Lakewood Golf resort just north of Sylvan Lake will be growing over the next couple years.
Recently the nine-hole golf course was approved for an expansion by Red Deer County.
The expansion will include an addition 70 RV sites and nine new holes for the course, moving it up to an 18-hole golf course.
Scott Bergdahl, head golf pro at Lakewood Golf Resort, said it has always been a goal to have the golf course be an 18-hole course.
“It has been the longtime plan and dream [for the owners] to become an 18-hole course,” Bergdahl said.
Expansion has been expected for a long time, Bergdahl says, and many of the regular guests have been anticipating a future expansion.
The addition will be housed on an 80-acre piece of land directly to the east of the current site.
The first two phases of construction started in the fall of 2018 and are already completed.
Bergdahl says the first two phases included the building of roughly half the intended RV sites.
“Having the RV sites is important for us for many reasons… They will help finance the golf course construction which is very pricey,” he said.
Building in phases, and beginning with the camp sites makes the construction more manageable for the resort.
The money coming in from renting the sites will also help to recuperate the costs during construction.
“Capitol has already been put in for the construction, and we are working on designs right now, but this will make it easier for us.”
Bergdahl compared the construction of RV sites to selling property. He said not much work will have to go into the RV sites once they are completed, which will help in the long run.
The next phase of construction, with the additional RV sites, is expected to begin in the spring of 2020, “as soon as the snow is gone.”
Construction of the new nine-holes for the golf course is expected to begin in 2021, should everything go as plan, Bergdahl says.
Moving from a nine-hole course to an 18-hole course will bring a variety of changes for Lakewood Golf Resort, including the customers.
“We have built our existence on nine-hole clients and we will have to transition without exiling our current clients.”
One way the resort is working to not alienate its current clients is by ensuring the new course will “play similarly” to the current course.
There will be new challenges and a new design, but the feel will still be comparable to the current set up, Bergdahl says.
“Everything will be integrated to be played as one so it won’t feel like two separate courses,” he said.
With further construction of the RV sites expected for the spring, golfers should expect no disruptions to their game.
Bergdahl says with construction occurring on the land next to the current site, golfers will still be able to get in a game or two during the construction period.