The Do’s & Don’ts of playing Construction Site Golf – Part 1

The Do’s & Don’ts of playing Construction Site Golf – Part 1

First let me say…no… sadly I did not play golf on our construction site.  This blog is the result of what happens to a PGA of Canada Head Professional when he hasn’t had his own golf course to play on for 3 years and his imagination gets away on him.  Just a little bit away…ok…that’s a lie… a lot away on him.   Let me give you a little look inside my head so you can see where the idea for this blog came from (it’s scary in here so be careful…).

Almost three years ago now, Mother Nature took our two beautiful gems – Mt. Kidd and Mt. Lorette, and made them look more like a setting for the Hunger Games than world class golf courses.  This place didn’t look like a golf course, smell like a golf course, or feel like a golf course…until…our wonderful Restoration crew arrived!!!  With the incredible progress that they have made in the early stages of this restoration, Mt. Kidd and Mt. Lorette are starting to look like golf courses again and with that, my somewhat active imagination has taken over (calling my imagination “somewhat active” would be like saying that Donald Trump is “somewhat controversial” in the American Presidential race).  Even though we are still in dirt and just starting the irrigation construction, my mind sees the beautiful facility that this will be and I want to get playing golf!!! (can you blame me?).    Sadly, like most things that happen in my mind, there is a significant gap between my reality and what is actually happening in the “real world”.

Luckily enough for me, this blog isn’t being written by some realist who is going to rain on my parade of playing golf out here right now.  I know we can’t play out here until 2018 but heck…this is being written by me, so let me indulge!!!  If I were to be able to play golf out here right now, there are a few “adjustments” that I would need to make in order to do so.  Here are 5 quick considerations that my wandering mind would consider if I were to be able to start playing “Construction site golf”:

Rule #1 – Don’t even think about using your own clubs We are in the middle of the Rocky Mountains…what do you think is under the soil?  Lots of exposed and hiding rock out here, so be sure that you are not wrecking your own clubs.  In my case, I am making the choice to “borrow” or more accurately take out one of my two sons sets of clubs.  I don’t think they have ever been washed anyways, so no one will notice if there is a little mud on them, or maybe a small knick or chunk taken out of the sole?


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Rule #2Important to wear golf attire that is appropriate for this setting.  This doesn’t mean having to wear traditional golf apparel with a collared shirt, hemmed pants with a double pleat and Boston pocket, and Waterproof golf shoes with soft spikes.  It isn’t about golf brands like Galvin Green, Sun Ice, or Footjoy, rather it is all about a brand called PPE.  Never heard of it?  In construction golf, it is imperative.  PPE refers to Personal Protective Equipment and is mandatory to be on any construction site. So trade in the Knit sweater vest for a bright PPE vest and trade in your golf shoes for steel toe boots.  Luckily enough for me, I have a pair of Galvin Green orange pants to match my PPE vest and really tie the whole outfit together.  You like??


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 Rule #3 – Use a toilet paper roll instead of a tee – Ok, ok, ok…hear me out on this one.  Perhaps a little out there…I will give you that.  But with all of the exposed rock and dozer tracks out here, it isn’t that easy to find any real space that a “regular” tee would work.  It’s kind of like making a peanut butter, ripple chip, almond, dill pickle, and raspberry jam sandwich…DON’T KNOCK IT TILL YOU TRY IT.  The roll works like a dream!!!


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 Rule #4 – Trade in your golf cart for a Side by Side – Trust me on this…I love golf carts as much as the next guy but if you tried going around our golf courses right now on a golf cart, you would be in traction for a month.  Cart paths replaced right now with large deep tracks carved in by massive Rock trucks make the Gator an absolute must for transportation.



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Rule #5 – Prepare in advance for questions by Construction Team – The last thing that you need when going out to enjoy a leisurely round of golf on a construction site, is to be caught off guard by a question from one of the restoration team members.  Any person even considering playing golf on a construction site should have an accurate and snappy answer to the following types of questions that you will likely be asked when you are out playing:

a) Are you a moron?

b) What the hell do you think you are doing?

c) Did you get dropped on your head as a kid?

d) Where can a guy pick up a sassy pair of orange pants like the ones you are wearing?

