Building golf courses in the 21st century is going the way of the dinosaur with the odd alligator as the exception to the rule. Mickelson National would not be built, without the desire and the vision of the community being built in Springbank called Harmony. Harmony is a 1700 acre community with 3300 residences planned. With this vision comes a 140 acre lake and Mickelson National, a 250 acre behemoth.
Mickelson National is being built to have the ability to host big events, spectator golf and most importantly fun golf. It will be able to test the best at more than 7800 yards but will not be a beat you over the head, caveman style, type of golf course with trouble around every mound. It’s a containment golf course with back boards and ampitheatres to help those sloppy mishits that are so common from your average player. In the end it will be a showcase piece for western Canada but more importantly Harmony itself.
To understand Mickelson National and Harmony you must dig through the dirt. Literally the site had little to no elevation change. What kind of character will this place really have? I was skeptical. Now as a layman as far as dirt moving goes, I was told there will be 2 million cubic metres of dirt moved on to the site. What does that mean, is that a lot? Well to give you an idea the site went from 3 feet of elevation change to upwards of 60 feet. There are spots where you can look down on 4 or 5 holes at once. But when you are in your hole you see nothing but your hole. It’s adventure golf. From green to tee box, you are typically walking uphill, once on the tee, the hole is unveiled with vistas of a few holes. Then you drop back into your hole, the tunnel vision returns.
So where did all this dirt come from? The 140 acre lake at Harmony will be one of the largest and deepest lakes in North America, reaching 18 metres. Ala dirt for days! So Mickelson National gobbled up a lot of that dirt. As great as these spectator viewing areas are, there was a functional purpose for the dirt. Take this dirt and move it over there. There seemed to be an endless train of trucks going back and forth.
Water and sustainability are huge factors and Harmony has spared no expense. The water treatment plant at Harmony will be second to known. Harmony lake is connected to all the lakes on the golf course which becomes critical for irrigation and circulation of this valued commodity. With the lakes and water treatment plant, Harmony will be self sufficient from a water perspective. And once again Harmony and Mickelson National depend upon each other.
Harmony is a vision of a new community, not an addition to an existing community or just a development, but a stand alone with amenities, a lake, shops, a school and restaurants. And with a vision of this size it needs amenities and why not start with a golf course. A course that can attract big events for not only Harmony but for Calgary and Canada.
Mickelson National is being built in a way that will be a show piece, a show pony you could say. Fun golf, where players can hit 14 drivers with this safety net in the form of containment golf but play the wrong tees and it will show you teeth like that of the alligator, ready and opportunistic. Golfers will be looking at the correct set of tees for the next round.
Come out for a tour but bring your hiking boots, the vistas are spectacular. Contact Mark Corrigan firstname.lastname@example.org