We celebrate Central Alberta golf: Three signature holes

In celebration of the many amazing golf courses in and around Red Deer, we bring you three of Central Alberta’s signature holes.

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Wind, sand and knee-high grasses

Wolf Creek Golf Resort in Ponoka is one of Alberta’s best and most unique courses. It’s an old world Scottish-style links course with the challenges of sandy dunes, knee-high grasses and a wild prairie wind. All 36 holes have been seamlessly carved into the terrain with deep pothole bunkers and some tough water features thrown in too.

One of the signature holes is Hawk’s Alley, 4 on the Old Course. You’ll tee off through a tight opening in the trees then go for the green surrounded on all sides by water and a deep bunker. And you’ll do it all in four swings. (The Wolf’s toughest par 4 though is the curving Dupe’s Revenge, hole 3 on the Links Course. Tip: watch your cut around the water.)

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Water, woods and a very narrow green

Innisfail Golf Club is the region’s most popular public course. It is beautiful, mature, immaculately maintained, very fast and very challenging. The 27-hole course is made up of three distinct nine hole courses and takes about 4 ½ hours to complete.

The signature hole at Innisfail is Hazelwood 6. With a quiet lake to one side and dense woods to the other, you need to bring your A game drive. Address the elevated tee with confidence and send your Titleist flying onto the narrow green that juts out into the water. There are also bunkers surrounding the green just to add to the fun. (And this isn’t even Innisfail’s toughest hole – that’s the uphill and rounded Hazelwood 4.)

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In the heart of the city

RiverBend Golf Course is nice and central, just a few minutes from downtown Red Deer. The Red Deer River winds around this large (6,700 yard) 18-hole course, which also features mature trees, several clear lakes and open well-kept fairways. Plus, you can leave the family at the onsite Discovery Canyon water-play area (maybe pause to take a turn or two on a tube yourself) and then head out for a nice quiet round.

Surrounded by water, hole 12 is RiverBend’s signature hole. The long par 4 dogleg showcases the most challenging aspects of the course – the river, lakes, sand, sloping fairways and unpredictable greens. Tip: keep it down the middle or the right side on your opening shot using a long iron or hybrid.