Stewart Creek - Alberta - Canada

Stewart Creek Golf and Country Club,
Canmore,
Alberta,
T1W 2V3,
Canada


  • +1 403 609 6099

  • Greg Andrew

  • Gary Browning

  • Greg Andrew

Golf architect Gary Browning – one of Canada’s most underrated designers – laid out the original 18-hole mountain course at Stewart Creek Golf & Country Club in Canmore, Alberta on a spectacular site adjacent to the Three Sisters mountain range.

Browning didn’t have his troubles to seek when constructing the course in the late 1990’s as the project had to overcome a change of ownership as well as a number of environmental issues - and the fact that it was built over old coal mine workings didn’t exactly help matters either!

Nevertheless, the course was unveiled to the golfing public in 2000 as a relatively understated modern design featuring fewer than fifty carefully placed bunkers. And, as little soil was shifted during construction, it retains a natural, lie of the land look.

The long par four 4th plays to a pulpit green and it’s the favourite hole of many on a front nine that ends with a controversial short par four – some love the 9th for its quirkiness, others think it too contrived. On the inward half, the 11th is a tough three shot hole whilst the 294-yard 14th is a terrific short par four.

Stewart Creek’s routing allows its tree-lined fairways to rise and fall effortlessly over a rugged landscape – even though there are some substantial elevation changes along the way – resulting in a solid, unpretentious mountain golf track.

A second Browning design was started on land immediately to the west of Stewart Creek and, in the opinion of at least one inside source, the new Three Sisters Creek course had even more potential than its older sibling. Unfortunately the project has yet to complete.

Course architect Gary Browning kindly supplied the following article:

Stewart Creek was one of the most challenging design and construction assignments I have ever faced. Combine the fact that the course occupies a primary wildlife migratory corridor; that deposition ponds had to be built upstream of the course (on Stewart Creek) to intercept major debris that washes down the mountain every spring runoff; that the site is riddled with underground coal mines, dictating where we could or couldn't go; and you start to get a sense of the constraints we faced.

Construction timing and windows had to be meshed with wildlife migration patterns and at certain times we were restricted to particular types of equipment that had lower noise decibel levels to minimize wildlife disturbance.

Memories of a grizzly bear swimming across the pond on hole 10, three cougar kittens frolicking on the bridge on hole 14, or a rutting elk charging the flagstick on hole 7 are all still quite vivid. It was that elk that taught us to remove all the flagsticks every evening to prevent major damage to the putting surfaces. This truly was nature’s playground and we were simply allowed to join in the fun.

Although the course was recognized by Golf Digest magazine as one of Canada's best new courses I am most proud of the environmental accolades that it has received through the industry (2004-Environnmental Leaders in Golf and 2006-Environmental Achievement Award). It was our intent from the outset to achieve high environmental standards and be leaders in environmental stewardship for golf course design. I believe we achieved our goals.

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Reviews for Stewart Creek

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Description: Golf architect Gary Browning laid out the original 18-hole mountain course at Stewart Creek Golf & Country Club on a spectacular site adjacent to the Three Sisters mountain range. Rating: 6 out of 6 Reviews: 1

I played Stewart Creek Golf Club on a sunny day in June 2010, having played Silver Tip, Banff Springs and Kananaskis prior to this I was expecting big things and I am pleased to say it didn’t disappoint. Quite simply this is a stunning golf course, the conditioning of the course was superb from the tee boxes to the fairways to the greens. Its setting is quite breathtaking with panoramic views of the mountains and the town of Canmore. It is a challenge to play from the tips with many long Par 4’s and at times it can play very tight indeed off the tee. I was the first group out on the day I played which was great in some ways, although it seemed the greenstaff were following me round as the hum of the lawnmowers were present on every hole which was slightly annoying but hey they’re only doing their jobs! This course is not cheap at $179 (membership here is $5,000 a year with a $50,000 joining fee……expensive!! And they only play 4 months a year due to the snow..!) but it was worth every cent. The course reminded me in some ways of Woburn purely from some of the treelined holes and the shape of certain holes, the conditioning was certainly on a par with Woburn. The 9th is a very interesting hole, it is a short par 4 which needs a drive over a ravine onto what can only be described as a fairway platform, reason being the fairway disappears off a huge cliff with the green seemingly a hundred feet below you with water to the left. It is a quirky hole which I wasn’t overly keen on to be honest, mainly as it seemed completely out of place with the rest of the course, and I am never keen on holes with blind shots to the green. Having said that there are more than enough great holes on this course to make up for it, the 18th was my favourite which was a downhill Par 4 allowing you to really open your shoulders up off the tee, your 2nd shot is also downhill into a green with water to the left, it was a great hole to end the round with. As with all the other courses I played while in Canada the practice facilities were excellent with complimentary range balls hit off turf rather than a mat. I really think more UK courses should take a lesson from this. I would also add you wouldn’t want to walk this course, as with Silver Tip it is a course where a buggy is pretty much compulsory due to the elevation changes and the long distances between tees. Overall a very impressive course that should be on everyone’s itinerary that comes to Canada.
6 / 6
Stewart Creek
July 02, 2010


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