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Article Teaser: When it comes to golf courses that tempt, you'd have to look long and hard to discover more unique challenges than those you'll find at Alberta golf courses. Golfers can swing through Alberta's diverse regions and golf in northern boreal forests, through the Canadian Rocky Mountains, amidst hoodoos and dinosaur beds, alongside lakes, streams and rivers. Your spectators can include deer, elk and moose. Now, that's a gallery. And during the summer months, the daylight seems to go on forever, which means the vacation golfer can test his skills for up to 18 hours a day.

Keep reading below...

From a Duffer's Delight to Pro's Paradise: Golf Discoveries, Summer Through Autumn

Copyright (c) 2007-2017 Travel Alberta, All Rights Reserved
Written by:

When it comes to golf courses that tempt, you'd have to look long and hard to discover more unique challenges than those you'll find at Alberta golf courses. Golfers can swing through Alberta's diverse regions and golf in northern boreal forests, through the Canadian Rocky Mountains, amidst hoodoos and dinosaur beds, alongside lakes, streams and rivers. Your spectators can include deer, elk and moose. Now, that's a gallery. And during the summer months, the daylight seems to go on forever, which means the vacation golfer can test his skills for up to 18 hours a day.

What more could a golfer possibly want?

With more than 280 golf courses in diverse settings, Alberta golf courses include six that are among the top Canadian golf courses. And here's the kicker: almost all Alberta courses are open to public play.

Summertime temperatures are comfortably high and they continue into the autumn, leaving plenty of time to plan a trip. And there are world renowned spas throughout the province if you want to relax after a day on the greens.

We'll take you on a pleasant tour of Alberta golf courses. Further down in this story, you'll find distances to various courses if you're planning to drive (and that's driving a vehicle, not the driver you're likely thinking about).

The golfing standard in Alberta was set in 1925 when Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club opened to immediate national acclaim. Four years later the world marveled as the Banff Springs Golf Club - the first-ever $1 million course - was christened by the Prince of Wales. It's a province for memories: where tee shots fly from 1554 m (5,100 ft) above sea level at Canmore's SilverTip, and bounce along the moonscape at the Badlands in Drumheller.


Plan the Perfect Golf Trip

Where to begin? Nestled in Alberta's southwest corner, (just north of the Montana border) you'll find the historic Waterton Lakes Golf and Club. Designed by Canadian icon Stanley Thompson, Jasper and Banff's creator, it opened in 1929. This golf resort is fun, but not too tough, with mountain vistas, trees, and abundant glimpses of wildlife. To the east, the Medicine Hat Golf and Country Club greets golfers with lush fairways, all lined with mature trees, strategic water hazards and views of the mighty South Saskatchewan River below its scenic bluffs.

Northward, the Badlands of Dinosaur Trail Golf and Country Club awaits. The front nine of this Alberta golf course is parkland; the back nine is unforgettable. Pack plenty of golf balls as this desert-style target course has blind shots and large carries over wasteland.

Just south of Calgary, Heritage Pointe Golf and Country Club was a favourite stop of the Canadian Professional Golf Tour in the late 1990s. Superb conditioning and challenge distinguish all 27 holes at this golf resort- a treeless desert-style nine and two river valley courses that has lead to its popularity among leading Alberta golf courses. Minutes south, D'Arcy Ranch Golf Club is a layout low handicappers love. With rolling coulees, major elevation changes, and slick greens, it's exhilarating.

To the west, the 36-hole Kananaskis Country Golf Club - a favorite among vacation golfers - dazzles. Renowned designer Robert Trent Jones says this Alberta golf course features the best natural setting he's ever worked with. Mountain backdrops, rivers, and forest shape the award-winning Mount Lorette and Mount Kidd golf resorts.

Entering the millennium, Golf Digest ranked the Canadian Rockies the 27th best golf destination worldwide. Now Stewart Creek Golf Club in Canmore adds to the lustre. Built on a spent coal site, the first tee, 30.5 m (100 ft) above the fairway offers a unique target line - a restored mine shaft. Wide fairways, 35 pot bunkers, and mountain vistas turn golfers' heads.


Next Stop, Discover a Masterpiece

Next stop is the Fairmont Banff Springs golf course. A masterpiece in 1929, it had a $4-million makeover in the late 1990s. Today it offers golfers 27 holes, a charming clubhouse, and spectacular views of the castle-like hotel that looms above the 14th hole. Three hours north, Jasper Park provides 18 strong holes that good golfers appreciate. Score Golf has named it No. 1 among Canadian golf courses the past six years. Photographers say the 14th tee box at sparkling Lac Beauvert rivals Pebble Beach for natural golfing beauty.

The Alberta PGA calls Alberta Springs Golf Club a hidden treasure among Alberta golf courses. Minutes west of Red Deer, APGA members have been tested here for their pro cards. Trees, water, solid bunkering, and four tee boxes make it fun for all players, vacation golfers and others. North at Wolf Creek Golf Resort, many of today's PGA Tour stars once played this Scottish links-style course, which is so natural looking that many give Mother Nature full credit for its design. And for something different, Pheasantback Golf Club measures in at just 6,100 yards. With water on almost every hole, and a tumbling links style design, it's been voted one of Alberta's Top 10 Must Plays.

In the Edmonton area, people brag about The Ranch Golf and Country Club, voted in the top 100 of Canadian golf courses, only a few minutes from West Edmonton Mall. At Goose Hummock Golf Resort, in Gibbons, north of Edmonton, water's the name of the game. Fifteen of 18 holes have water hazards to test a golfer's shot-making and nerve. Northern Bear, one of three Canadian golf courses by Jack Nicklaus, opened southeast of Edmonton in 2002.


Discover Courses Teeming with Wildlife

One hour north of Edmonton, Alberta's international gateway to the North, the Athabasca Golf and Country Club teems with wildlife, a serious enticement for the vacation golfer. Carved through forest, the 18-hole course runs along the Athabasca River valley, and includes many elevation changes, including a 150-foot drop to the signature Par 3 third hole. To the west, golfers at Grande Prairie's Dunes Golf and Winter Club love the treed Forest nine and the more open and hilly Dunes course. In summer, golfers enjoy 18-plus hours of daylight - time to go around twice.

Alberta golf courses are a player's delight, and for the vacation golfer looking for a challenge, the province's world-class courses are beckoning.

In many pockets of the province are "Play and Stay" golf packages which combine golf properties with partners, ranging from luxurious resorts to guest ranches and budget hotels.

Signature Courses

  • Banff Springs Golf Course
  • BlackHawk Golf Course
  • D'Arcy Ranch Golf Course (Okotoks, south of Calgary)
  • Goose Hummock Golf Course (Gibbons, north of Edmonton)
  • Heritage Pointe Golf Club (de Winton, south of Calgary)
  • Jasper Park Lodge Golf Course
  • Kananaskis Country Golf Courses
  • Northern Bear Golf Club
  • Stewart Creek Golf Club - Canmore
  • Silver Tip Golf Resort
  • The Ranch Golf and Country Club (west of Edmonton)
  • Wolf Creek Golf Course (Located between Ponoka and Lacombe


    About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
    Copyright (c) 2006 Travel Alberta, All Rights Reserved

    Travel Alberta is the destination marketing organization for the Province of Alberta. Guided by the Strategic Tourism Marketing Council, Travel Alberta is the steward for the effective delivery of tourism marketing programs. For information about our organization, please visit our Travel Alberta industry web site at http://www.travelalberta.com

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