- Address405 Spray Ave, Banff, AB J4Y 0K7, Canada
Banff Springs Golf Club is set in perhaps the most spectacular and striking location in the world. The setting in the Canadian Rockies is so special that only the most focused golfers will be able to concentrate on the game in hand.
The Canadian Pacific Railway Company can be thanked for bringing a nine-hole golf course to Banff in 1911 as an attraction for its stunning, turreted hotel, known as the Castle in the Rockies. World War I civilian internees built a further nine holes to a Donald Ross design, but it was the illustrious Canadian architect, Stanley Thompson, who really put Banff on the map when he redesigned the course in 1927.
Thompson brought the course closer to the hotel and literally moved the earth to fashion the new Banff Springs. $1,000,000 later, the most expensive course in the world at that time opened for play to a rapturous standing ovation.
The stunning location presents all sorts of problems for the greenkeepers who battle with the extremities of the Alberta elements – warm days and freezing nights of spring. They do a stunning job because the course is invariably maintained immaculately.
Banff Springs is blessed with many world-class holes, all of which are named. There’s too many to mention here but we simply have to bring up the 4th which is perhaps Canada’s most outstanding one-shotter. A climb to the elevated tee presents a heart-stopping view of the Devil’s Cauldron with its punchbowl green which slopes from back to front in order to drain the water off the putting surface as quickly as possible. The green is nestled at the foot of the colossal Mount Rundle and your tee shot must carry across a glacial lake and then avoid numerous greenside bunkers. Can you stay focused and swing smoothly on this 200-yard hole?
Banff Springs is set within a National Park and the course runs parallel with the River Bow with the thundering Bow Falls at one end. We’ve waxed lyrical about the location of Banff Springs Golf Club, but we can assure you that nothing prepares you for the reality, charm and sheer enormity of the setting.
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Becoming a golf course architect after the First World War was perfect timing for Stanley Thompson. Canada’s golf courses numbered around 130 in 1918, rising to more than 350 seven years later.