Having played Banff Springs on my recent June 2010 visit to Canada I was intrigued as to how Fairmont’s other ‘famed’ course Jasper Park Lodge would play. Firstly I want to comment on the service at the club, it was second to none and everyone from the pro shop staff to the starter couldn’t do enough for me and made me feel very welcome. I actually played 36 holes that day, I hadn’t planned to but they kindly offered me a 2nd round later that day for a mere $70 so would have been rude not to take it! I played the first 18 with a scratch golfer who worked at the club and he was a pleasure to play with and gave me all the good lines to take on each hole, my 2nd round was with another JPL staff member so was very fortunate. Overall I would say that Banff Springs is a better course, Jasper is pretty open and you can afford to spray your driver about off the tee (as I did…) and get away with it, so from that perspective it wasn’t overly difficult and my score suggests I played much better than I actually did. However, the conditioning of the course was excellent and the greens were in far better condition than those at Banff so for that they should be commended. The Par 5’s on this course, with maybe one exception, are easily reached in two off the tips, and the Par 4’s are not excessively long providing you keep it in play. As mentioned in my Banff review, a feature of Stanley Thompson designs are the long Par 3’s and this was true with the 4th which was well over 220yds. The standout hole on this course is the Par 4 14th over water which is a beautiful hole to play, again it is easily reached with driver and wedge but you must clear a huge expanse of water and trees to get on the fairway which is pretty undulated the closer you get to the green. As with Banff the practice facilities are excellent with complimentary range balls upon arrival, and again the setting of this place is stunning and there is always a good chance of seeing bears, or in my case seeing coyotes and elk. The green fee for me was $179 which isn’t cheap but I feel the price is justified by the quality of the setting and the fact that certain holes are a pleasure to play, Jasper is certainly a course I would recommend to any serious golfer and I look forward to going back there one day soon.
Date: July 02, 2010