how to play apple creek golf course, airdrie
Before teeing it up at Apple Creek Golf Course in Airdrie, Alberta, Canada, be sure to stock up your bag with lots of golf balls. From experience, it is a good idea to carry at least a dozen balls to any course that do not allow you to look for lost balls. At Apple Creek, there are a lot of grey areas where it is prohibited to walk in and wade through long grass to look for your errant shot. These grey areas are considered environmental areas and are roped off to prevent golfers from entering these areas. I personally cannot imagine what kind of animal or wildlife would make its home in some of these areas, especially between a fairway and a green? If it was California, badgers and snakes would love it.
Most golfers I have talked to about Apple Creek either loves it or hates it. The haters are players that lose a lot of their balls in the environmental areas. They either go for it and take too much risks or they mishit their shots. It is easy to mishit your shot when your mind is filled with doubt. And there are plenty of reasons that will cause doubt in your game.
The opening hole will test your course management skills. On the left is a reachable water hazard which has dried up from the hot summer in Calgary. A good tee shot will be to the right of the lake or near the cart path. Your second shot will be a lay up. Since the green is protected by an environmental area, it is important for you to get close to the wooden fence to leave you about 100 yards to the green. All you want to hit is a high flyer that stops quickly because the green is short.
The next hole is to take advantage of, because it is a straightforward hole. It is a par 3 and reachable with a solid 6-iron. With the right shot, you can fade it in to the green or plan to come up short and let it bounce onto the green. The next two holes have no environmental areas so take aim at these holes and see if you can go low.
After the long par 5, hole # 5 is a short elbow right. To hit the green in regulation, drop your ball within 100 to 125 yards for a nice setup to the green. You will need to hit a nice flyer to land it softly on the green. Anything more than that, you will find your ball at the back of the green. Hole # 6 is a straightforward par 3. Hit the right club and give yourself a chance for birdie or par.
Anywhere there is a hazard, try to play it safe. Guard your ball as though it is the last ball in your bag. After the par 3, you will have to play a fairly large environmental area that separates you from the green. It is pretty wide from the fence but it narrows out towards the cart path. If you are unsure about distance, try to hug the cart path and draw it in towards the green.
Pat yourself on the back if you had survived the front nine. Get ready for an interesting back nine. Hole # 10 is a fun hole and you get a commanding view of the golf course from where you tee off. Try to focus your aim at the barber pole and hit your tee shot towards it. A good drive will leave you with a short iron to the green. If not, lay up and hit the green with a third shot. It is better to score a bogey than to lose a ball.
Don't beat yourself up if you did not score a par on the last hole. Try to get it back on the next hole. With a good tee shot, you can reach the green with a mid iron and get yourself a good par. Are you ready to prove yourself worthy? Forget the risk and reward on the next hole. Instead of trying to clear the creek from the blue tee box, try to lay up. A 5-iron may get you close to the creek so that you can plan your next shot. It is so easy to blast your tee shot and not find your ball on the other side of the creek. Once you see how this hole is setup, you will know how to play it.
The next hole is a par 3 and requires the right club to clear the mess on the left. Just keep your head down and you will be putting. So far so good? Playing Apple Creek is fun. There are a few scary holes but overall, it requires you to think your shots out rather than to take your driver and beat the ball down the fairway.
I hope if you have played Apple Creek Golf Course and hated your experience that you give it another chance. Arm yourself with more balls and put on your thinking cap then come on down. It deserves another game.