Is Shag the perfect muni test?

Can an old pro (scratch) and his wife (16 hdcp) enjoy playing a 5181 yard (tips) par 68 golf course? The answer is yes, we haven’t so much fun since Lido closed in Oakville.
Shaganappi Point has 27 holes, a Nine and an Eighteen Hole Course which is different from 3 nine holers (at least that’s how the woman in the “shop” splained it to me. We opted for the 18-Hole Course, and it cost an extra $1 for my wife since she’s not a “senior” yet.
$31.90 for me, and $32.38 for Carolyn, great value. On the first tee, we met a fine couple from Lethbridge who were sharing the 12:45 time with us. Their first game on the 18-hole course, the Sullivans were visiting family in Calgary and had slipped out for a quick round.

The first hole is possibly the worse possible first hole, a downhill par 4 of only 243 yards. The problem is the island green, who wants to dunk their first shot when balls are worth $4.00 each? So, after a 6 iron layup to 90 yards, one finds the island green appears to be only 10 yards deep, requiring a fine wedge shot. Anyway, I was muttering about 17 mre holes like this and I might start playing tennis but quickly found the next 17 holes were almost all pure fun.
All of the greens are well shaped and many are protected by good looking bunkers, as well as many strategic water hazards (all well marked). Shag has 7 par three holes, 8 if you want to count the first hole as a par three. Most are fairly short, asking for crisp 8, 9 or wedges. One, the third hole, was a six iron to a large green sloping towards a water hazard on the right. Shag has 8 par four holes, almost all of them asking for a straight tee shot, and several holes have forced carries of 180 yards. The second shots on all the par fours were challenging. That leaves 3 par fives, 507, 463 and 456 yards. On the 456 yarder, number 13, I hit a good driver, followed by a 3 wood just in front – the hole plays uphill!
The course offers great views of downtown Calgary and the Bow River. Although right in the city, you feel like you’re in the country for 3-4 hours, some superb tree specimens throughout (most shedding their yellow leaves,so white balls are in order).
Course conditions were good autumn with slow weed free greens and slightly longish fairway grass. The bunkers are well shaped and in good condition. The course is always busy, and the round was less than 4 hours. Ideally Shag should take 3 hours and my early-bird friends say it often plays that fast, in the mornings.
To answer my own question, yes Shag is the perfect muni test for all levels of golfer, and Calgary is lucky to have this type of facility available.

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Gary Slatter

Venerable Canadian golf pro Gary Slatter discusses his opinions on the state of golf, golf course design and construction, teaching and more, based on a lifetime in the business.

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