April 21st, 2024

Paradise Canyon opens for season


By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on March 16, 2024.

Herald photo by Al Beeber Executive head professional Matt Barkway of Paradise Canyon Golf Resort takes a look at the course condition on Friday, hours before it opened for the season.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The southern Alberta golf season teed off Friday at Paradise Canyon Golf Resort.

The opening, said executive head professional Matt Barkway, was one of the earliest in the course’s history.

And member enthusiasm to hit the links is strong. As soon as the online tee-time reservation system opened, golfers were booking their slots to hit the scenic course in the river valley.

“Last year was late, April 7, but the three years before that were all very anomalous. 2020 the weather was poor enough, that even without COVID, we were probably the third week of April. It didn’t just thaw out. That was a May 1 opening and it was the shortest year because of COVID,” he said.

The next year, 2021, was the longest interrupted year the course had with golfers playing from March 19 to October 18 without missing a day due to rain or snow.

In 2022, a few rain storms in June and July interrupted play which was expected and last year golfers couldn’t hit the course until Good Friday April 7 – which was late.

“April really wasn’t that nice but we got to the last weekend in April, it turned to summer and it stayed summer until the third week of October,” Barkway added.

In the past 25 years on only two or three occasions has the course opened earlier than Friday, he added.

As staff were announcing the course’s opening date and turning on the tee sheets, members were already booking times.

“It’s fantastic,” he said.

The golfing season here, he said, is the longest east of the Rocky Mountains and Paradise Canyon will have golfers from Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon and elsewhere calling to book time on the course which opens on full greens and full tees.

“We always consider ourselves one of the best in the country,” he said.

The course was booked solid Friday with members eager to get swinging again.

But the return to the links could be brief with wintry weather on Tuesday night. Lethbridge is forecast to have snow Wednesday through next Sunday before skies begin clearing on March 26.

Henderson Lake Golf Club opens for the season today while the Lethbridge Country Club is planning to open to golfers on April 1. Its club fitting studio, pro shop and clubhouse are all now.

Land-O-Lakes Golf Course in Coaldale actually opened for the season on Tuesday.

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