Date: 2009-Aug-31 Review by Alberta Bound
I found the greens to be in great shape. The fringe is cut to fairway level and the second cut is even and fully grassed. The greens are average to large in size and offer the golfer a variety of shapes which permits some interesting pin placements. The green side bunkers are excellent with lots of soft sand.
Fairways are excellent with plenty of grass, smooth and give way to the first cut that is very even. The bunkers are in excellent shape and come into play on a number of holes. The only problem is the fairways can be too soft as the course is located at the bottom of an old ski hill and the drainage from the hill keeps the course wet. The management is working on the drainage and this problem, a minor one, should be solved next year. Distances are well marked and a continuous cart path keeps the carts off the fairways. You can however get a blue flag if you have a medical reason that requires you to drive to your ball.
Wintergreen has 4 sets of tees and they are very good. The ground is soft, flat, and well grassed. A number of tees are elevated and have flowers and gardens. They all have good signs and enough equipment.
Wintergreen is has a wonderful design. There is a wide variety of holes, with plenty of elevation changes. The course is a 35 - 37 design with three par threes on the front nine. All the par three age very good and designed so you have to select five different clubs to play them. A true test of precision golf as the distances are 165, 178, 141,131 and 205 yards from the blue tees. The par fives are also very good. The first hole is a down hill par five from an elevated tee with a water to the left and a creek in front of the green. Number 11 is another excellent five that presents a good risk reward hole. The hole forms a semi circle around a lake thus presenting you with how much of the corner you wish to cut. Hit a good drive, cut off enough and go for the green in two. The par fours offer a lot of variety as they include dog legs left and right and all are long enough for a good test. There is no short par four as the shortest is 360 yards but then again there is no overly long one as the longest is 395.
The course starts with a good par five and ends with a tough par 4 that plays longer then the 395 yards as it is an up hill dog leg left with water in play off the tee and around the green. A very good finishing hole.
The green fees during the week are $89 but this includes a cart and use of the practice area. The location just outside Calgary means that the Calgary courses are it's main competitors. At this price and quality it represents good value for those coming from Calgary. It is a little drive from Canmore, maybe 45 minutes but if you are tried of paying the high prices for the three Canmore courses, $97, $175 and $195 then take the drive to Bragg Creek and play Wintergreen.
With four tees you should be able to find a length that suits your game. The distances are 6713, 6247, 5598, and 5135. The white tees are a little short and the distance between the blues and whites is maybe a little too much. The slopes run from 134 to 112 with once again the difference between the white and blue tees maybe a little too much as the whites are only 117. There are plenty of things that can hamper a good score. There are lots of lakes, creeks, sands, and elevated greens to make sure you think about your shot placements.
The location of the course in the foothills of the Rockies and at the base of an old ski hill gives the golfer some attractive views of rolling pine treed hills. The course also is very pretty with it's lakes and elevation changes.
Everyone we meet were very friendly.
The club house is the old log ski chalet. They have a great balcony overlooking the 18th green and a very attractive lounge. The pro shop is very well stocked and they can host a full tournament in the upstairs banquet area.
Wintergreen has a very good short game facility and an OK driving range. These facilities are included in your green fees. The management is working on a plan to improve the driving range in the near future. They also have tennis courts and two putting greens.
We had a very good day at Wintergreen as the course was in very good shape and the day was a hot summer day. This is a course that I would return to in the near future. It is located in the the very attractive tourist town of Bragg Creek and is just off highway 22, The Cowboy Trail, so anyone travelling along this highway should stop and play some golf. It is also close to Banff and Canmore.