Golfers in the northeast will once again be able to enjoy the roar of passenger jets overhead with a round on the links at a fully modernized and renovated McCall Lake Golf Course.

At a ceremony near the #1 tee box on Tuesday afternoon, several city officials and course enthusiasts gathered to officially acknowledge the completion of the $6.7 million project after 18 months of construction.

The project was funded by the Government of Alberta’s Municipal Sustainment Initiative, with $1 million going towards course structures and the rest spent on course upgrades.

Experts say modernization was necessary for the 38-year-old course to remain viable in a highly competitive market.

“There’s a number of variables we have to keep our eye on,” said Greg Steinrath, Manager of Golf Course Operations with the city. “With weather and service offerings we have to be able to look at the trends and provide those offerings for Calgarians who want to have that basic level of golf service.”

Golfers back on the course will notice major changes including; advanced tees, more open fairways and the removal of several sand traps. 

According to Steinrath, the changes were incorporated to promote a more user-friendly experience.

“For those who have never golfed the course, it’s opened it up, made it easier for those entry-level golfers, but for those more experienced golfers we’ve put the sand traps in the right place where technology had eliminated them previously,” he said “It will provide challenges for all levels of golfers.”

Experts say the evolution of the game, along with technological advancements in golf clubs, is a driving force behind modern design.

“If you look back to when the course was opened in the early 80s, the leading driver was probably Greg Norman who hit it 280 yards,” explained Wade Horrocks, the golf course architect. “Now the Rory McIlroy’s of the world are hitting it about 320 yards by comparison, so it was updating this course to modern equipment standards, relocating bunkers to be commensurate with modern driving distances.”

Officials say fees at the course will remain standard with the 2019 season.

The 18-hole McCall Lake Golf course is now fully open to the public and is located at 1600 32 Avenue N.E.