Airdrie golf courses thrilled for 2022 season
After some weather-related setbacks in April, local Airdrie golf courses are delighted to officially kick off the 2022 golf season.
After some weather-related setbacks, local golf courses in Airdrie are delighted to officially kick off the 2022 golf season.
While the Apple Creek Golf Course opened its links for the first time to local golfers on April 8, a pair of late spring snowstorms in the weeks that followed forced staff to close the course again. course and was in wait-and-see mode until the end of April.
Now that the snow from another late spring snowfall has melted, Chief Golf Pro Tyrell Babkirk has his fingers crossed that winter is finally over and the course can run undisturbed by Mother Nature. for the rest of the season.
“It’s a sport that relies heavily on the weather to attract people to the facility,” he said. “As the forecast continues to improve, the golf course continues to get busier.”
The busy period has already begun, according to Babkirk, with the resumption of local Apple Creek leagues, including a women’s league, a senior league and a weekly men’s night.
Babkirk said Apple Creek Golf Course – an 18-hole course in north Airdrie just west of the Dickson Stevenson Trail – was busy in the offseason, thanks to renovations to the course’s trail system .
“We are working to improve our image and clean up our facility with power cart upgrades, tee box upgrades and driving range upgrades,” he said.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a central theme of the 2020 and 2021 golf seasons was a notable increase in the sport’s popularity. The increase in the number of people using the links made sense, as pandemic-related public health restrictions were limiting many other forms of sport or physical activity. During those two seasons, Babkirk said demand was extremely high at Apple Creek.
While the easing of health restrictions and the return of travel and other available sporting activities could lower golf course attendance this spring and summer compared to the previous two years, Babkirk is nonetheless anticipating another busy season at Apple Creek.
“Certainly, with the resumption of youth activities and travel around the province, the country and the United States, it will start to alienate some people,” he said.
“But all of our national studies continue to say that golf is still on the rise, and players won over COVID days should still stick with the sport. We can’t wait to see how it all pans out at Apple Creek and how it will play out once golf time is right.
Within the city limits, the Woodside Golf Course operates under similar assumptions. Like Apple Creek, Woodside opened its 18-hole course in early April, only to see the season temporarily halted due to recent snowfall.
Chris McNicol, Woodside’s chief operating officer, said the “million dollar question” for golf courses this season will be whether the increased demand seen in 2020 and 2021 will continue.
“A big part of what we work on in the industry is retention,” he said. “We’ve had so many people come back to the game or come to the game over the last two years due to the fact that it was one of the only sports or outlets for a lot of people, during the pandemic.”
Another factor impacting the number of people heading to the links at Woodside this year, McNicol says, is the type of weather Airdrie is going to have. He said 2021 has some of the most weather-ideal golf conditions in the 25 years he has been in the industry.
While those questions are still unanswered, McNicol said he would encourage those who have never played golf to consider taking up the sport.
“The reason I think golf is one of the greatest sports around right now is because, number one, it’s something anyone can play,” he said. “Second, it’s something you can play for a lifetime, and third, it’s the only system that allows people of different skill levels to play competitively or friendly against each other on one foot. equality, thanks to the handicap system.”
For more information on local Airdrie golf courses, visit applecreekgolfcourse.com or woodsidegc.com.