Believe you me, having a well thought out answer to any of these types of questions will not only enhance your experience while playing, but likely help you to gain the confidence and trust of the people working on the golf course so that you are able to play more than once (and not get arrested…).

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Thank you for letting me indulge and fantasize a bit about playing golf in Kananaskis again.  Our opening date in 2018 seems so close and in other ways, so far away.  The bottom line is that this wonderful place, which has seemed so quiet and lifeless since the flood of 2013, now seems to be coming back to life thanks to the wonderful efforts of our restoration team.  There is an energy and buzz starting to re-emerge that is tangible for all of us involved in this project.  We are thinking about golf around these parts again…  What a gift.


(No animals, Golf Professionals, Kids of Golf Professionals, Kids Clubs, or Restoration Team members were harmed in the making of this Blog.  Photos were shot well after our Restoration Team Members had left for the day)



Darcy Cypris

I know that construction is in it’s early stages but for those of us who know and love the courses it would be nice to have a description of how the new holes are likely to compare to the old ones.

    Bob Paley

    Thanks for the email. Hope that you had a great long weekend! For the most part this is a restoration of the existing Robert Trent Jones Sr. design. The routing of the holes will be very similar to the original courses as the damage that was done by the flood has been repaired and now we are working on the rebuild. You do have a very good idea and any of the smaller tweaks that we are doing could potentially be a great article down the road once we get started on them! Appreciate you reaching out and providing this idea. Enjoy your week!

sue pigott

Fantastic blog post. I am not a golfer (I’ve only ever golfed 9 holes at a par 3), however am extremely excited that the outstanding course in K Country is being fixed, improved and completed. Luckily you are helping it along. Thanks for the wonderful read.

    Bob Paley

    Thanks Sue! Appreciate the kind words! Perhaps once we open we can add to your golfing hole totals!! Enjoy the day!


Give yourself credit Bob. Your golf is good enough to play anywhere. Can we play there at night. Just need coffee and Baileys.
Cant wait till 2018.

    Bob Paley

    Maybe we can get a game in then Rollie!! It has been too long good sir! Thanks for the comment

Peter John Ashurst

Brilliant post Bob. That made me smile.
I still cant believe its nearly three years ago that I witnessed the destruction. I cannot wait to get back out there to see the progress of the reconstruction and I CANNOT WAIT to be there for opening day!

    Bob Paley

    Thanks Peter! It is really crazy how fast time flies hey? Thanks for the kind words!

Travis Haftner

I could not be happier about this announcement! As a former grounds worker at Kananaskis Country GC I’ve experienced some of my most cherished memories on both those courses. I remember well mowing the greens on the front of Mt. Kidd the day we had our helicopter flyby hole to hole. I was proud to be a part of what K country was all about. I look forward to the day when I can tee up on Mt. Kidd hole 4 or get lost in that beast of a bunker on Lorette’s 13th hole. I swear I raked every grain of sand on that course that summer. I damn near cried watching it wash down the river. Make it happen Bob! Bring K country back to us!

    Bob Paley

    Very cool to have the perspective of someone who was a part of our team! Love your crystal clear memories of being out here and we all look forward to having you back out here when we open up!

Franz Hasenhundl

That was a great read, Bob. It is so good to know that those two gems are not gone forever, and I for one can’t wait to get back out there.

    Bob Paley

    Thanks so much Franz! We look forward to having you back out here when they re-open in 2018!!

Andrew Wakefield

I was lucky enough to play both course’s in the week of the flood with a great friend of mine from Australia. The pictures and memories of that day are perfect, what happened later in the week….not so much !! John and his wife flew back to Perth on the Thursday, by the time I spoke to him on Saturday, Mother Nature had had her wicked way ! John could not believe the devastation, but he was so taken by Kananaskis he has vowed to return and play them both again once you have them up and running. McKenzie Meadows, here in Calgary is where I play most of my golf, it to was ravaged by the flood. I spent a week helping out, the little I did, helped to get the course back to where it is today. You guys have a slightly bigger problem, but Im sure you will get it back to its former glory. I can not wait to get back out and play Kidd and Lorette again. Thanks for the updates, keep up the good work.

