Top 25 public golf courses in Calgary (within an hour drive of downtown) and Banff/Canmore

Many consider this the best hole in Canada. #4 at Banff Springs aka Devil's Cauldron

Many consider this the best hole in Canada. #4 at Banff Springs aka Devils Cauldron

The List:

1. Stewart Creek
2. Banff Springs*

Wildlife at Banff Springs seems to be always present

Wildlife at Banff Springs seems to be always present

#10 Par 3 at Banff Springs

#9 at Banff Springs

3. Hamptons

#7 at Hamptons

#7 at Hamptons, Photo from the 1st weekend it was open in 2013

4. Heritage Pointe (Pointe/Heritage 9s)
5. Wintergreen
6. Silvertip
7. Redwood Meadows
8. Links of Gleneagles
9. Kananaskis Lorette
10. Watervalley
11. Kananaskis Kidd

Opening hole @ Kidd

Opening hole @ Kidd

#4 at Mt Kidd in early season shape

#4 at Mt Kidd in early season shape

12. River Spirit (Spirit/Millburn 9s)
13. Sirocco
14. Canmore Golf Club
15. Darcy
16. Nanton
17. Lynx Ridge
18. Inglewood
19. Elbow Springs (Springs/Elbow 9s)
20. Canal at Delacour
21. Speargrass
22. Shaganappi
23. Valley Ridge
24. Springbank Links
25. Calgary Elks

It’s not until you start building this type of list you realize it’s not simple. I’ve always found it very easy to critique other top golf course lists but at the end of the day I used them as a guide to check out new tracks during my travels and too often the hype didn’t meet my expectations.

Golf course ratings really are subjective to each individual. I found this out when I consulted a few friends and local golf professionals to let me know their top 10s. I’ve played each of these courses, study golf design and even shot under par at a few of them so those are my minimal qualifications.

My list is first and foremost rated on the actual golf course design. What this boils down to in my books is did the architect make the most of the available land and make a course that is fun for hackers and scratch players alike? Secondary criteria is conditioning, service, practice facilities, pace of play (tee time spacing) and I even take a bit of the 19th hole atmosphere into the equation.

Value is a very important component but I don’t really take it into account since at the end of the day golf is expensive in Calgary. Prices start at $53 + GST for a 5200+ yard municipal course for 18 holes on Fridays-Sundays and getting one of these tee times isn’t easy. Any way you cut it we have terrible value compared to nearly anywhere in Canada and the USA.

A golf course ranking list is meant to create discussion imo and this is exactly what I hope happens since Calgary golf course reviews are so limited.

*An amazing course originally, easily the best on this list. With the routing redesign in the 1980s and poor conditioning, especially the bunkers, it’s no longer as special.

This use to be the opening hole at Banff Springs, now #15

This use to be the opening hole at Banff Springs, now #15

The old finishing hole at Banff till they muffed up the routing in the 1980s. Now #14

The old finishing hole at Banff till they muffed up the routing in the 1980s. Now #14

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About behindthecockpit

My passions are travel, food, golf and frequent flyer points which help my dreams turn into reality.
This entry was posted in General Travel Tips, Golf, Photo Posts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Top 25 public golf courses in Calgary (within an hour drive of downtown) and Banff/Canmore

  1. Will Hsu says:

    Great photos! Cheers!

  2. Thanks Will! Happy golfing and wish you plenty of #birdies

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