While the Smiths were first drawn to Harmony because of its lake access and proximity to the Rockies, a golf course development involving PGA icon Phil Mickelson was the icing on the cake.
“It was a slam dunk when we knew the Mickelson National (Golf Club) was coming in,” said Kevin Smith, director of communications for Alberta Golf.
He moved to Harmony with his wife and two children last summer and has since registered to be a member at the course.
“When I come home from work, the last thing I want to do is drive back into town to find a driving range or drive to find a golf course,” he said. “To have a course right there is going to be great for my son and myself to just pop over, maybe hit some range balls, maybe play nine holes … one of the reasons was to get the family involved.”
Harmony is an award-winning lake community, located just west of Calgary, from Bordeaux Developments and Qualico Communities. Mickelson, who has won 44 PGA tour events during his illustrious career, is bringing his first signature golf course in Canada to the new community’s east flank.
“We wanted to create something very unique … a facility that feels like an extension of people’s homes, where it’s very inviting for members and guests.” – Barry Ehlert, Windmill Golf Group
Windmill Golf Group and Phil Mickelson Design are the developers behind Mickelson National Golf Club, which is slated to open next year.
Smith says he loves what he’s seen from Mickelson National so far, as it “looks like a course you will not get bored of.”
Construction is complete and several holes are available to be played as part of a course preview before its planned opening next year, says Barry Ehlert, managing partner of Windmill Golf Group.
“We wanted to create something very unique … a facility that feels like an extension of people’s homes, where it’s very inviting for members and guests,” said Ehlert.
“The amount of people we have engaged and who continue to inquire about membership is really encouraging for us.
“I think what separates what we’re doing is just the golf course itself and having Phil (Mickelson) involved. His prowess brings a lot to the table.”
While he can’t speak for the three-time Masters Tournament winner, Ehlert says Mickelson emphasized the importance of a “dynamic golfing experience,” without “any two holes that feel or play the same,” as well as a course that’s challenging, but still fair to the average golfer.
“(Mickelson) believes magnificent golf courses stand the test of time and can be part of his overall legacy, as far as what he leaves for the world of golf,” said Ehlert.
While Ehlert calls the 10th hole – which is where the construction of the course began – “awe inspiring,” he says there’s a consistently high standard.
“There are so many holes out there that I truly believe in my heart, people will come around the cart path to the next hole and be like, ‘wow, I didn’t think it could continue to be this good,’ ” he said.