Alberta Rockies Golf Reaches For The Sky
In a challenging economy for recreational golf across North America, there’s safety in numbers. So the Resorts of the Alberta Rockies have banded to promote the virtues of their region’s natural treasures for a late-summer golfing holiday.
The co-op partners – Silvertip Resort, Stewart Creek Golf and Country Club, Canmore Golf & Curling Club, The Fairmont Banff Springs and The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge - pooled their efforts in pursuit of the lucrative golf-and-resort-lifestyle travel market. After years of acting independently, the courses realized they were only going to have the impact they desired by combining marketing and promotion.
“We always thought people knew how good the Alberta courses were,” says Gord Schultz executive director of the Canadian Rockies Golf Consortium. “Then we had people come here from Phoenix and Toronto and Washington and say, ‘We never knew this was here.’ That was a little humbling, honestly. We knew we had to roll up our sleeves and do more to sell the area.”
The cooperative has a combined 135 holes on the Alberta side of the Rockies. In 2008, they engaged Buffalo Communications, the American course ownership and management arm of Billy Casper Golf which advises properties throughout North America and Costa Rica on expanding the footprint. Since then, they’ve acquainted thousands with one of Canada’s greatest natural assets.
They have plenty to market. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge took top spot again on ScoreGolf’s Top public course rankings. The Fairmont Banff Springs golf course (2) Stewart Creek Golf Club (3), Kananaskis Country Mt. Kidd (4) and its Mt. Lorette (5) and Silvertip (13). Holes such as “Devil’s Cauldron” (Banff’s Spring’s iconic par three) or Jasper Park’s back-to-back 8th and 9th beauties are gems that leave visitors knocked out by the scenery.
And while the mountain weather can sometimes be a challenge, this summer has been splendid in the shadow of the Rockies, prompting visitors to look at late-summer trips to pay amidst the lodge pole pines and green lakes. But the people behind the consortium know that they need to sell the entire region to attract travellers in competitive times.
So they’ve created a series of packages to emphasize the attractions besides golf. Golfers can combine a round on any of seven courses with an all-day float trip to catch trout on the Bow River. All needed equipment is supplied to fish in Banff National Park. Packages start at $1018 CAD for accommodations, golf, and fishing.
Or golfers can take a heli-tour above the courses in Canmore, and then play a round at Canmore Golf & Curling Club, Stewart Creek or Silvertip. Golf packages start at $159 CAD per person per night. Then there are whitewater rafting adventures on the Kananaskis River (home of Canada’s Olympic whitewater athletes) Golfers can begin the day with a round on the Mt. Lorette course (which winds its way past the Kananaskis River) and stay at Delta Lodge on the summer special package starting at $179 CAD per person per night.
Golfers who need a little more encouragement only need to hear that their shots can soar an extra 10 percent farther in the thin air of the mountain courses. For more information on a late summer/ early fall golf treat call 1-877-323-3633 or see www.canadianrockiesgolf.ca.