This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
abound. A visit here is mandatory, even if you aren’t staying on the property. It’s difficult to imagine a more sublime setting to have a drink than the Rundle Lounge overlooking the Bow Valley. Stunning geography has a way of

inspiring extraordinary living. The 27-hole Banff Springs routes

around the hotel and along the Bow River under two towering peaks, Sul- phur Mountain and Mount Rundle. It features an original Thompson 18- hole routing that, upon its debut in 1928, was the most expensive course built in the world. It was the first golf course built north of $1 million, as loads of topsoil were imported, and the wilderness had to be tamed. Nine additional holes were eventu-

ally added, and the clubhouse has since moved, but the resort still has days when the original Thompson sequence is played.

This might not matter to some, but to the architectural aficionado, it’s difficult to imagine a more dramatic backdrop to the first and last holes than the Banff Springs Hotel. The eighth hole in that sequence, now No. 4, is called the “Devil’s Caldron,” and it is the one included among Golf magazine’s greatest par 3s. Playing 192 yards over a lake to

a bowl-shaped green with towering Mount Rundle looming behind, the hole is visually spectacular. But as dif- ficult as the hole looks, it plays rather easy. More birdies and holes-in-one are made here than any other one- shotter on the course. But one of the greatest holes in

the world wasn’t even included in the original design. During construction, an avalanche created a small glacial lake. Thompson gladly re-routed the course to take advantage of beau- tiful setting. It was a tribute to the force of Thompson’s personality that the

44 / NCGA.ORG / SUMMER 2015

The Tunnel Mountain hike yields bird’s-eye views of the Banff Springs Hotel Golf Course.

course was even built. The Canadian architect’s masterpiece replaced the resort’s original Donald Ross course, and came close to shutting down dur- ing construction multiple times. But the Toronto native clung to his vision and was able to complete the job, despite the record-setting cost. The course plays shorter than

its 6,938 yards due to its setting at more than 4,500 feet of elevation. But even though I’m able to hit my 9-iron a pro-like 150 yards, precision is still mandatory on the well-protect- ed greens. Post-round, be sure to try the Bow

Valley Grill, with its superb view, or Castello, a satisfying Italian restau- rant, to cap your day. Away from the course, seek out

the Tunnel Mountain hike. The short hike (less than three miles round-trip) yields panoramic views of the town and golf course. It’s a photographer’s delight. Connecting Banff and Jasper is

the Icefields Parkway, also known as Highway 93. Numerous stops along this drive provide one stunning vista after another. Besides Peyto Lake, which is the highest point of the 140-mile Parkway, the Bow Valley

Lake and Columbian Icefield are worthy scenic stops.

A good way station for an afternoon

drink, hike or overnight stay is Lake Louise. Sitting on the outdoor deck of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise’s Lakeview Lounge gazing at the beauti- ful alpine lake is a truly memorable and relaxing experience. There’s also the five-mile Lake Ag- nes tea house hike. It’s a workout, but the view from the top looking down on the lake and hotel is well worth it, and you can enjoy a cup of tea or a sandwich at the tea house before heading down. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is smaller than its Banff counterpart, but the same grandeur and luxurious sen- sibility prevails. Waking up to a com- manding view of the azure waters of the lake and the towering mountains behind it is unforgettable. A short drive from Lake Louise is

Moraine Lake, one of the Canadian Rockies’ iconic images. When the Fairmont Jasper Park

Lodge golf course debuted in 1925 three years before Banff, it served as a milestone in Canada because it proved a golf course could be constructed in the rugged environment of the Cana- dian Rockies.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76