Getting on the green

Blogging about some of the world's best golf holes.

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Crystal Ridge GC: Straight Tee Shot Required on #1

Crystal Ridge GC: #1

Crystal Ridge GC: #1

Hole # 1, par 4, 375 yards

Teeing off on the first hole on any course can be a nerve racking experience and on Crystal Ridge GC in Okotoks, it can be for those of you who slices their tee shot. If you are playing the blue tees, make sure you grab a club that is going to guarantee you a straight tee shot. Too much left is no good and probably out of bounds. Right is not good either because the clubhouse is there, just behind the trees. Straight is it.

Once in the clear, you can aim for the green which has a bunker on the left and water behind the green. I got in the sand and easily popped it out. My playing partner wasn’t so lucky because she hit her hybrid too long and her ball was wet. After a week of hot sun, the greens had dried out and it was hard sticking the balls close.

On the green, I had a 10 foot putt. I found the greens to be a good speed, not as fast as a 8 on the stimp meter but close behind. Counting the lost ball I hit left, I ended up with a triple bogey. She did too. At least we were even after one hole.

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Hole # 12, D’Arcy Ranch GC, Okotoks, AB

Hole # 12, par 3, White tees, 136 yards

I hope you have a chance to visit the website on my blogroll because I posted a video on it that shows how Maria Sharapova aces a par 3. Sometimes I feel like I need to use something else other than my 7-iron. (Be sure to check it out and the deals under the proshop too.)

Hole # 12 is a nice par 3 at D’Arcy Ranch. How can you tell that I like short par 3’s. From the white tees, I chose to hit my 9-iron and play the bank on the right. I hit it just right and it bounced on to the green and rolled to 2 feet from the hole. My playing partners, Tom and Doug weren’t so lucky. Doug pulled his shot into the lake. Tom mishit his 6-iron and ended up in the sand bunker.

Tom managed to bogey the hole as Doug walked away with a double bogey due to a lost ball. I single putted in for a birdie.

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Hole # 6, D’Arcy Ranch GC, Okotoks, AB

Hole # 6, White tees, 169 yards

If you’re visiting Calgary, be sure to play D’Arcy Ranch Golf Club in Okotoks, AB. It’s situated about 20 minutes south of Calgary and has become a bedroom community (ie. residents sleep there but works elsewhere) with a population of 24,511. When you drive through the gates, don’t get fooled by the flat piece of land that you drive around to get to the parking lot. This course is anything but flat because there’s a big ravine that carves through the land.

Hole # 6 is a challenging par 3 from any colour tee. From the white tees, it is 169 yards with a large sand bunker and pond on your left. I chose a 6-iron while my playing partner, Jim chose a 5-wood. He would hit the green but his ball would roll to the back of the green. His wife Kari would join us on the white tees and hit a 3-wood. Her ball would come up short but it bounced and rolled to the front of the green. My wife chose a 5-hybrid and had the best shot of the group. Her ball landed pin high and was 10 feet from the hole. I ended up pulling my shot into the sand bunker. At least it was dry.

From the sand bunker, I could barely see the flag because the green was above me. I kept my head down and smoothly entered the sand from behind the ball. When it landed, I heard oooh’s and aaah’s. They were all amazed at how I spun the ball as it landed and sucked back. For tips on how to backspin a ball, be sure to visit our sister site.

Everyone ended up with a bogey, except my wife who rolled it in for a par.

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Hole # 9, River’s Edge GC, Okotoks, AB

Hole # 9, par 3, White tees, 134 yards

River's Edge # 9

River’s Edge # 9

Like the Player’s Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, hole # 9 at River’s Edge GC in Okotoks is also an island green. With water all around it, you need to be accurate off the tee and be able to carry it over water for 134 yards.

I played with Brody, Chris and Cindy today. The wind was blowing slightly but I had figured a 9-iron would get me there. Boy, was I wrong. I thought I hit it hard enough but I lost my ball to the water hazard. Brody hit this low flyer that ended up on the green. Chris sailed his ball over the flag and into the water behind the green. Cindy hit her hybrid and it scooted to the back of the green.

I played my third shot from the drop zone and the ball trickled past the hole and down the hill. Chris hit a beautiful lob wedge shot from the drop zone and it ended up pin high but to the right of the hole. Cindy also chipped on and was safe on the green. It was Brody’s turn but he three putted for a bogey. Chris finished off nicely with a par and Cindy also bogeyed the hole. I ended up with a double bogey after counting the lost ball.

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Hole # 10, River’s Edge Golf Club, Okotoks, AB

Hole # 10, River’s Edge Golf Club, Blue tees, 404 yards

Risk and reward means different things to different people. On hole # 10 at River’s Edge Golf Club in Okotoks, near Calgary, AB, Canada, players often take risks and bomb their tee drives over the rough to reach the green in one. The trouble with that is either losing their ball to the long grass and shrubs that litters between tee box and green or they hook it so badly that players on the par 3, hole # 11 has to duck for cover.

Other players not taking risks will play their ball straight and occasionally, slice their ball into fairway one where they can easily recover from. After teeing off from the blue tees, I found my ball a little right of the cart path. Luckily, I had a clear view of the green and decided to hit a 8-iron to a pin located in the back of the green.

A safe shot off the tee earned me an easy GIR. I 2-putted and walked away with a par. My playing partner took the risk and lost his tee shot in the rough. He ended up with a double bogey. Better luck next time.

For those of you in the area, visit River’s Edge on Saturday, April 28th for their 2nd Annual Monster Demo Gala. Lots of new equipment to demo from Callaway, TaylorMade, Ping, Exotics, Titleist, Nike, Adams and more.

Part of giving back, be sure to bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank. See you there!