Cougar Creek Golf Resort

Cougar Creek Golf Resort is testament to unreliability of rumours

 By Gord Montgomery

 PARKLAND COUNTY —With apologies to Edgar Allan Poe’s saying, “Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see (read),” you can trust everything you are about to read (see) here in regard to the Cougar Creek Golf Resort.

Despite some nasty rumours floating around, this rural track west of Edmonton is in good shape and only getting better as the weather warms, says Head Golf Professional Jake Behiels.

After a winter that saw the dreaded freeze-thaw-freeze cycle repeat itself a few times, Cougar Creek did suffer some damage, Behiels agreed. But, they’ve never hidden that fact from customers and the grounds crew is well on their way to remedying that situation. In fact, one of the hardest hit areas, a putting surface, has been totally replaced.

“We did re-sod number two (green); we didn’t want to wait. That’s now complete and it’s coming back nicely. They put some really nice bent grass in there and that’s going to help in the years to come. We did have a couple of other greens that came out just OK, but for the most part we have a lot of really solid looking greens out there now,” the pro said about past problem areas.

Behiels noted the “fairways and tees wintered really well,” so for the most part the course is now back to its usual prime playing conditions. A big thing with this type of winter-kill problem, the pro pointed out, is that the course has to be upfront with customers about the issues they may encounter when they tee off.

“I think for myself and my staff it’s extremely important to show transparency and be honest with people. We’re not trying to hide anything.”

The over-riding message about this track is simple: “It’s a great place to play golf and that’s what I want people to be aware of,” said Behiels. “We have a beautiful setting out here. It’s nice and peaceful, especially on the front nine and the golf course is good now,” even as the on-going maintenance continues to improve conditions each and every day.

“We’re getting closer and closer every day,” to the hoped-for mid-summer conditions divot-diggers want on a golf playpen. “Having the number two green dealt with is a big thing and now we’re a lot closer (to ideal conditions) than we expected and a lot sooner than last year.”

What also makes Cougar Creek a place to play, and eat, is the restaurant and its renovated menu. The food at Cougar Creek continues to be absolutely primo, thanks to the skillful hand of the F & B Manager Peter Matheos (formerly of Peter’s Pizza in Spruce Grove), and with new items on the menu things have gotten even better. The interesting thing is, people are often driving out to this rural property just to eat and not even play golf. A big reason of course is the food but there are also the views, especially from the patio.

“Our patio seats 60 people and it overlooks Holes 1, 9, and 18,” said Behiels. “We have 35 seats inside and the huge banquet hall that can seat up to 220, so we have all the bases covered, so to speak, for hosting events from tournaments to small functions.

“We did upgrade the menu this year, kind of revamped it completely. We took some stuff off, added some great new stuff. Obviously having Peter around, with the experience he has, is extremely helpful. He knows the industry inside and out and you know as well as I, that people just come out here for Peter’s food.”

Included in the menu are Peter’s phenomenal lasagna (a must-have) and donairs, along with a daily special and a food-and-drink special every day of the week, that include either wine, beer, or highballs.

As for expanding the food items, Behiels said, “We’ve added a new burger, a double cheeseburger, a chicken caesar wrap, a chicken quesadilla. And for those who need something to quench that after-18 thirst, “We have a new tap, a Brewster’s raspberry draft beer that’s been quite popular and  is quite good.”

In closing, Behiels said without realizing it that Mr. Poe’s statement from oh-so long ago was right on target in regard to the Cougar Creek Golf Resort.

“There are just so many rumours flying around … you hear one thing from one guy and 10 people take their word for it. A lot of times that guy could have had a bad day and that’s the thing about the golf industry. There are always rumours about the shape of the greens, the conditions, stuff like that. The main thing is, we’re in good shape,” and that’s something that even Edgar himself can’t argue with.

For tee times at Cougar Creek Golf Resort, go to playgolfalberta.com.