Categorized | News, Sports

New ponds beautify Fort Macleod golf course, create 9th hole challenge

Two new ponds surround the ninth hole at the Fort Macleod Golf Club.

Golfers approaching the ninth hole at the Fort Macleod course have a new decision to make.

They can lay up and chip onto the green, or they can drive for the green and risk landing in the water.

Businesses agreed to sponsor the Fort Macleod Golf Club’s carts, with the money going to installation of the two ponds.

The installation of two new ponds last week changed not only the ninth hole, but the look of the entire course.

“It’s our signature hole now,” greenskeeper Randy O’Sullivan said. “It’s really nice.”

One pond runs 175 feet along the south side of the ninth hole, near the clubhouse.

The other pond is about 100 feet and sits behind the ninth hole.

The two new ponds, with the existing pond to the north, create an even more scenic setting for people arriving or leaving the golf course.

An enthusiastic group of as many as 25 volunteers joined the golf club’s greens crew last week to install the new ponds.

Using the natural contour surrounding the ninth hole, they laid two big tarps at the bottom of the ponds, which are fed from a natural aquifer above the course.

“We had amazing volunteer help,” O’Sullivan said. “We don’t get these kinds of things done without them.”

O’Sullivan also praised his greens crew for their work on the project. “They worked their butts off to get it ready,” O’Sullivan said.

The idea of creating ponds at the ninth hole began to germinate about five years ago.

Runoff from the aquifer above the course collected around the hole, making the grass difficult to maintain and creating less-than-ideal conditions for golfers.

The golf club executive gave O’Sullivan the green light to execute his plan.

“We thought we might as well use the water on its way down to the river,” O’Sullivan said.

Culverts were installed to guide the water into the south pond, which in turn drains into the pond to the west.

The water moves naturally into the third pond before draining on its journey to the nearby Oldman River.

The ponds are three to 3 1/2 feet deep.

“We did it to beautify the course and use the water, and to make it a tougher hole,” O’Sullivan said.

To pay for the project, O’Sullivan convinced businesses to sponsor the golf club’s carts.

When they learned how the money would be used, the businesses were quick to sign up.

Eleven carts were wrapped in the colour and logos of the sponsors, who will pay $500 a year for the privilege.

The golf club would like to have sponsors for all 27 of its carts. If you’re interested, contact Randy O’Sullivan at 403-308-8604.

The ongoing revenue from the carts will be used for improvements to the Fort Macleod Golf Club.