Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 May 2016 08:46 Wednesday, 04 May 2016 08:37
PANORAMA, British Columbia (Gord Montgomery/iG) — Don’t let first impressions fool you. Certainly, Greywolf Golf Course is a beautiful layout in the Canadian Rockies but despite what one would think because it’s mountain golf that your shots are going to fly forever that’s not necessarily the case.
Justin Brown, the scenic setting’s head professional, said that players from Alberta, and in particular Calgary and Edmonton, won’t notice any extra carry (sorry about that) on their shots. However, if you’re travelling to this idyllic setting from the Lower Mainland, well then, you’re in for a treat!
“It’s actually pretty deceiving because you’re driving up the mountain,” to get to his course, Brown explained about that elevation mirage. “You think you’re playing in the clouds, 8,000 feet or so, but it’s only a couple hundred feet off of Calgary (about 3,400 feet). We’re 3,900, so it’s not extreme.
“If you’re coming from Vancouver, you are going to see a significant difference though. Our clientele is mostly from Calgary and Edmonton, so they won’t see much of a difference.”
As to throwing the doors open early this year, Brown noted it’s not the earliest ever but it is close.
“It is a bit early. The second week in May is kind of standard for us. It’s a nice early start for us, May 6, but that being said last year we opened on May 1, the earliest Greywolf has ever opened,” he noted about the jump-start on the season.
“We’ll open in, I don’t want to say mid-season conditions, but it’s pretty darn close.”
While the Fairways are Scenic at Greywolf, and There is Room to Set Your Shots Down Safely, There are Plenty of Problems Should You Stray Too Far Afield.
As for what the uninitiated gets at Greywolf, Brown said it’s not exactly a resort course style of layout, where everything is wide open and targets are easy to hit. At the same time this track isn’t going to wear you down, physically and mentally, from an over-abundance of challenges. In other words, it’s the type of track you want to challenge your game.
“When I picture a resort course I picture a short course where everything funnels into the middle, very user-friendly. It’s not that,” Brown said of beginning the description of his layout. “I don’t want to say we’re difficult by any means but it is 7,000 yards and change from the back tees. It’s no gimme as far as yardage. We are very forgiving off the tee; the fairways are very wide. Huge fairways that are all bent grass. There is difficulty when you start hitting your approach shots. There are deep bunkers out there and some elevation changes, uphill and downhill, so you have to make sure you get your club selection right on those shots.”
The one hole above all others on the course that catches everyone’s attention is No. 6, properly proclaimed as Cliffhanger. It’s features a carry over a canyon to a green guarded by bunkers and never-never land (as in, “You’re never going to find that ball!”). And no, the course doesn’t hire ball fetchers to retrieve wayward tee shot missiles.
“There are plenty of people that cut back on the trail that collect golf balls though,” said Brown.
“It’s a fair hole. From the back tee, about 170 yards, there’s a little bit of drop from the tee box to the green. Maybe call it half a club to one club. But you have to be bang-on with your yardage. Short is gone, left is gone, long is gone. You can bail out to the right a little bit but that is not the most fun recovery shot from over there. You have to have your game together, for sure.”
As well, if you like free stuff, then the Ultimate Greywolf Getaway is right up your alley, or in this case, down your fairway. If you book a tee time to play Greywolf before June 30, you’re entered to win a “pretty sweet little package,” said Brown.
That includes two tee times, one on Saturday and one on Sunday in late August, for 12 players each day. You get accommodation for everyone for two nights at a large cabin on the course right behind No. 6 tee, and a meal a day, including steaks and salads, as well.
For more information on Greywolf, go to their website at www.greywolfgolf.com to to book a tee time, call the pro shop at 1-250-341-4105.
About the Writer
Gord Montgomery is a retired sports editor of two weekly newspapers in the Edmonton area and is a member of the Golf Journalists Association of Canada. He is now in his eighth year of writing for Inside Golf. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s also on Twitter at @gordinsidegolf.