Calgary

Revamped McCall Lake Golf Course partially opens Friday

Calgary golfers will have their first chance on Friday to try out the revamped McCall Lake Golf Course — but just nine holes for now.

City opening 9 holes for preview before full, 18-hole course opens in June

The city has finished a $6.7-million upgrade of the McCall Lake Golf Course in northeast Calgary. (CBC)

Calgary golfers will have their first chance on Friday to try out the revamped McCall Lake Golf Course — but just nine holes for now.

The public 18-hole course in the city's northeast has just had a $6.7-million makeover to upgrade its greens, tees and fairways.

About $1 million of that went into buildings, including the clubhouse, the driving range as well as the pump stations, said Greg Shymanksi, City of Calgary golf course operations lead.

"But every nickel that didn't go into the buildings was put into the landscape," he said.

"And we've tried hard to really maximize where those dollars went and really stretch out the changes that were possible given the budget that we had."

Traps and hazards on the 38-year-old course were moved to better match modern driving distances, and new forward tees were added to accommodate a broader range of skills.

The makeover at the golf course included upgrades to the clubhouse. (CBC)

"We're very excited about many of the changes here. I think golfers are going to see a big difference out there," said the course designer, Wade Horrocks of Ground3 Landscape Architects.

Two of the most notable additions are the new par-5 on the fifth hole, and a newly designed "exciting, risk-reward" par-4 on the ninth, he said.

The renovation also involved raising the levels of the fairways surrounding McCall Lake, which is a storm water reservoir that sometimes flooded parts of the course during heavy rains.

"We raised all those areas around McCall Lake over a metre in elevation, so that would get us above those periodic flood levels while also improving playing conditions," he said.

The nine-hole, sneak-peak preview starts Friday — and the remainder of the holes will reopen later in June.

"Over McCall Lake's lifespan, golf course design, equipment and player needs have evolved," said Lisa Lanctot, business development co-ordinator for Calgary Recreation.

"The local golf market has changed, plus there's normal wear and tear on features over time. Ultimately, this combination impacted the course's playability and market position as a prime golf option for Calgarians. To renew the great potential of McCall's 18-hole course, an update to modern design standards was needed."

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