River Spirit Golf Club, Calgary

Just a brief note on this course which just “hosted” the CN RCGA Women’s Tour event.
The green sites are superb, it would take more than two rounds to learn where to hit your shots (very seldom at the pin). Great variety of greens, fast and firm, perfect. Most private clubs would love these greens. The tees were ideal surfaces, bent grass launch pads!

The bunkering around the greens is a bit far from the edge so, if you are in a bunker, it becomes a tougher than normal shot. I imagine the thought behind this is the constant windy conditions. The fairway bunkering is excellent although an absence of rough allowed players to often play around the bunkers. Like Glen Abbey, River Spirit has some holes on the plain and some 90 feet below along the elbow River, certainly a lot more movement than I expected from the first view from the driveway. Most of the valley holes have severe penalties for stray shots, I could imagine the original residents walking single file down there.

The fairway grass is the normal Canadian mix, ryes, fecues, horta. The fairways and greens were fast and firm, ideal condition.
The mandatory corporate day tournament tent looked nice. I think they have a shortage of Mens washrooms although it wasn’t a problem for the tourney.

The proshop staff were pleasant, and the Head Pro is CPGA Pro of the Year winner Cathy Burton. I’d recommend playing the course when in Calgary, good value, easy to get to, peaceful location (while I was there the only sound to be heard, the RCGA carts slinking through the woods). Women looking for a game (while their hubbies are at the rodeo) could call, I think they’d feel welcomed by Cathy and her staff.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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