Location: Ponoka, Alberta
Courses architect: Rod Whitman
Opened: 1984 (Old Course) | 2009 (Links Course)
Par: 70 | 71
From the tips: 6,624 yards (Old Course) | 7,155 yards (Links Course)
Ratings: 72.0 (Old Course) | 73.6 (Links Course)
Slopes: 135 (Old Course) | 125 (Links Course)
Saturday morning green fee: $$ ($75-$99 Cdn)
Caddie service: No
Walker friendly: Yes
Starter: Wolf Creek has two 18-hole links-style courses built on a sand belt. The Old Course (1984) was the first design by Rod Whitman, now famous world-wide for Cabot Links in Nova Scotia. The Old Course and his Links Course (2009), have hosted numerous professional tournaments, including 13 years as a PGA Tour Canada venue. Although other courses have copied Wolf Creek, this was the first course to use cattle skulls for 150-yard markers.
Play because ... : Although Wolf Creek is in the middle of Alberta, when the prairie wind blows, there is an unmistakable hint of the British links. In contrast, the handcrafted log clubhouse is unmistakably Canadian, as is the down-home hospitality.
Takeaway: These days, there is lots of great golf in Alberta, but Wolf Creek remains among the best. Even though there now is a real estate component, the pure golf experience remains the same as when the first course opened more than 30 years ago.
RATINGS [1 to 10 scale, 10 being the highest]
Food | Beverage: 8
Pro Shop: 7
Course Difficulty: 8
Pace of Play: 9
Best Par 3: No. 3, Old Course (178 yards). This hole can be played two ways — either fly a mid-iron into the right side of the green (everything moves right to left) or hit a short iron into the hill on the right and trust the ball to roll onto the green.
Best Par 4: No. 9, Old Course (443 yards). The key is to position the drive correctly before facing a second shot that must carry a creek in front of the green, which is protected by tall spruce trees on both sides.
Best Par 5: No. 11, Old Course (506 yards). A classic risk / reward hole. Not long from the back tees, but demanding. An Ideal tee shot to the upper deck of the tiered fairway leaves a long iron into a green bordered by a creek and bunkers.
Rated by: John Gordon