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Banff Springs Golf Course – Unrivaled Scenery

Hole 4 at Banff Springs Golf Course

Banff Springs Golf Course – Unrivaled Scenery

As soon as you step foot on the hallowed fairways of Banff Springs, you are immediately taken in awe of the spectacular setting that surrounds the course. Not only is Banff Springs one of the world’s most scenic courses; it also presents a thrilling challenge that ranks it among the best golf courses in Canada.

It definitely should be a golf destination on every “golf connoisseurs” list. You can tick it off yours, as well as 7 other scenic courses, on our Candian Rockies Golf Tour in August 2020.



Banff Springs dates back to 1911 when it was opened as a 9-hole course. Bill Thomson, a Scot who worked under Old Tom Morris at St Andrews, designed the original layout. In 1924, Donald Ross expanded on Thomson’s work to establish an 18-hole course.

However, it was Canada’s most revered course architect, Stanley Thompson, whose work made the course a world-class golf destination. Thompson moved mountains – literally – using hundreds of men, horses, mules and rail cars to shape the earth. By the end of it, all that was left was perfection.

Since then, the course has changed considerably, particularly in the 1980s with improvements that included changed routing, a new clubhouse, and an additional nine holes.







Distance (metres)



Famous golfer Bobby Locke once said Banff Springs was “out of this world” – a comment shared among every golfer who has played here. Every hole is beautiful, unique and special.

The actual hole design of Banff Springs is remarkable – traditional, yet timeless. Thompson has created a thrilling layout that winds along the edge of rivers, runs up the sides of mountains and uses optical illusion to challenge – and excite – every level of golfer.

One of his trademarks is his bunkers that are highly-lipped and strategically placed to intimidate the golfer. In saying that, there are plenty of nice landing areas and the greens and rough are manicured perfectly.

Keep your eyes out for passing elk, caribou and bears that will appear out of nowhere. It certainly adds to already unique golfing experience!



If we have to pick one, it is the 4th hole, Devil’s Cauldron. It is famous for being one of the best par-3s in golf and was even voted in the best 18 holes in the world by Golf Magazine in 2000.

First thing you will do is take a photo. The scenery is unreal. The majestic Mount Rundle rises in the backdrop, whilst a beautifully clear glacial lake separates you from the flag.

With that distraction in mind, you now have to clear the lake (a 155-metre carry) and land your ball on the green. From the elevated tee box, the green looks the size of a postage stamp. It sits in a natural bowl and is surrounded by 5 bunkers… all we can say is good luck!



Banff Springs was the first course to cost more than USD 1 million dollars to build – making it the most expensive course in the world in 1928.


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