Sirocco Golf Club making an offer that’s hard to refuse
If you’re a proponent of the old theory that a membership at a golf course keeps you stuck in one place, playing the same old layout time after time, think again. At least that’s the word coming from Tom Ellison, General Manager at the Sirocco Golf Club in Calgary.
You see, he’s of the opinion that a membership at his track is well worth the money simply because Sirocco plays so differently on a continuing basis.
“The feedback we hear from our members is that the playing experience is so different every time they come out here. They don’t get bored playing it, 30, 40, 50, 60, 100 times. It is always interesting to play, especially in the wind. That is the comment we get most often from our members … ‘I’ve played this thing 200 times and today, it was different again because of the wind.’ Our members never get bored playing it.”
To illustrate how sure he is of those statements, Ellison, and Sirocco are offering up trial memberships. “We’re a semi-private club so we are trying to attract new members. You can come and join the club for a year, and we hope people will want to come on a more permanent basis after that.”
Those trial memberships, he continued, have been very well received by the public in the past because “They are very affordable,” and this is a way to give the unaffiliated player a taste of what this interesting layout has to offer.
Founded in 2005, Sirocco has received press praise after being named one of the top 15 public golf courses in Alberta by SCORE. It’s a links-style course that plays to over 7,100 yard from the back tees. Those yardages do shorten up though, dropping down to 6,722; then to just over 6,000 yards and finally 5,269 yards off the front tees. There are also several sets of combo tees. Even with its challenges, the course suggests that an 18-hole round should take no longer than 4 hours and 45 minutes.
The Sirocco Golf Club can also become your home to a corporate tournament, as they host such events during the season on Monday or Thursday, and given their location, business people don’t necessarily have to give up an entire day getting to the course for such an event. Ellison noted that one really good thing about Sirocco is its location, something that often takes the unknowing golfer by surprise.
“We are known as a challenging, beautiful country course that’s only two or three minutes from the city. That’s what people find when they get here — they don’t expect it to be here because it is so close to the city. The course itself winds through Pine Creek Valley. It’s a bit of target golf that can be challenging depending on how the wind is blowing.”
As for what’s out here besides a great golf course that’s describe as “Natural, Unique, and Picturesque”, Ellison noted the amenities are second-to-none.
“We have all the services a club should have. A giant grass tee driving range. We have a large chipping and putting green. In our clubhouse we pride ourselves on having really quality food, all made in-house.”
Another big item on their list this year is an initiative to get more junior-aged players making the loop at Sirocco. Ellison said a special season pass, “with great privileges and clinics,” is available for only $300. “Because of our small membership, we’re trying to attract juniors so their parents don’t have to be members here.”
As for leagues, they’re a popular pastime at the course, especially since they are open to the public because of the small membership numbers at Sirocco. “We have a very strong ladies league on Tuesday. It is very well sponsored and attended. Our men’s league is on Wednesday, and again, very well attended and we are looking to add a few people to that,” said Ellison.
As to what makes his course stand out from others in the Calgary market, Ellison had this to say: “It isn’t the same round of golf every time,” which is often what golfers are looking for and why they shy away from holding a club membership.
For tee times at Sirocco, go to playgolfalberta.com and follow the links.
By Gord Montgomery
Inside Golf Writer