Heritage Pointe Golf Course is Calgary’s private club experience for the public golfer. If you are traveling to the Calgary area it is a must play.
You truly are treated like a member when you pull up to the bag drop area. You will be greeted at the clubhouse by friendly staff and be impressed by the well-equipped pro-shop ideal for any last minute purchases or post round shopping.
There are 27 breathtaking holes on property divided amongst 3 distinct 9’s, The Pointe, the Desert and The Heritage.
The Pointe has a dramatic opening hole that taunts long hitters to tempt Pine Creek on their tee shot. The conservative play from the vastly elevated tee is to lay up to a landing area that offers the possibility of getting on in two on this par 5.
An overzealous tee shot will find the creek and one that is not quite long enough will also likely be lost in the hazard. The green is guarded by bunkers in front and behind and has suckered in many a golfer with a back left pin placement.
The course continues to wind and weave with elevation changes and sculpted fairways. Several holes are tree lined, and there is not one “boring” hole that is straight up the pipe. Many holes on this 9 will flirt with Pine Creek and require a solid knowledge of your game and what distances you can or can’t hit targets with.
The par 3’s are plain fun on this 9 with #6 having a minimum one club elevation drop lined with fescue up the right side and #9 protected by the creek in-front and lining the left side of the green. There are some great chances at birdie but patient pars will help eliminate the aggressive lines that turn quickly into doubles.
The Desert has a completely different feel than The Pointe. It is a links style setup. It is flatter with fewer elevation changes. It is known for its fescue dotted fairways and deep sand bunkers. Holes #4 and #7 can be reachable in two but you would be well advised to lay up on both. The 4th hole has a water hazard snuggled up to the green more than happy to trap errant shots and 7th hole has an elevated green that joyful denies slightly errant shots and those with a low trajectory.
The bunkers are quite treacherous and depending how close your ball is to the lip may give you no options but a chip out and the sheer size of many, such as the seemingly never ending bunker on #5 aptly named Beach, has caused players to leave it in for a second chance out.
Lastly, The Heritage 9 which is often the most popular of the three, has distinct characteristics that will have you craving more holes. The opening shot is a challenging 200 foot drop to a landing area that has penalties on 3 of the 4 sides. The second shot makes an eagle putt nearly impossible but a well-played hole can cough up a birdie. The 3rd hole is a beautiful par 3 that drops down to the Valley protected by bunkers and creek making a par feel like a birdie. The view from this tee is one of the best on the course.
The last stretch of finishing holes, though challenging give you a real chance to make up strokes. #8 is a short par 4 but forces a carry across a gorge that has seen its fair share of balls plummet to the bottom. Perhaps my favorite on property Heritage 9, a par 5 that is reachable in 2 with a solid tee shot but that has water surrounding the green like a moat. You seem to be either putting for eagle here or double bogie. It is a fantastic finishing hole.
Players comment time and time again about the beautiful and challenging but fair layout and most often about how pure the greens roll. Course Superintendent David Boyd takes great pride in those comments. He has been with Heritage Pointe for over a decade and was honored and humbled to receive a National Award for Superintendent of the year in 2009.
He is highly respected in his industry and no more than by Director of Golf John Wilson, “He’s the finest superintendent in the world. There’s a reason why Heritage Pointe is known for their outstanding conditions for a public golf course and being known for the best greens in Western Canada. It is strictly because of the care and attention David puts into the golf course.”
Wilson and Boyd have been a synergistic team over the years constantly working to improve and maintain the highest of standards. In 1997 they paired up to develop a one of a kind practice facility to the Calgary market. In addition to a top quality range and short game facility the duo designed a 3 hole loop to wrap around the practice facility boasting a par 5, a par 3 and a par 4.
The original designs were drawn out by the two men on a napkin and eventually came to fruition late 1997. “It’s a terrific 3 holes. It is great to learn the game on and to practice the game on. The par 4 maybe the toughest of all 30 holes on the golf course”, comments Wilson.
When deciding what to call the area Wilson came across a definition in The Observer’s Book of Golf by Tom Scott. It stated that a Loop was, “A sequence of golf holes which begin at one point of a course and return to the same point or near the same point. Perhaps the most famous example is at the Old Course, St. Andrews…”, since that find the area has since been known as The Loop at Heritage Pointe.
Not to be missed is the 19th hole at the clubhouse. After the round players migrate to the newly renovated patio that is enhanced with modern fire pits and funky furniture.
Heritage Pointe has hosted a bevy of championship events including Canadian Tour stop the Calgary TELUS Open (1997-2000), du Maurier Series (LPGA Developmental Tour) where Lori Kane shot the course record and the Canadian Club Professional Championship to name a few.
They also raise over 1.5 million dollars per year for a host of charities that hold events at the course.
Heritage Point has set the goal to always exceed guest’s expectations; I guarantee your golf standard bar will rise higher after playing this course.
By: Lisa Vlooswyk
All photos courtesy of Heritage Pointe Golf Course
Lisa is the 7-Time Canadian Long Drive Champion for women, a Golf Entertainer and Motivational Speaker. Lisa can be reached through (Claudio) at Claudio@golf-south.net