When it comes to hosting golf tournaments the Wolf Creek Golf Resort has a very lengthy resume to point to.
It’s been the site of Canadian Tour tournaments from 1987 to 1999, along with the Alberta Ladies Amateur, the Canadian Assistants Championship, a Canadian Women’s Tour event and countless junior golfing tournaments.
This summer another tournament can be added to the list as the Alberta Open will set up shop at the Wolf.
“We’ve always had a good relationship with Alberta Golf and they actually approached us and we said okay,” said Ryan Vold, director of golf at the Resort.
He said the last few years there has been some flooding issues which needed to be dealt with and that issue appears to be fixed so now was a good time to get back into hosting major golf events in the province.
The Links Course will likely be the challenge facing the best amateurs and a sprinkling of professionals when they tee it up June 24-26th.
Vold says the course, which reaches almost 7,200 yards from the back tees, will certainly provide the needed challenge for the players and depending on how the nines are played, it could provide an interesting finish to the tournament if the newest nine is the final nine holes of play.
“It’s got some dramatic holes out there. There’s a lot of holes, I think 16, 17 and 18 could be good finishing holes,” said Vold.
“You’ve got a good, strong par four that we’ve redesigned. A nice little par three where a guy could make a move on, a real tough finishing par four which a guy could really wreck on.”
Vold was quick to add the original layout where the Canadian Tour was hosted could still see some events in the years to come.
“Even at 6,500 yards it’s a par 70 and it still has some a lot of bite. It’s a narrow, mean little thing and with the right conditions it can provide a lot of grief for a lot of players.”
He says if the Canadian Tour should come knocking on their door once again it would be something they’d look closely at but the world of golf has changed since the last Open back in 1999.
“It takes a lot of work and a lot of effort and the golf business has changed. To close down a golf course for a week, it’s a difficult thing,” he said. “Back when we were hosting it we were 27 holes and now we’re 36 so we could close one down and keep the other one open but the clubs that are hosting them now are probably getting paid a good amount of money to close down.”
Another attraction to hosting a tour event is the economic impact on the course and surrounding businesses as players would be coming from all over to stay and play, not to mention the people watching who will drop some coin in the region.
This Open might not have the same feel about it but he figures some spin-off will occur.
“There will be a definite impact because they (the players) will be coming from all over the province,” he said.
But no matter what rotation the players face when they hit the links late next month, there is no question who Vold is pulling for once the first group tees off.
“In my family, we’re in the rodeo business, we always wanted the bulls and the horses to win so I guess that’s my answer.”