The spectacular Rocky Mountain setting of Les Furber’s SilverTip Resort course – where fairways rise and fall through 600 feet of elevation change – is second to none. Situated in the Bow Valley, close to Canmore, this exhilarating mountain layout is named after a rare type of grizzly bear but its architect is more inclined to call it “an extreme golf experience” rather than a golf course, which in many ways tells its own story.
“The boldness of the site, the vastness of the mountains, and the extreme contours that you play on, make the course visually intimidating the first time you see it,“ says Furber, in John Gordon’s book The Great New Golf Courses of Canada. “Everyone’s apprehensive about whether it’s their kind of course or not. But having played it, everybody comes off with a great feeling.”
“There are no forced carries, there’s always a safe way to play the hole, so it suits just about everybody. Silvertip has a real magnetism. You can’t just think ‘championship’ every time you’re building a course. You have to design for the masses, not just to cause controversy”.
Many consider the 454-yard 4th, with the sensational backdrop of the Three Sisters Mountains, as the signature hole. Played from an elevated tee positions 100 feet above the fairway, the tee shot must be played dead centre to avoid bunkers on the right and trees on the left. It’s hard not to just put the driver back in the bag and rest on the wooden bench for a while to take in the sensational scenery.
Played this course in summer 2016. If you are in the region, do not miss the opportunity to play this fabulous course. If you enjoy fantastic sceneries, this is a first class site, which I would compare (for players with european references) with Old Head in Ireland or Thracian cliffs in Bulgaria, though obviously with moutains rather than sea in the backdrop.
Other than that, the layout itself is great, the service was impeccable. Can't figure out why this course is only 25th in the region, though I have only played Banff and Jasper there. Silvertip is definitely a course that is worth going out of your way for.