Did you know that playing golf in the Canadian Rockies is good for your health? Studies show that living, working, and playing at altitude not only reduces risk of heart disease, it also contributes to losing weight. So if you’ve longed to tee it up with snow-capped mountains as a playing partner, here’s why the Alberta town of Canmore’s three courses may be just what the doctor ordered.
Back in the 19th century, the University of Innsbruck in Austria discovered the health benefits of vacationing in the mountains. Tourists found their blood pressure lowered, they lost weight, and they slept better.
It so happens that Canmore is home to three of the most beautiful golf courses on the planet. Imagine jumpstarting your intestinal fortitude, as well as your golf game, while being surrounded by mountain scenery that is suitable for framing.
Canmore is an international mecca for individuals infatuated with every sport that goes vertical. It stands to reason that 18-hole layouts in this charming mountain town offer the kind of oxygen, scenery, and adrenaline rush that are the closest you’ll find to extreme golf.
Silvertip Resort Golf Course, Stewart Creek Golf and Country Club, and Canmore Golf and Curling Club share the perfect prescription for getting physical in an environment that’s so pure, even the elk run marathons.
Silvertip Resort Golf Course
Before blasting your first tee shot, the Silvertip driving range is one you’ll never forget. Golfers hit practice shots into the face of Mount Lady MacDonald. Topping out at over 8,000-feet, Lady MacDonald leans out so far, not even your highest drive will near its peak.
You’ll enjoy listening for accents among the Silvertip staff. More than a dozen members of the Silvertip team hail from Australia. Many of the Australian natives are drawn to Canmore’s world-class mountain climbing, biking, hiking, and skiing opportunities.
It’s hard not to fall in love with Silvertip’s 18th hole. From the elevated tee box, you’ll feel inclined to duck to keep from brushing your golf cap on the clouds. Upon reaching the green, keep walking to the outdoor deck at Stoney’s Bar & Grill.
All Alberta golf courses pride themselves in offering outdoor dining and imbibing options with views that are to die for. Stoney’s features an awesome view of the 18th green. The emerald green lake next to the putting green is blindingly brilliant on a sunny day.
Stewart Creek Golf & Country Club
If mountain range photography is what drew you to Canmore in the first place, Stewart Creek features its own version of the Fab Four. Your head will swivel at the Cascade, Pigeon, and Three Sisters mountains, as well as Ha Ling Peak.
History buffs will buzz over the fact that Stewart Creek is built on an abandoned coal mining site. The course architect kept two historical remnants of these mine shafts visible on the front and back nine.
Before or after your round, it’s hard not to appreciate the visual ambiance of the Stewart Creek clubhouse. This two-tiered facility’s glass exterior features high-def views of the 18th hole and the Rundle Mountain Range. Inside the clubhouse you’ll rub elbows with members and vacationers who’ve played golf around the world. Stewart Creek exudes an international vibe bound by an appreciation for the game.
Stewart Creek is also a hub for golfers turned mountain fanatics. Several non-Canadian staffers relocated to Canmore in order to advantage of the area’s plethora of mountain sport opportunities. Beyond the obvious skiing, climbing, and biking options, you’ll often hear mentions of Canmore’s Nordic Center where athletes take part in biathlon training. Spend a couple of days in Canmore, and you’ll observe that this town of 12,000 people may be one of the fittest cities in the world.
Canmore Golf & Curling Club
Canadian Rockies golf makes a point of immediately creating an awareness of someplace special. On the first hole at Canmore Golf & Curling Club, you’re advised to hit your drive toward the crevasse separating the Rundle and Cascade mountains. Is there another course in the universe where your initial target reference is not one, but two mountain ranges?
There is something to be said for researching the nuances of your vacation destination. At the Canmore Golf & Curling Club, you’ll discover Canmore is located smack dab in the middle of the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames hockey rivalry. It may be wise to ask your playing partner which side of this intense rivalry he or she leans before spewing your take on who should rule in the coming season.
Upon commenting that Canmore Golf and Curling Club is even more beautiful in person than in photographs, be prepared to receive a smile and this common refrain, “The photos don’t lie.” Considering the spectacular views and conditions, Canmore Golf and Curling Club’s modest greens fees may be the Canadian Rockies best golf value. An added perk is the way members open their arms to newcomers.
Play One, Play All
Whether you play one or play all of the Canadian Rockies three healthiest golf courses, each venue promises to cleanse your soul. This is extreme golf with a premium placed on magnificent mountain views and an outdoor setting that is so quiet you’ll feel obliged to look skyward before speaking. If God plays golf, Canmore in the Canadian Rockies is where he’d book his first tee time.
Tim Cotroneo is a freelance writer specialising in travel, business, and golf.
Another way of experiencing the Rocky Mountains is to board the Rocky Mountaineer for train trip to remember.
For more ideas on what to see and do while visiting Canada go to Best of Canada.