Golfing Gods Country - The Canadian Rocky Mountains

The Majestic Fairmont Banff Springs Resort

 
My first time golfing in the Canadian Rocky Mountains did not disappoint. I had always heard that the summer snow-tipped mountain views in Alberta's Banff and Jasper were simply stunning. I recently got the chance to finally take in the scenery myself. This is truly Gods Country, and the golf was simply spectacular. The first course I played was the world renowned The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course located in Banff National Park. Jaw-dropping panoramic views abound in every direction.

Stunning views at Fairmont Banff Springs Course

This course is captivating and challenging. Stanley Thompson, Canada's most famous golf architect designed the original 18 holes in 1928. The championship course winds along the Bow River looking up at Sulphur Mountain and Mount Rundle. One stunning view is known as the Three Sister mountain peak is an iconic visual. In 1989 the course added 9 holes designed by Cornish and Robinson. The fairways are forgiving and the greens were fast and true which I loved. The summer weather was just perfect, this course is a must for any golf enthusiast. If your lucky you might see a bear with her cubs, or an elk or two which frequent the park. Not many courses in the world offer that experience. While golfing I had a wonderful view of the river rafting group howling with excitiment as they passed by. Fairmont Banff Springs Golf

Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course

The course sits right there at the backyard of one of the worlds landmark hotels, The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. known as the "Castle in the Rockies" opened 125 years ago. The Hotel offers many other summer activities like hiking and biking. Dining and shopping are located in the quaint town of Banff which is a short ten minute walk away. After our round we stopped in for lunch at Stanley's Smokehouse which overlooks the course and has a fantastic menu. I tried my first Bison Burger on this trip and Ted Turner is right, it's leaner and better than a regular burger. I loved the Smokehouse baby back ribs and pork sliders. We spent two wonderful nights and I can't wait to go back, a stay here is a must for anyone visiting the area. In the summer they average four weddings a day and host many executive company retreats. Spacious ballrooms and meeting places can handle audiences of most any capacity. The Hotel is a mainstay for families and romantic getaways. You will meet travelers from all corners of the globe on their spectacular patio where with a stein of beer and alpine views you could swear you were in Switzerland. The property has several wonderful restaurants including a very good German restaurant named Waldhaus, with an amazing selection of beers and wine.  Fairmont Bariff Springs Hotel

Comfortable Ride Inside Alphine Helicopters

After a morning of golf we headed to Alpine Helicopters for a stunning 12 minute ride over the towering alpine peaks. I have done helicopter rides in Hawaii and I think its a great way to see the magnificence of nature. The snow tipped peaks were just feet away. They have a variety of tours to choose from and the staff was courteous and enthusiastic.

Alphine Helicopter Stunning Views

Silvertip Golf Course

The next day we played the Silvertip Golf Resort, a breathtaking mountain course. Known as 'Golf on the Roof of the World.' This intriguing Les Furber design is scenic and a lot of fun to play. Silvertip which has 183 meter (600 feet) of elevation changes also offer The Short Course, a par 58 experience that allows golfers to finish 18 holes in 3 hours or less. The new set of forward tees presents fourteen par 3s measuring 150 feet, and four par 4s with a maximum of 270 feet. This is a great way to introduce families and beginners to golfing 18 holes. Just think an experienced father can play the blue tees while his kids and wife if they are new to the game can hit from the short course tees allowing the entire family to enjoy the round together. I think it is a great idea to get new golfers engaged. The summer in the mountains offers so much to do and this allows the family to golf the morning freeing the afternoon to enjoy other outdoor activities.

Mountain Views at Silvertip

After golf don't miss Stoney's Bar and Grill, a casual setting that sits on one of the most photogenic golf course patios I have ever seen, overlooking the spectacular 18th hole. The course is home to Rustica Steakhouse which recieved the Wine Spectators Award of Excellenceof the last four years. Silvertip Golf Resort

