If you drive a short 1 hour west of Calgary you will end up in Canmore Alberta, right at the gates to Banff National Park. Canmore is a lovely town at the base of the 3 Sisters peaks and the perfect base to enjoy some of the top golf in the entire country. Banff Springs, Stewart Creek, Kananaskis (both Mt Kidd and Mt Lorette) and Silvertip are all on the Score Golf to 59 Public Course list and with Banff Springs often listed amongst the top courses in the world, it truly is a mecca for golf.
Much like it is impossible to say which of your kids you love the most, so it is with golf in Canada (while different, there is great golf all across the country) but if pushed, I would admit to this being one of my favourite places to play golf not only in Canada but in the world. The Rockies offer such a majestic setting for golf, so much different than my local Ontario golf, and I just love it. With the mountain backdrop on literally every shot, dramatic elevation changes, beautiful forests and water features, and wildlife (I saw a black bear last time I was golfing in the Rockies) watching and critiquing your shots, I just love playing there every chance I get - and it doesn’t hurt that the thinner mountain air adds so much distance to my drives!!!
Canmore itself is a great town to base yourself. Centrally located you can get to all the course in 15-60 mins and there are great after golf dining and entertainment options. The Blake is a modern Bistro serving high end pub food that we enjoyed and The Sensory Restaurant delivered great flatbreads and beautiful views of the 3 Sisters Mountains from their patio (and the little bunnies everywhere were fun to watch).
Accommodation wise, The Malcolm is a can’t miss. Good size rooms, many with mountain views, are complemented with pools, hot tubs, fitness facilities, onsite bar and restaurant and a fully stocked game room. There is even an outdoor fire pit to settle in around in the evening.
If you would prefer to stay in Banff proper (it is a bit more daily driving and the accommodations are definitely pricier) the Fairmont Banff Springs may be your answer. A grand, classic looking hotel with beautiful rooms and many food options. A room overlooking the golf course is a treat (I had one once and loved it) but all the rooms in this iconic hotel are great and the public spaces are beautiful. Being in the town of Banff also allows you to take advantage of the many shops, restaurants, and bars in this vibrant town.
No matter where you stay, the off-course options are endless. Hot springs, spas, hiking, a trip to the Columbia Ice Fields and many other specialty tours will keep you as busy, or not, as you want.
A golf trip to this region is something I would recommend to any and everyone that enjoys swinging a golf club – you will not be disappointed!