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Airdrie golf courses excited for 2022 season

Following a few weather-related setbacks in April, Airdrie's local golf courses are excited to have officially kicked off the 2022 golf season.
A golfer works on his swing at the Woodside Golf Course on May 6.

Following a few weather-related setbacks, Airdrie's local golf courses are excited to have officially kicked off the 2022 golf season. 

While Apple Creek Golf Course first opened its links to local golfers on April 8, a pair of late-spring snowstorms in the weeks afterward meant staff had to close the course once again, and were in wait-and-see mode until late April. 

Now that the snow from yet another late-spring snowfall has melted, head golf pro Tyrell Babkirk is crossing his fingers that winter is finally over and the course can operate unperturbed by Mother Nature for the rest of the season.

“It’s a sport that heavily relies on weather to draw people out to the facility,” he said. “As the forecast continues to improve, the golf course continues to get busier.” 

The busy period has already started, according to Babkirk, thanks to the resumption of Apple Creek's local leagues, including a women's league, a senior's league, and a weekly men's night.

Babkirk said Apple Creek Golf Course – an 18-hole course located north of Airdrie, just west of the Dickson Stevenson Trail – was busy in the offseason, thanks to the renovation of the course's pathway system.

“We’re working on enhancing our image and cleaning up our facility with power cart improvements, tee box improvements, and driving range improvements,” he said.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a central theme of the 2020 and 2021 golf seasons was a noticeable uptick in the sport's popularity. The increased number of people hitting the links made sense, as pandemic-related public health restrictions limited many other forms of sport or physical activity. During both of those seasons, Babkirk said demand was extremely high at Apple Creek.

While the relaxation of health restrictions and the return of travel and other available sporting activities could see golf course usership go down this spring and summer compared to the two previous years, Babkirk is nonetheless anticipating another busy season at Apple Creek. 

“Definitely, with youth activities starting up again and travel within the province, country, and to the States happening, that’s going to start to pull some people away,” he said.

“But all of our national studies continue to say golf is still on the rise, and the players gained through the COVID days should still be sticking with the sport. We’re eager to see how that all shakes out at Apple Creek and how it goes once golfing weather is upon us.” 

Within city limits, Woodside Golf Course is operating under similar assumptions. Like Apple Creek, Woodside opened its 18-hole course in early April, only to see the season temporarily halted as a result of the recent snowfalls. 

Chris McNicol, the chief operating officer at Woodside, said the “million-dollar question” for golf courses this season will be if the heightened demand experienced in 2020 and 2021 will continue.

“A lot of what we’re working on in the industry is retention,” he said. “We had so many people either come back to the game or come to the game over the last two years because of the fact it was one of the only sports or outlets for a lot of people, during the pandemic.” 

Another factor impacting how many people hit the links at Woodside this year is what kind of weather Airdrie is going to get, according to McNicol. He said 2021 had some of the most ideal golf conditions weather-wise in the 25 years he's been in the industry.

Even though these questions are unanswered as of yet, McNicol said he would encourage those who have never played golf before to consider taking up the sport.

“The reason I think golf is one of the greatest sports around is because, one, it’s something everyone can play,”  he said. “Two, it’s something you can play for a lifetime, and three, it’s the only system that allows people of different skill levels to play either competitively or friendly against each other on a level playing field, thanks to the handicap system.” 

For more information on Airdrie's local golf courses, visit or

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