Golfing at the Banff Springs Golf Course is one of those “must do’s” for golfers in the Calgary area. It has a long, distinguished history, which includes visits by royalty, movie stars and entertainers.
The course was first set in place as a nine-hole course in 1911 by Bill Thomson. It was expanded to 18 holes in 1924. Prince Edward VIII (the future King Edward) played the course on his cross-Canada tour in 1919. It was Stanley Thompson, Canada’s most significant and successful golf architect, who created the layout as it plays today. The current Stanley Thompson course is named after him. It was, at a million dollars when it opened in 1928, the most expensive course in the world. Thompson’s layout incorporated some of the original holes but also included a few new ones, such as Devil’s Cauldron, a 200-yard par 3. More about that below.
In 1954, Marilyn Monroe filmed A River of No Return in Banff and was photographed on the course along with Joe DeMaggio. You can find that photo in one of the “pit stops” along the way, as well as in the Heritage Room in the Banff Springs Hotel.
One of the most famous holes in all of golfdom is the par 3, 4th hole on the Thompson course, known as the Devil’s Cauldron. While we were there, two of our foursome got engaged. A spectacular backdrop for a spectacular event. The hole itself is a visual treat marked by water in the front, and a surrounding of bunkers, so a perfect launch is the only way to make par. It’s downhill, but don’t be fooled. It’s a challenge. Stanley Thompson said that when he designed the hole, it was intended to be the “last word on golf.” Nuff said.
The 14th hole brings you face to face with the towering Banff Springs Hotel. A perfect place to pause to get that group shot.
The courses are expensive to play – $259 for the Stanley Thompson course, and $109 for Tunnel Mountain. Alberta residents save 35%. The courses are open June to October.
While it’s a public course, memberships are available, but are restricted to residents of the Bow Valley and limited to 200 adults and 75 juniors.
Playing Banff is a memorable experience, and well worth putting aside a little extra holiday cash to play!
Everyone wants to improve their game.
Check out the new version of an indispensable golfing handbook: The Four Secret Magic Moves PGA Pros Don’t Want You to Know & How To Use Them.
If you like this content, we invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. We send out useful reviews of golf courses, and offer a variety of golfing products. If your game needs a little polish, we have links to helpful resources.
A Word About Our Partners
We’re big fans of golfing. In fact, we live on one of the finest private courses in Alberta! We’ve partnered with a few big names to help get you to where you want to go…in style! You’ll find them along the right side of the page, or look at the links below. By the way, we receive a small commission, at no cost to you, should you wish to purchase from them.
We’ve just partnered with two new companies. Consistent Golf is a great place for advice on ways to improve your game. Trying to improve your swing? Take a look at The Stress Free Golf Swing – Ben Hogan’s Secret to get you started. How is your short game? Could use some improvement, right? Try this book from Consistent Golf.
And Worldwide Golf Shops has every club and accessory you can think of. And they boast the best prices around. If you’re in the market, give them a look here.
Looking for golf clubs? Check out the deals at Carl’s Golfland. They are having their biggest sale of the year right now until March 28. Click this link, or check the right side of the page.
Amazon carries a large assortment of golf clubs and accessories. Click here, or on the right side of the page to get you started in your search.
And we’re partners with the new eBay new and used program, so if budget is a consideration, check out the eBay link here, or on the right side of the page for golf club deals and more.
Have a look at our Cheap Flights page for some search suggestions, and check out our partners listed along the right side of the page who can help with flights, accommodation and travel resources.