Date: 2007-Sep-06 Review by Alberta Bound
Greens are fast, around 11 on the stimp meter. They are cut very short and have small undulations that make for tricky puts. They do not have difficult slopes but it is best to stay below the hole. Green side bunkers are very good and the staff is busy putting in new sand. The fringe is even and gives way to rough that is about 2 to 3 inches tall. They have a double green serving the second and sixth hole.
Fairways are in excellent shape. The sprinkler heads are marked as well as the 200, 150 and 100 yard points. They have a white stake at the 150 making it easy to identify from the tee. There are plenty of bunkers and some waste bunkers on the fairways. The are in good shape and have enough rakes. The first cut is even and gives way to tall fescue grass so keeping it on the fairway is very important. Once in the fescue you do not have much of a shot even if you find the ball. The landing areas are generous but you can face a tough second shot if you are out of position on a lot of holes.
RedTail has five different tee boxes. So all golfers can find the tee box that fits their handicap. The tees are flat and in good shape. They tees used the most are large thus allowing the teeing area to move around so you do not have to tee you ball up in a zone filled with divots. The tees have attractive signs carved in large rocks at each hole. The tees add to the wild nature of this course as the fescue grows around the tee boxes. There is very little in way of amenities on the tees since almost everyone rides and the carts have ball and club washers.
I like the design of this course. Everyone that I know who have played it agrees. Each hole is different. Each hole has mounds of tall fescue lining the fairways. Water comes into play on half of the holes. The course is flat so walking is very easy and there are no long walks between tees expect from 9 green to the 10th tee. You end up passing the club house after nine. Trees only come into play on three holes, 1st, 9th, and 10th. Since there are very few trees and the course is flat with tall fescue grass it looks wild and intimidating in a good way. This course is very definitely an inland links course. If you forgot where you were you might think you were on a links course in Scotland or Ireland. The first hole is a dog leg right with trees blocking the green on the right, water off the tee on the left and a series of bunkers within driving range in front of you. A good starting hole. Number two is an excellent par five with a good carry over fescue to the fairway. On the left water all the way to the green protected by bunkers and the water.
Another great par 5 is the 11th hole. Long carry over a lake, then another lake on the left that protects the green. Twelve is a par three with large bunkers and water making a very good hole. Number 13 has a split fairway. It is split by another lake so you have to be careful off the tee. Right side gives good opening to green but you have to cross the lake. The left is safer but the green has bunkers from that direction. This is just a few examples of the holes at RedTail. Given more space I would love to describe all of the holes.
Given that this course is one of the top courses in Edmonton and Canada the value is excellent. You do get cart, GPS and range privileges with your green fees. I think the value is very good if you are one that likes to play the top end courses. You get more bang for your buck at RedTail.
The course is difficult but an interesting challenge. The slopes range from 133 at the back to 124 on the gold tees. From the black tees the length is 7322 with the blues at 6730 and whites at 6470. Choose your tees and forget the driver on a few of the shorter holes. This being an inland links course the wind can create more problems for you. When it is windy there are very few trees to protect the course. Keep the ball low on windy days.
Scenery is difficult to rate. Of the top of your head you would probably rate this very low. After all the Queen Elizabeth Two Highway is on the west and the Edmonton International Airport is on the East. In fact the course is built on airport property. People that drive past on the highway, who might not be golfers, have said it does not look like much. This gives a wrong impression. The highway noise does not bother you and if the wind is from the west , as it usually is, then you do not hear it at all. This course is one where the scenery comes from the course. The course has some many interesting holes, with bunkers and water that you find your self staring out across the course. The wide open aspect with the mounds, fescue, large blue sky makes it scenic value go up. The airplanes are not a bother and are interesting to watch take off. You can not hear them. Do not write this course off from the highway if you have just landed in Edmonton and are driving into the city. The designer designed the course to fit the scenery. It works when you are on the course.
The staff here are all friendly and you feel welcome. Grounds crew wait for you to hit and move out of the way. The club house staff are very good and make you feel like a member. Outside staff are the same way.
The clubhouse set up here is different. They have separated the club house into two buildings. The smaller building has the locker rooms, showers, well stocked pro shop, club rentals, and restaurant. The menu is very good offering traditional items but also some main courses. They have a wine list but it is small but it is still nice to have a choice if you feel like wine with your meal. There is a nice patio looking out on to the practice fairway. The other building is very large and has a kitchen and banquet rooms that can handle the large tournaments. This set up separates the tournament groups from the members and the public golfers. You do not get the feeling of over crowding. Both building are very attractive with rock and wood finishing.
Being close to the airport has it's advantages. If you have time between flights or are waiting for a flight why not golf. This course offers almost everything. They have top of the line GPS on all carts, along with a sand bottle, and a ball and club washer. The carts are electric and they have plenty of them. The carts come with score card, drinking water and some tees. The practice area is maybe the best in Edmonton. You have grass tees on the range, a chipping green, two putting greens and a bunker area for practice. They also have a 18 hole putting course. The parking lot is paved with a bag drop by the club house. They have two beverage carts on the course, one for each nine. The washrooms on the course are good and you have one after 4 and one after 13. You also pass the club house after nine. This course is a recommended course.
If visiting Edmonton play RedTail. If you live in Edmonton you owe it to yourself to play RedTail. You will not be disappointed especially if you get one of those perfect days with blue skies and no wind.