- Hyp Kate
Course in Focus: Banff Springs Golf Course
Located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff Springs Golf Course is one of the most picturesque and challenging golf courses in the world—as well as in Ultimate Golf.
Banff Springs joined the Ultimate Golf world in March of 2020, but in real life, the course first opened in 1911. At opening, the course had just nine holes, design by Scottish golf professional William Thomson. The course was expanded to 18 holes by Donald Ross in 1923. But it was Stanley Thompson, Canada’s most significant and successful golf architect, who created the layout the course still boasts today.
When Thompson's course was unveiled in 1928, it was the most expensive golf course ever built. The new layout incorporated some of Ross’s original 18 holes, but also included some stunning new ones, including the iconic Devil’s Cauldron—a short par 3 over a glacial lake, nestled below a steep mountain. Devil’s Cauldron is one of the most famously scenic holes in the world of golf.
At an elevation of over 4,500 feet, Banff Springs is one of the highest golf courses in North America. This means that golfers will need to adjust their swings to account for the thinner air and reduced ball flight. The course is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, with breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains and the Bow River. Wildlife sightings are also common, with elk, deer, and even bears sometimes making appearances on the course.
Banff Springs Golf Course is known for its challenging terrain, with narrow fairways, steep inclines, and tricky greens. It has been the site of several professional golf tournaments, including the Canadian Open and the PGA Seniors Championship.
Aside from the pros, Banff Springs Golf Course is open to public play. However, membership at the Banff Springs Golf Club is restricted to residents of Bow Valley and is limited to just 200 adults and 75 juniors, making it quite the exclusive experience.
A number of notable names have played Banff Springs over the years, including members of the Royal family, some of golf's biggest professional stars, and even Joe DiMaggio. And YOU can stop by any time you'd like for a round of your own, just by opening up Ultimate Golf!