Date: 2009-Sep-01 Review by Alberta Bound
The greens were average size and a number were undulating. The fringe was cut at fairway height and the second cut was good and smooth and about 5 cm deep. The bunkers were very good but there were not too many of them.
Excellent, generous, fairways with a first cut of about 15 yards before you reaches dense bush. There were not a lot of bunkers, maybe only five of them but they were in good shape as well.
Water Valley only has three tee boxes, back, middle and front. They were in good shape with all the necessary equipment. With a number of the tees on the front nine elevated.
The course has most of the holes on the flat but does have four that take you into the valley on the front nine. This produces some dramatic elevation changes especially on hole number four. On hole 15 you again have a downhill slight dog leg to the right par 4 before you reach the uphill 18th par five. The four par threes had yardage of 110, 165, 170 and 155 with the last one across a pond at number 16. There are about ten dog legs with most being to the left. On a few of them you can run out of fairway so take a 3 or 5 wood off the tee. The front nine is more dramatic then the back as the four holes in the valley are very pretty and interesting. The par fives on the front are very good with number four going down a step hill with bunkers on the right. Your second shot is across a creek to an elevated green and with a good drive you can reach the green with your second shot. The seventh hole is a short par five dog leg right and once again a good drive will give you chance at hitting the green in two. The 18th is another good par 5 which climbs the hill back to the club house. None of the par fives really presented a risk reward situation.
Water Valley offers very good value. The green fees were $45 during the week and $60 on the weekend, carts are not included. I have a number of friends that make Water Valley their first and last stop on their golf junkets into British Columbia. They would rather play here for $45 instead of the $100 plus in BC.
The length of the course varies from 6550, 6135 to 5392 with slopes of 125,125 and 124. The fairways were generous but if you missed them you could face some difficulty with the dense bush. They had three long par fours at 420, 420 and 395 yards from the white tees. One of them, number 5 was from an elevated tee, dog leg right with a good drop in elevation to the landing area in front of the creek before a long shot to the green. Water comes into play on about 5 holes. With generous fairways and limited bunkers the course is not that difficult.
This is a very pretty course with some very nice views of the valley when you reach number 4. The rest of the time you are playing fairways lined with mature popular and spruce trees. In fact on about 16 holes you do not even see the other fairways or any other golfers.
All the staff were very friendly.
Water Valley has a good functional club house with a good balcony overlooking the 10th tee and some nicely decorated fountains. There are a number of attractive flower beds around the club house and the pro shop is well stocked. There are two decent locker rooms that I believe are available for public use.
They have a driving range, putting green, bag drop area, lots of porta potties located at 4, 7, 10, 12 and 15. There is a good gravel continuous cart path with the 90 degree rule in effect. The have a soft drink machine at number 6 and a good halfway house located adjacent to number 10 and 15 tees.
Water Valley is located just off highway 22 and just a few kilometers north of Cochrane. It is an easy drive from Calgary and well worth a stop if you are coming from Edmonton. The course was in very good shape and the secluded fairways help make this a recommended place to play.