When I moved to Canmore in 2007, I remember hiking past the new, gazillion-dollar Three Sisters golf course as they were putting the finishing touches to it.
The sprinklers were running, workers were busy dumping sand in the bunkers, pavers were completing the paths, and the greens were pristine.
Tonight, as I biked along the cart paths, 10 years later, this golf course has never hosted a paying customer.
The elk were grazing on the fairways and geese were swimming in the pond in which nobody has ever plunked a ball. The hazards consist of occasional deadfall blocking the cart paths. I’m surprised at how clear the paths actually are after 10 years of no maintenance.
It’s mostly used by hikers, bikers, dog-walkers, and of course the elk. I saw only two elk tonight, but have often encountered large herds. I wonder how nutritious the golf course grass is compared to the native grasses which it displaced.
The greens are still surrounded by fences and are easy to spot with their distinctive grasses. The grass is a bit tall for golfing, but you might be able to five-putt. The bunkers are slowly disappearing and becoming small depressions among the landscape.
The wooden fence along the perimeter has been breached in numerous places, so hikers and bikers can join trails which run up to the fence.
Three Sisters Development Company had been sold at the height of the boom, but went bankrupt soon after the downturn in 2008. The new owners(who now are actually the old owners), decided not to rejuvenate the golf course, and in fact are hoping to develop some of the land into residences.
Three Sisters creek intersects the golf course but the bridge which spanned the creek was dislodged from its moorings during the devastating floods of 2013. The creek was excavated to mitigate future flooding and is a poor facsimile of its former self. It’s nothing but gravel where it used to be a pretty little stream with lots of foliage along the banks, dotted by wild flowers.
The birds were singing and I discovered a large field of paintbrush.
The title of this post reminds me of a funny story from a long time ago. I was at a party where everyone was drinking, and a KFC franchise owner was asked by a friend of mine if he ate his own chicken. Joe replied, “this chicken ain’t for eatin’, it’s for sellin’.
Some of the photos I’ve included were from previous trips which I’ve made. I’ve noted it on the photos.
The trail to Pigeon mountain opened today if you’re looking for wild flowers this weekend.