River Spirit offers unique experiences over 27 holes
If you’re looking for variety in your golf game, and are an advocate of elevated tee boxes or perhaps favour a walkable, flat style of layout, then you’re going to love the River Spirit Golf Club and what it has to offer over its 27 holes.
Speaking to the layout of this track, which is just west of Calgary, Leif Hanson, the course’s Director of Golf noted, “Our Spirit nine is kind of a mix of, I’d say, parkland and tree-lined courses. There are six holes up top and then three holes down in the river valley that are tree-lined.
“For our Millburn nine, probably our most challenging nine according to Golf Canada’s handicap system, but it’s probably our shortest nine, too. It’s parkland with rolling hills. Again, you tee off up top, drop into the river valley for holes four, five, six and seven, and then you’re back on top for eight and nine.
“Then our Cattail nine is our most walker-friendly because you don’t go up and down hills. It’s more of a players’ course where there’s a lot of shots you have to hit to certain areas,” Hanson noted of golfers having to avoid the wetlands that mark this nine. “It’s more of a course where you have to have strategy off the tee.”
Put together by architect Russ Olson, perhaps best known for his Saskatchewan treasure, Dakota Dunes Golf Links, full use was made of the topography along the Elbow River to create this piece of art.
Despite the obstacles that face players here though, Hanson explained, “It doesn’t play as hard as it’s made out to be. It has four tee boxes on each hole, and it’s very public friendly. There aren’t a lot of forced carries. It’s more of a player-friendly course,” no matter which 18 of the 27 holes you may decide to challenge.
River Spirit offers a wonderful warm-up/practice area including a huge grass teeing area, with the option of hitting mats on the driving rang which has five target flags to aim at. There are also two short-game practice areas, a bunker to get those sand shot woes out of the way, and a putting green with plenty of roll to it. And, if you’re game has gotten away from you, there are three CPGA professionals on staff to lend a hand with any problem areas.
River Spirit GC is happy to help you put on your golf tournament, not matter what size, and offer up competitive pricing, Hanson explained.
“Again, I think we’re one of the most price-friendly places. On the high-end, we are $140 for a primetime weekend rate, something many courses don’t offer. It includes the green fee, a power cart, a tee gift, a bottle of water and $50 prize allocation. Then, we have Corporate Mondays that includes the same things, with a smaller meal, for $99.”
So whether you’re looking to challenge this interesting layout, with spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains in the distance by yourself, with a trio of buddies, or perhaps a few dozen acquaintances getting together for a tournament, River Spirit GC tees up what you’re looking for. For tee times, go to playgolfalberta.com and follow the links.
By Gord Montgomery
Inside Golf Writer