Golfing in the North—Aberdeen Glen
A prince among courses in Prince George, B.C.
When it comes to golf and Prince George, B.C., most people do not associate the two, as the city seems too far north and winter lasts six months. That is a misconception, as the city has seven golf courses, catering to all levels of golfers, from par three courses at Pine Valley and Alder Hills to Aberdeen Glen, a championship golf course.
The meadows of Aberdeen were designed by Ted Locke Consulting Company of B.C., which is responsible for other B.C. courses, including The Falls (Chilliwack), The Redwoods (Langley) and Tsawwassen Springs (South Delta). This is a public golf course without memberships, but it offers 20 game passes at a reasonable price.
The name Aberdeen comes from the City of Aberdeen, Scotland, located at the mouth of the Dee River and known for processing sea oil and gas. It is also known for its famous golf course, the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, which dates back to 1780. This historic club should not be confused with the Donald Trump International Golf Links at Balmedie, just north of Aberdeen.
Aberdeen Glen was opened in 1999 and is owned by Mike Church, owner of a local logging company. The course is located a few miles north of Prince George, not far off Highway 97. Aberdeen is cut out of the forest with tree-lined fairways following the contours of the land. To say the course is hilly would be an understatement. There are extreme elevation changes starting with Hole No. 2 and continuing until the final hole. The 18th hole is the signature hole, teeing off atop a cliff and hitting down towards the clubhouse. The hole is 455 yards and is a difficult par four. Aberdeen ranges from 5,512 yards to 7,130 yards from the back tees. This is a par 73 course with five par fives, which is very rare. From the back tees the slope is 124 and 73.1 for the course rating, but Aberdeen plays much harder than its slope rating. This is a cart course but can be walked.
The heart of the course are Holes No. 2, 7, 11, 17 and 18. Hole No.7 is narrow and rated the hardest hole on the course. Play these holes well and you score well. There are blind shots, false fronts, run-offs and risk/reward holes. Depend on the cart GPS for distance and allow one extra club for elevation changes. Invest in a course guidebook and read along.
The bent-grass greens are elevated, undulating, tiered and large. Most of the 30 sand traps guard the greens, especially on Hole No. 8. The sand traps are a nice white sand with high lips. The fairways are blue grass with good landing areas off the tee. Learn to play the slopes on the fairway to keep the ball rolling down to a flat lie. Water does not really come into play other than on Holes No. 9, 11 and 18.
Aberdeen Glen is a fully serviced course with a driving range, and putting and chipping greens. The pro shop is well stocked with equipment, clothing and available CPGA instructors for lessons. The restaurant/lounge is called the Eagle’s Nest and features a patio overlooking the finishing holes. This course has twice been nominated as the BCPGA facility of the year. It is only a matter of time until they win.
Prince George is a hockey town with two junior teams. The Spruce Kings of the BCHL hold a raffle every year to raise money and give away a house in the Aberdeen Estates, the golf club and residential area. Holes No. 7, 8 and 9 are lined with some of these prize homes.
Aberdeen Glen is a picturesque golf course that is well maintained and laid out. The rolling hills and dense forest really define this course. If Aberdeen Glen were located in the Lower Mainland, it would be difficult to book a tee time.