New to golf?


Golf is a lot of fun, but it can be a bit intimidating the first time you hit the green. We hope this information will answer your questions and help you become more comfortable with the game of golf​.

We do suggest that you review our golf etiquette videos, which will help you learn the basics.


Golf hole diagram

This is a diagram of a typical golf hole layout and some associated terminology. You may also want to print off the Golf Tip Sheet that will help you with terminology, scoring basics, and a layout of a typical hole and some on course helpful things to know on each hole.

The Fairway: The fairway usually runs 30 - 50 yards wide and it's where the ball should land before approaching the green. It is made up of shorter, manicured grass so it is easier to hit from.

The Putting Green: This is the extremely smooth surface surrounding the hole where players putt. The edge of the green is bordered with slightly longer grass and is called the "fringe."

The Rough: This is the area off either side of the fairway where the grass is allowed to grow longer. Courses may have two or three cuts of rough where the grass is a different length in each one. It is difficult to hit the ball from this area.

The Tee Box: This is the starting area for each hole on the golf course. Markers indicate where players should tee off. Players must tee off from between the markers and no further than two club lengths behind the markers.

The Bunker or Sand Trap: This is a sand pit. It is considered a "hazard" and is usually placed along the fairway and surrounding the putting green.

The Water Hazard: Any body of water on or around the course, such as a pond or lake, should be avoided. Boundaries of a water hazard are usually defined by either yellow or red stakes. If you hit your ball into a water hazard it is usually a one stroke penalty.

Cup: The object of the game is to hit the ball into this cylinder shaped cup that is located on the green at each hole.

Pin: A marker positioned at the hole to indicate its location to players that are off the green. This marker is a flag on a stick.

Par: Par is the number of shots (Strokes) the experts think it should take a golfer to get the ball in the hole.

Birdie: A hole played one stroke under Par.

Bogey: A hole played one stroke over Par.

Some questions you may have

Do you have a golf course that is suitable for beginners?

Absolutely! McCall Par 3 has a 9 hole Par 3 course and is easy enough for beginner golfers. We also have "Family" Rates at this course.​

Do you offer golf lessons?

Yes! The City of Calgary Recreation provides lessons for adults, women, juniors and seniors at McCall Lake, Confederation Park and Shaganappi Point golf courses. Our lessons are taught by professional instructors from the National Golf Academy, which also offers their own private, group and semi-private lessons. Check out our Golf Lessons page for details.

What if I just want to practise putting or use the driving range?

We have driving ranges at Confederation Park, McCall Lake and Shaganappi Point. When you arrive at the golf course, buy your range tokens in the clubhouse and head out to the range at your leisure – no advance booking is required. 

Putting greens at our courses are available for you to practice on at no cost. You are welcome to use the putting greens at McCall Lake, Confederation Park, Maple Ridge and Lakeview. All you need is a putter and a few golf balls.

How do I book a tee time?

Now it's easier than ever to book and manage your tee times online, to get golf course news and updates plus see and redeem the latest offers and deals! Book a tee time online.

What do I wear?

  • All dress must be presentable. Only properly attired players will be permitted on the course.
  • All shorts must be neat and hemmed with a minimum 4 inch inseam.
  • Full bodied shirts must be worn at all times.
  • Players must wear golf shoes (soft spikes encouraged), running shoes or soft soled shoes. No heels over half inch or boots of any kind are permitted.

Do I need clubs?

​​Golfer should bring their own equipment to play at City of Calgary Golf Courses.  Make sure you have in your golf bag plenty of tees and, most importantly, some golf balls. Balls and tees can also be purchased at the clubhouses. Take a ball mark repair tool with you to repair ball marks on the greens (see Etiquette Video).

I don't know the rules - is that OK?

A lot of golfers at McCall Lake are beginners and are unsure of all the rules. Don't worry – there is no pressure as you get to know this game of golf.

Review our golf etiquette videos before you arrive at the course.

When I arrive at the golf course, where do I go?

  • Clubhouse: This is where you will "check in" and pay for your tee time or go to see if you can get a tee time as a "walk on" player. Make sure you check in at least 20 minutes ahead of your tee time. If a tee time is missed, your group might lose its spot and have to wait around for another opening. 
  • Driving Range or Practice Green: if you want to practice before your tee time and after you check in at the clubhouse, you are welcome to do so. Make sure you listen for your name, as the "starter" in the clubhouse will call you to the "tee box" so that you are there and ready for your tee time.
  • Tee Box: this is where you will start your first hole. See diagram on this page.

Who are the "First Tee Greeters" and the "Course Ambassadors"?

Golf Course Ambassadors are volunteers who welcome our guests and answer questions. They monitor the course to ensure pace of play expectations are being met and may also aide in coordinating golfers teeing off 1st tee. In addition, they provide guidance on policies (no outside alcohol, safe operation of power carts, etc.), rules & etiquette of golf.

I've finished my round of golf – now what?

  • If you have rented clubs, make sure you return them to the clubhouse.
  • If you want to relax, we have Food and Beverage services in our clubhouse for you to grab a hot dog, sandwich and a drink.

Golf is a game and is meant to be fun and relaxing. So don't forget to have fun!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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