you wish during that day. Yearly passes are also available for singles, couples and families.
Asked about the importance of proper instruction, especially when a person is just beginning in the game, McArthur said that’s more vital than equipment.
“People will go spend a lot of money to get the latest, greatest technology but then they don’t know what to do with it,” he said of the game’s greenhorns. “Our suggestion is to get instruction first; we’ll get you clubs to use if need be or show us what you’ve got and we can make recommendations after that.”
The practice area at Heritage Pointe is open every day of the week and has three full time teaching pros including McArthur, Mike Hogan and Paul Horton. In all, they have seven golf pros that teach, so arrangements to fix that hook or slice are only a phone call away at their academy.
To book a tee time at Heritage Pointe, go to www.playgolfalberta and follow the links for teeing it up at one of the best conditioned, and scenic golf courses in the Calgary area.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
More articles by Gord Montgomery