Popular Alberta Pro-Am Set For Early July


RED DEER, Alberta — The best way to market area golf courses is to entice players from outside your area to come and swing away on your golf courses. That’s the theory behind the Golf Central Alberta Pro-Am, an area that features a staff bag full of great golf courses.

The event, headed into its third year, features teams of four which includes a professional. The teams take to two courses, this year the Old Course at Wolf Creek and RiverBend in Red Deer, using a modified Stableford scoring system. The top 10 pros receive cash prizing, with a total purse of at least $10,000 while the top 10 amateur teams are awarded prizes. The first day of the tourney sees tee times start just after lunch, to allow players from around Alberta, and beyond, to travel to the course while the second day tees off in the morning, allowing visitors to head home after the event’s completion.

Speaking to the background and the reasons for running this event, and how the courses are chosen, tournament spokesman Vimal Pillay said, “These courses are part of a consortium (Ponoka, Wolf Creek, RiverBend, Pine Hills, Whispering Pines, Innisfail, and Alberta Springs ) of seven golf clubs who are involved. The idea is to promote the consortium,” partners including the hotels that take part in the event and host the players for a one night’s stay.

While the original staging of the tournament drew mostly Red Deer-area teams, that draw has now widened substantially, Pillay noted. “The idea is to draw people from outside central Alberta. We want more people from Edmonton, Calgary, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Saskatchewan. That’s the whole idea. Right now, we’ve got several teams signed up from outside and whatever (spots) aren’t filled, we bring in local teams.”

There will be 25 teams, maximum, so the chances of securing a prize either as an amateur or a professional are fairly high. If a group of amateurs can’t find a pro able to join them from their home course/area, the organizing committee will hook them up with a professional to round out their foursome.

The entry fee for the two days is $300 per player, which includes the golf, a lunch the first day plus a banquet that night, a night’s stay (double occupancy) at one of the partnering hotels in Red Deer; breakfast on the second day and pro and team prizing, a First Tee gift bag, and a wrap-up luncheon.

“It’s fantastic,” Pillay said of the cost and what a player receives for their money. “If you were to come in, play two rounds and stay overnight, without any extras, you’re looking at more than $300!”

For more information, or to register, for the event scheduled for July 8 and 9, go to their website at golfcentralalberta.com/2020-proam.