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hen Golf magazine unveiled its greatest 18-hole list as part of its “The 500 Greatest


World’s Greatest Golf Holes” book, the four greatest par 3s in the world were No. 15 at Cypress Point, No. 4 at National Golf Links, No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass—and No. 4 at Banff Springs in Alberta, Canada. Talk about some heady company. “People have high expectations about that hole,” said the resort’s director of golf, Steven Young. “But it manages to over-deliver every time.” I agree. I never thought I’d see anything


as extraordinary as Big Sur’s Bixby Bridge when I first laid eyes on it from Hurricane Point some 20 years ago. The magnitude and beauty staggered my senses. But each time I visit Peyto Lake in the Canadian Rockies, it re-emerges as my favorite place in the world. Situated between the charming mountain towns of Banff and Jasper on the Icefields Parkway, in Alberta, Canada, Peyto Lake’s vista serves up the perfect blend of the area—a bright turquoise lake surrounded by towering peaks. Northern Californians are blessed with numerous stunning vistas throughout the region: Yosemite Val- ley, the Marin Headlands and McWay Falls come to mind. But the scenery in the Canadian Rockies is just spectacu- lar. At seemingly every turn, the views are downright mind-boggling. While the golf here is amongst most visually spectacular in the world, it’s safe to say that the sport is not the first draw.


Banff (90 minutes) and Jasper


National Parks (three hours) are a spectacular drive through the Cana- dian Rockies once you land at Calgary International Airport. With one look at Peyto Lake and the many other stunning stops along the Icefields Parkways (which connects the two towns), it is clear that hikers and nature enthusiasts have found heaven on earth.


42 / NCGA.ORG / SUMMER 2015


The Devil’s Caldron at Banff Springs is one of the finest par 3s in the world.


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