Every hole here is a great experience, according to Slade King, director of golf and head professional at
The Links of GlenEagles.
Your day will begin on a dogleg right par-4 (384 yards from the back tees and 252 from the forward) that offers some challenging shots over water. From most of the tee boxes, you'll be firing over a creek to a generous but elevated fairway. You can use driver but less club is probably better off the tee. To succeed on this hole, you need to land far enough along on the fairway to see where you're going next. Your approach shot takes you over a lake with a waterfall into a little bowl of a green.
Hole #4According to King, perhaps the best hole on the course is No. 5, a par-3 (170 yards from the back and 108 from the forward) that drops 75 feet from tee to green. "No. 5 is the start of a group of ridge holes that offer great scenery," King said. "The green is surrounded by views of the Bow River and Bow Valley corridor." On No. 5, you need an accurate shot to the green or you need to end up short, right in front of the green, which is flanked by large bunkers. Use a club that is about three clubs less than you might ordinarily play. Watch out when the wind blows, as it can catch your ball and carry it farther than you want to go.
Second shot to a small green plays best from left side of fairway. Favor left side of green to avoid right trap.
For the daring player with lots of length, No. 6 is a great temptation. This great double dogleg par-5, playing at 550 yards from the back and 431 from the forward, is built along the side of a hill. "On the left side is a ravine that drops down toward the river," said King. "Right in front of green there's a ravine."
At first the fairway goes slightly right; then it makes a sharp hook to the left. If you hit a long enough drive, you can consider going for the green on your second shot. "You could do it in two shots," said King, "but it's a big risk. Most people lay up in front of the ravine, which drops down 100 feet and catches a lot of balls."
No. 7, a dogleg right par-4 that plays 415 yards from the back tees and 339 from the forward, is a tricky test when you play first time. "If it's your first time on the course, it's hard to see the best way to play it," said King. "But after a couple times, you find the sweet spot to aim for. If you cut off enough of the fairway, it's an easy shot to green."
You can try to cut the dogleg by as much as you want on your drive. But you have to cross a gently sloping gully filled with grasses.
The front nine ends with a par-5 (598 yards from the back and 472 from the front) that definitely requires three shots to reach the green. Watch out for the water about 60 yards short of the green.
From every hole on this course, you have a view of the Front Range, but on much of the back nine, you'll find lots of ridge holes with elevations and views of the river valley as well.
Hole #12The dramatic No. 12, a par-3 that measures 206 yards from the back and 123 from the forward requires a shot over a gully thick with fescue grass to what is a very shallow green, encircled by a sea of bunkers. Take a little more club than usual to the tee. The hill behind the green acts as a backstop.
Hole #13The par-4 No. 13 (427 yards from the back tees and 323 from the forward) can be played in straightforward fashion. Stay left of the fairway bunker on the right but not so left that you end up in the treacherous ravine on the left-hand side. Though the fairway is narrow, you probably can use a driver. If you hook or slice, lay back with a 3-wood.
Hole #15The par-4 No. 15 threatens danger all the way. "The left is all ravine," said King. "So be careful of the left side. There's also a difficult second shot into a tough green. This is the toughest par-4 on course. Not a lot of players make par here. Even if you get to the green in two, you'll have a tricky putt. There are subtle breaks in the green that you don't see unless you play this hole a couple of times."
No. 16 (251 yards from the back and 166 from the forward) is clearly the signature hole on the course. In fact, Score Magazine awarded this hole a silver medal for being the best par-3 in Canada. There's a huge elevation drop from the tee box to green – a 130-foot drop. "This hole makes for the most spectacular photo on the course when you're in 16th tee box – you can see for miles. You can see the river."
From up on your lofty perch, you're going to think that the green is a postage stamp. But actually it's very large and also well-bunkered. "You have a very difficult shot straight downhill with rocks and fescue grass the whole way," said King. "You have to fly all the way. If you go too far, you could roll down to river. It's critical to find proper club. Usually players use three to four clubs less than normal. From the blue tees, 188 yards, I'd hit 7- or 8-iron."
Hole #17Another great view hole comes up on No. 17, a par-4 (360 yards from the back and 280 from the forward). There are gorgeous views here of the mountains. In fact, you feel as if you're hitting right at the Rockies. "It's fairly short here," King said. "But it's similar to No. 15; the whole left side drops down again to river. There's a very narrow fairway. So lay back with a 3- or 5-wood off the tee."
If you've had any trouble along the way, you might be able to improve your score on the par-5 No. 18, playing at 535 yards from the back and 425 from the forward. As you hit back toward the clubhouse, you'll find it fairly easy to hit the green in two.
"There's a good chance to make birdie on the last hole," said King. "You do have to hit over a creek about 60 yards from the green in order to make it in two."