FAIRMONT BANFF SPRINGS GOLF CLUB
Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Club is situated in the heart of Canada’s Rocky Mountains in Jasper National Park, set amongst thousands of acres, with unspoiled nature all around, beautiful landscape and stunning views in Alberta, Canada.
The hallowed fairways of one of the world’s most scenic golf courses are a sanctuary for those who are members of the Banff Springs Golf Club and for fortunate travelling golfers which experience the combination of natural beauty and tradition that the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course provides.
Banff Springs Golf Club opened in 1911 as a nine-hole course laid out by Bill Thomson, a Scottish expatriate who apprenticed under Old Tom Morris at St. Andrews. In 1917, management of the course was turned over the government, with the understanding the course would be expanded to 18 holes. In 1919, the government employed famed golf architect Donald Ross to advise on the expanded layout; it wasnt until 1924 the redesigned course officially opened.
But it was Stanley Thompson, Canada’s most significant and successful golf architect, who created the layout as it plays today, who also designed Jasper Park, in Alberta, Capilano in British Columbia, Chateau Montebello in Quebec, and Higland Links in Nova Scotia.
In 1927, the Canadian Pacific Railway brought Thomson in to design the new layout for Banff; money was no barrier for the Company and when unveiled in 1928, the new Banff Springs Golf Course was the most expensive ever built, having cost over half a million dollars.
The original 18-hole course was complemented by the construction of an adjoining 9 holes, and a new clubhouse. The 9-hole Tunnel Course designed by Cornish and Robinson (the former a Thompson protegé) opened in 1989; thereby completing this championship layout.
According to Schultz, in the 1920s, 180 yards was considered long, but now with the average golfer accustomed to playing over 200 yards, the course needed to be upgraded. Tee boxes have been movbunkers and water have been added according to their original design, and the greens have been reshaped to correspond to the new additions. Schultz adds that with the change in drivers and balls and an overall evolution in technology, Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course has been renovated to perfectly accommodate these advances.
The Banff Springs Golf Club is operated by the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, a huge castle like mansion overlooking both the town and the golf course. The course demonstrates his appreciation of traditional links golf courses while emphasizing the subtleties of the mountain landscape.
The Banff Springs Golf Course is a resort course in that it is affiliated with a hotel, but it also open to the general public. This means that anyone can tee it up at one of the worlds most famous courses. The golf course includes a practice facility along with a golf academy, where you can spend a half a day with a golf pro concentrating on perfecting your game.
The course features a driving range, a complete short game practice facility and the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Academy, which offers a wide range of instructional programs. Holes gently roll along the Bow River under the snow-capped peaks of Sulphur Mountain, Mount Rundle and Tunnel Mountain. Greens range from expansive and rolling to small and flat. The course may be walked, however, due to its length, many choose to use electric carts which are included in the green fee. Transportation between the clubhouse and the hotel is made easy with a shuttle that runs continuously between the two locations.
For many golfers around the world, the Banff Springs Golf Course and the Fairmont hotel that looks like a fairy-tale castle on the cliffs overhead have come to symbolize Canada as surely as the beaver, red-coated Mounties and even Niagara Falls.
While visiting a national park in Alberta, Canada, wildlife is sure to appear – even on the golf course. One of the things that Banff has become known for is the presence of elk on the fairways. It is not uncommon for golfers to have to zig-zag between as many as fifty elk sitting on the pristine fairways.
Golf can be great anywhere. But a golf vacation in Banff, Alberta is an experience of a lifetime.