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Course

Next was The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club. Located in Jasper National Park and billed as Canada's #1 resort golf course. Opening in 1925 it took 50 teams of horses and 200 men to clear the boulders and debris to prepare this course. This course was also designed by Stanley Thompson who's design philosophy has been described as natural artistry. The fairways are wide and carve through thick forest offering forgiving but challenging terrain and beautiful landscapes. This par 71 course features elevated tee boxes, dramatic bunkers, and vistas that showcase the mountain peaks. Consistently rated by Score Golf Magazine as the #1 best golf resort in Canada, and receiving 4.5 stars from Golf Digest. In 1994 they did a restoration project returning the legendary course back to its initial 1924 layout. Restoring the bunkers and tee boxes. I just loved my day out on this course. At dinner other golfers told me they saw a momma bear and two little cubs cross the fairway as they looked to tee off. All of these courses are a must play in my book. Another bonus of summer in Alberta is that the sun sets near 11pm. That leaves plenty of time to sneak in an early evening round of golf, or hike the trails, maybe just chill on your deck and watch the sun go down. Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge located in Jasper National Park is a beautiful step back in time. Opening in 1922 with only 8 cabins, many of which still stand today. The main building was touted as the largest single-storey log structure in the world. Their many signature log cabins scattered throughout the property evoke the 1920's-50s in travel elegance. Their restaurants and pool overlook a stunning cryatal clear blue lake where you can canoe or kayak an afternoon away. In the early morning I saw a 5 foot elk grazing outside my front door.

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Cabins

Our cabin had four bedrooms, a beautiful kitchen, living room and downstairs our own private pool table. Perfect for a family or host an executive retreat. They offer several suites and specialty rooms to handle your every need. With several signature restaurants this property is also a must stay on your mountain adventure. In my two nights there I met many folks from across Europe and Asia enjoying their Rocky Mountain adventure. Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

Glacier Skywalk

Don't miss a stop at the Glacier Skywalk. This is a very safe cliff-edge glass platform that can withstand two boeing 747 planes. Here you can see nature at its grandest with one of the worlds most unique ecosystems. Beautiful waterfalls abound, snow white mountain goats hug the rocks below where the drop is 918 feet. Get the free headset tour which will guide you through all the nature of the alpine glacial vistas that surrounds you. Glacier Skywalk

Canmore Has 30 Miles of Bike Paths to Explore

Our final stop in Alberta took us to the town of Canmore. This charming scenic town is about an hour drive from Calgary. Many Canadian families migrate here from the big cities for several weeks in the summer to rent a home and enjoy mountain life. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the 30 miles of bike paths located throughout the town. We rented bikes from the good folks at Rebound Cycles and set off on an afternoon bike ride along streams, over bridges, through canopy of trees and grass fields, all the while surrounded by stunning mountain views. Rebound Cycles

Elevation Place Rock Wall is a Blast

We also visited and tried our hand at indoor mountain climbing at Elevation Place. A wonderful new indoor playground facility that cost 40 million to build and offers locals and visitors a climbing gym, aquatics, fitness facility, classes for kids, and a public library. I loved strapping in and learning to climb the wall and repelling back down. Great fun for all ages. Elevation Place

Blackstone Mountain Lodge

Convienient to all the local activities is the Blackstone Mountain Lodge and Stoneridge Mountain Resort, a pair of hip lodging components that are part of the Clique Hotels and Resorts portfolio of properites. The condos are clean and spacious, with full kitchens, laundry machines, and a gas grill on the deck. There is also a state of the art fitness facility and a heated pool with Jucuzzi-perfect after a long day of biking and golf. Clique Hotels

We had a wonderful round of golf at the Canmore Golf and Curling Club. The course is in fantastic shape. Between the pristine water features. bunkers and world-classviews, the course won me over with its beauty and playability. With a first rate and friendly staff the entire facility captured everything that made this trip so special. Canmore Golf & Curling Club

Canmore Golf & Curling Club Course

Stewart Creek Golf and Country Club

Our final golf outing was at Stewart Creek Golf and Country Club in Canmore. Built in 2000, this public course was designed by Gary Browning. It offers extraordinary vistas and naturally sculpted fairways. It continues to be a favorite among returning guests. With stunning views of Three Sisters, Cascade, and Ha Ling Mountains. Consistently rated among the best golf experiences in the country. This course won me over with it's beauty and playability. And I loved their restaurant. Once again trust me and enjoy a delicious bison burger.Stewart Creek Golf

Grizzly Paw Brewing Company

We capped off our trip that evening with a tour of the Grizzly Paw Brewing Company, just a short walk from our Clique property. We sampled brews called Rutting Elk Red and Grizzly Bear Honey Wheat. I also loved the home make Cream and Root Beer sodas. The mountain fresh water in these drinks makes all the difference. Grizzly Paw Brewing Company My first trip to the spectacular Canadian Rocky Mountains of Alberta was everything I imagined. Truly some of the most enjoyable and breathtaking golf I have ever played. This is a summer I will never forget.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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