Saturday, May 14, 2011

Banff Golf Magazine's highest-ranked Canadian golf resort is the Fairmont Banff Springs, which captured Gold Medal status in 2010. This year the property celebrates 100 years of organized golf with a variety of special events and packages.
Neither the William Thompson original nine nor the Donald Ross redo remain, but what's left are 27 memorable holes set inside the Rocky Mountain scenery of Banff National Park. Combine that with a castle-like edifice and its 11 dining and drinking establishments, horseback riding and the Willow Stream Spa, and it's easy to see why our readers draped a gold medal around its neck.
When most folks speak of golf at Banff, they're referring to the Stanley Thompson-designed 18 that debuted in 1928. Artfully crafted mounds and bunkers mimic mountain shapes in the distance, resulting in classics such as the 4th and the 14th.
Mountain scenery practically overpowers you at the 192-yard, par-3 4th, called "Devil's Cauldron," with a downhill plunge over a glacial lake, while the 475-yard, par-4 15th starts with an elevated tee shot over the confluence of the Bow and Spray Rivers. Tackle Banff in September and you'll dodge elk in the fairways.
Stay and Play packages start at $299 CDN per night ($312 USD). 403-762-2211,

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