    Bob Paley

    Andrew we are blown away by your comments. Thanks for sharing. I can only imagine the shock of John after having only been out here a few days earlier. That sentiment was felt by many. Tell him that we are looking forward to seeing the two of you back out here in 2018 when we re-open so that you can take some more incredible photos of a place that will be enjoyed for many, many generations! Thanks Andrew!

Jeff Van Vulpen

it’s easy to see from this picture that you haven’t played much in a while, you’re stance is way too wide!!
Hope to drop by this summer to see the progress.

    Bob Paley

    Truth hurts Jeff! I will try narrowing things a bit. When you say you are wanting to drop by to see the progress, I am assuming you mean with the golf course and not my stance?

      Jeff Van Vulpen

      If it helps, I will review both :)


I am so trying that sandwich LOL!

    Bob Paley

    Shaylee I promise you it won’t let you down! Never disappoints!

Kerri Somes

Love reading your blog Bob! We have golfed at KGC for the past 18 years and have taken my dad out there for Father’s day each of those years. We were lucky enough to golf one week before the floods hit. So happy to see the progress and can’t wait to get out there again!

    Bob Paley

    Thanks so much Kerri! We love to hear amazing stories like yours of the special place that Kananaskis is to people. Quite honestly it is the fuel that has kept a lot of us going and pushing to bring these courses back. So looking forward to hearing the reaction of great supporters like yourself to the restoration efforts being made once we open. We really appreciate your kind words! Take care!


Awesome blog bud! Can’t wait to come back to my favorite golf courses. And obviously one of the best places in the world. Luv those pants lol.

    Bob Paley

    Thanks Scoops!! Looking forward to introducing this place to a new generation of Skomorowski who had not yet had the pleasure of being out here with his Dad!!!


      Yes so true. Can’t wait to take our 9 will be 11yr old to k country. Time flys as you know. Thanks for being a great boss and all your work on helping this project move along


Brad Wolsey

Hey Bob, I liked your blog. As absolute obsessor of golf, I feel your pain about not being able to play when you desperately need to. Kananaskis is a very special place to me for numerous reasons. Being one of the first places is played golf with my now wife, to fathers day golf in a snow storm, to annual camping/golf trips to the courses, and of course to enjoy what was to play golf on some of the best courses Alberta has to offer. I was so happy to hear the restoration project was moving forward. In relation to your political comment about Donald Trump, I figured as a good old Albertan, you can appreciate a biased politcal statment. The best and last thing the conservative government did for us Albertans, was ensure the restoration project was a go, by having a contract too expensive to terminate. #TooBadNDP.
All the updates are great, the work and progress on the course look fantastic. I personally appreciate all the hard work going into the rebuild. I can assure you that I will be doing my best to get multiple tee times on opening day/week to again, play these gems.

    Bob Paley

    Hey Brad! Thanks for the kind words! Very cool to hear about your connection to this special place! We can’t wait to show you the cool things that are happening out here to help us get these courses back to you and our other supporters better than ever! We look forward to seeing you in 2018 sir!

Doug Koehli

Bob, love the updates. So glad things are moving forward towards the reopening in 2018. My father and three of his pals started a golf trip at Kananaskis the year after it originally opened. The trip grew into two foursomes, now called the Driftway International Invitational, D.I.I. for short. We have gone every year without fail until the devastating flood. With only weeks before we were to depart to Kananaskis we had to rearrange the entire event and our travel plans. As a group, the D.I.I. has managed to keep the tradition going, and have not missed a year. I am sure you will recall some of our homemade score cards and our anniversary hats and jackets we have proudly worn at Kananaskis. The D.I.I will have to come up with something really special for our postponed 35th anniversary. We can hardly wait to get the D.I.I. back to where it originally started. Keep up the good work.

    Bob Paley

    Doug, amazing to hear from you. To say that I remember you would be an understatement! Of course I remember your scorecards. As a matter of fact I am looking at the one in my office right now from the 2012 tournament with two bears sitting at a tent with the caption saying “I finally remembered – red with hunter, white with fisherman”…still makes me laugh. Thanks for your kind words and we can’t wait to have great supporters like the D.I.I. back at Kananaskis where you belong!!

    Enjoy the summer and keep in touch Doug!

    Bob Paley

    Thanks so much Michael! Appreciate that very much! We hope that we will see you in 2018! Enjoy the winter and again thanks for reaching out!

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