We’ll just come out and say it- we think our province represents the best of what Canada has to offer the golfing world, with one small exception (darn you, Cabot Cliffs!). And with the season kicking off, we think now’s the time to share our picks of the best public golf courses in Alberta to play this summer.
It’s actually pretty hard to pick our favourites, to be honest. The province offers a little bit of everything, from world-class resort courses, to challenging, links-style golf, to hidden gem options that will have you coming back year after year. So, we’re offering up a little bit of everything, and categorized them based off the price. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, and we’ve been trying to avoid carts if we’re drinking beer as well, so let’s dive in!
Here are the best public golf courses in Alberta that you need to play.
Dinosaur Trail Golf & Country Club
We’re starting things hot with one of the most unique courses in the country, let alone Alberta. The front nine on this course is pretty straightforward, with a classic club-like layout and relatively forgiving holes. But, it gives you a great chance to get your swing in check before the doozy of the back nine, where you’ll be literally in the hoodoos and experiencing some of the toughest target golf around.
Where: 6455 N Dinosaur Trail, Drumheller
Cost: $45+ for 18 holes
Coal Creek Golf Resort
Speaking of unique options, this course outside of Edmonton is right up our alley too. Dubbed ‘reclamation at its finest’, the course actually rests on a 19th mine site, which has led to some very interesting “scars” throughout the 18 holes. Plus, this is maybe one of the only golf courses in the world with black sand bunkers, which are actually copper slag.
Where: 18112, Township Road 492, Ryley
Cost: $56.25+ for 18 holes
Victoria Park Golf Course
We’re not too good for municipal golf, and never will be! Victoria Park, located in Edmonton’s River Valley, has the fun distinction of being the oldest operating municipal golf course in Canada. That’s right- you don’t need to dish out the big bucks for some seriously historic golfing here.
Where: 12130 River Valley Road NW, Edmonton
Cost: $52+ for 18 holes
Shaganappi Point Golf Course
How this course has remained municipal is beyond us, but we love it. Located just outside the downtown core, Shaganappi offers 27 holes (an 18 and a 9), a driving range, and stunning views from a few of the tee boxes. Seriously, if this was a privately-owned course, we could see green fees getting a heckuva lot higher.
Where: 1200 26 Street SW, Calgary
Cost: $47+ for 18 holes
Waterton Lakes Golf Course
Easily one of the most overlooked of the national parks courses in Canada. Waterton fell into disrepair, but has come under new ownership recently and is back on the up and up. Oh, and it got design input from Stanley Thompson himself, whose name you won’t see until much, much later in this guide.
Where: 215 Mount View Road, Waterton Park
Cost: $59 for 18 holes
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Sundre Golf Club
A great ‘resort-style’ course, but without the pretension. In addition to some very well maintained grounds, Sundre offers a fantastic setting amongst some wildly impressive trees, which you won’t often see unless you’re hanging out at a private, decades-old club.
Where: 5154 AB-27, Sundre
Cost: $75+ for 18 holes
Wolf Creek Golf Resort (Old Course)
Considered a truly authentic representation of links-style golf in Alberta, Wolf Creek also carries some seriously underrated weight behind it. While you might not recognize the name Rod Whitman, he’s the guy behind Blackhawk (one of the province’s most prestigious private clubs), and more importantly, Cabot Links in Nova Scotia.
Where: Site 10, Ponoka
Cost: $85+ for 18 holes
Paradise Canyon Golf Resort
Paradise Canyon has a similar vibe as Drumheller, but is, frankly, in much better shape. Located along the banks of the Old Man River, and offering a very fun ‘oasis-like’ setting in the otherwise unforgiving terrain, Paradise Canyon offers the best that Southern Alberta has to offer.
Where: 185 Canyon Boulevard West, Lethbridge
Cost: $95+ for 18 holes
Kananaskis Country Golf Course (Mt. Lorette)
And so, we come to the courses that are undoubtedly the biggest draw for golfers in Alberta. First up is Kananaskis Country, which offers stunning views of the nearby mountain ranges and a very low price point, all things considered. The hardest part about golfing here? Actually getting a tee time, which are nearly always sold out.
Where: #1 Lorette Drive, Kananaskis
Cost: $95+ for 18 holes
Stewart Creek Golf & Country Club
Like Coal Creek, Stewart Creek also incorporates remnants of Alberta’s mining glory days into the course. However, the setting is a little more impressive, flanked by gorgeous mountains and offering challenging holes without being impossible for mid-level golfers.
Where: 4100 Stewart Creek Drive, Canmore
Cost: $150+ for 18 holes
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf
Now, the crown jewels for the best public golf courses in Alberta. Fairmont Jasper has everything the golfing enthusiast could ask for- a stunning setting, a historic name attached to it (seriously, Stanley Thompson is maybe the most important name in Canadian golf), and of course, a resort experience that is amongst the best in the world. Is it pricy? You bet. Is it worth every penny to play there, at least once? Of course.
Where: 1 Old Lodge Road, Jasper
Cost: $145+ for 18 holes (but make use of the Birthday Round deal if you can)
Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course
Fairmont Banff is pretty much the course that put Alberta on the golf map. For over a century, this stunning mountain course has been on every serious golfers bucket list, whether they live in Canada or not. Lucky for us, we don’t have to fly halfway around the world to experience it- just a quick road trip out the mountains and this course is ready for us. If only for the unforgettable memories, this course is a must.
Where: 405 Spray Avenue, Banff
Cost: $178+ for 18 holes
There you have it! Our list of the best public golf courses in Alberta that everyone needs to play. Round up some friends, and use this guide as a kickstarter for your own private tour around the province!
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