We all have different reasons for getting interested in golf. Whether it’s the love of the game itself, drinking in the sunshine and scoring a killer tan, the business opportunities on the course, or in my case the outfit potentials, the Shaw Charity Classic has it all. It’s a hidden gem for those looking to have a good time in the city, even if the last time you watched golf was Happy Gilmore.

Besides the obvious opportunity to be on a course and not have to embarrass myself with my handicap, it is a great spot to network and meet other young professionals in the city.

I’m a firm believer of getting involved in the game of golf as a young professional in Calgary. It is one of the rare skills that will come in handy outside the office that you can’t necessarily put on your resume. I was impressed with the number of non- profits and corporations that are involved with the tournament so if you like the business aspect of Stampede but are over the camaraderie, this is actually the next best event to have a few drinks and add some new people in your network.

I was able to watch the tournament from the Crows Nest, which overlooks the 16th hole and has catered lunch and a bottomless bar, which is nice because you can host clients or co-workers off the course. It’s an ideal spot for a Sunday brunch to watch the finals, which I plan on taking full advantage of next year… golf courses and mimosas am I right?

If you are less into watching the game, the beer gardens patio is set up with a DJ with Cowboys Calgary hosting life sized beer pong, and Big Rock Brewery giving away free samples and of course selling ice cold Arnold Palmers. There is plenty of space to sit and mingle and the lineups for drinks are relatively short. For people like myself who often come to things for the sole purpose of getting a cute picture or getting to meet famous people, there’s a photobooth where you can plant yourself on the course via green screen and drop in any player that you like.

For those that do love the game of golf, the event draws the largest crowd outside of the majors and hosts names such as Fred Couples, Colin Montgomerie, Stephen Ames and Miguel Angel Jimenez. It’s a rare opportunity for golf fans to get to see the legends up close and personal. If you haven’t seen Jimenez’ warm up routine yet, I highly recommend it. 

This year the event was expected to raise over $3 million for charity, so it is the perfect excuse to bring your friends out and watch some golf on what may be Calgary’s most entertaining patio. It’s all the fun of sports-ing without necessarily the farmer’s tans since you don’t really have to follow dress code. And after all– it’s for charity!