Beautiful Course by Banff
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Beautiful 18 hole course based in the hills in a valley between two great mountain ranges in the Canadian Rockies. It plays along well manicured trails through the forest and provides many challenges.
The teepads are dirt but not trashed. The baskets are kind of a nightmare but unique. The signs at the teepads are helpful, but you may want to scout the holes because the distances can be very deceiving, especially if you're an American... the distance in meters really can through you off.
I enjoyed the design of the course a bunch, it takes advantage of the elevation on many holes and the foliage on every hole. Lots of hole variety. It was also pretty easy to navigate once you find the first hole. There is a sign next to the parking lot and you can grab a map in the shop, but hole #1 is further down the hill from basket #18 which is quite confusing at first.
The front nine are fairly easy to at least par through, but the difficulty ramps up a whole lot on the back 9. I went from -3 after 9 holes to +6 after 18... it can get hairy but you will love the challenge.
Cons: The baskets... I could write a paragraph about these baskets but I won't. I admire the uniqueness of them but the awkward, cone shaped basket and super heavy chains lead to crazy easy spit outs.
Though the course is based in the mountains, most of the views are concealed by all the trees that it plays through. However there is a premiere hole with a view that will take your breath away.
Other Thoughts: Lots of fun to be had on this course! It could use a couple improvements, such as cement tee pads and real baskets. I met up and played with a group of locals who were very friendly and a blast to play with. They informed me that the locals are pushing for improvements and also a possible second course on the property!! There is plenty of room for growth!
It doesn't hurt to bring bug spray and a good pair of shoes. Water helps too.
Remember that the recreation area is always under use by non-golfers. There were loads of mountain bikers when I played, but wasn't really an issue. Also keep in mind that there is a possibility for a lot of wildlife including elk and grizzly bears. Just keep your eyes open.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Challenging but in a fun way.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is built utilizing winding, hilly cross country ski trails that have been carved out of the coniferous forest. It's as good a setting for disc golf as I've ever seen.
The fairways are plenty wide that they don't feel like "tunnel shots" (with maybe 1 exception), usually 30-50 ft wide I think, but straying from that fairway will certainly be penalized by the trees. When you find yourself in the trees, sometimes you can play straight to the basket with a careful straight, maybe overhand shot, and sometimes it's too thick forcing you to retreat back to the fairway... it varies as the density of the forest varies.
The best part, for me, is the vertical changes. You get to throw shots here that go down hill 100+ ft, or uphill 50+ft, and across an open valley. It really makes for an interesting game that can be very rewarding when you get dialed in. Make no mistake, it's a REALLY challenging course, but that just makes your good shots that much more rewarding.
And obviously this being in the Rockies, you'll get beautiful views, creeks, wildlife, etc. There are washrooms at the start of the course, a practice hole, and the holes are well marked and everything in good condition.
Cons: The baskets aren't great, and the natural tee pads are not in good shape, some either frequently muddy or awkward with roots and such in the way.
If you're off your game and throwing a bit wild, this course could get frustrating. I went higher above par here than I ever have anywhere else... but I still had fun.
You're in the mountains here so the weather can change quickly and you're going to want to bring a jacket and maybe mosquito repellent in the spring.
Lost discs are a possibility here if you get deep in the trees, but it's not horrible as generally the ground cover isn't that thick save for some areas near the creeks.
Other Thoughts: I think everyone in Alberta knows this is a must play course, which is why the Ace Race held here is one of the biggest in the world.
If you are a disc golfer who find yourself in Calgary, you should be making a trip out to Canmore/Banff anyway, but make a round of 18 holes at this course part of that. It's worth the hour drive out from Calgary just for the disc golf.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Overall this course is just a blast to play. Its like a nice hike in the woods, with some views of the Canadian Rockies, but with Baskets. In addition to the setting the golf is really really good. Every hole has its own unique challenges, par is always a good score, and birdies are well earned.
The course has 18 teesigns/baskets, and is fairly easy to follow around. There could be some confusion navigating between holes 13-15. The Yardages are fairly accurate, but with the big elevation changes they are not all that relevant much of the time.
It is mostly made up of challenging par 3's, with a couple of true par 4's. I think there is a good mix of Righty and Lefty friendly holes.
Cons: The fairways are wide open here, but if you stray off of them you can often find yourself in jail, by that I mean you have NO shot other than pitching it back into the fairway. The course would be a little more fun if there was some alternate routes through the woods.
Footing can be bad in spots, especially the #7 fairway where there is a lot of loose rock.
There are also a few blind tee shots where a spotter can be useful.
Beginners will find some of the holes very tough and frustrating (#1, 16, 18...). First timers might have more fun at the nearby Fox Lake course.
Keep an eye out for hikers and mountain bikers as its a popular multi-use park. It is also Grizzly bear country.
Other Thoughts: This course is an absolute must if you are in the Calgary/Banff area.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 2 Not
Beautiful course in the Canmore Nordic Center with vistas of the Canadian Rockies. Some really nice elevation change holes (up and down) and a fair balance of lefty vs. righty holes. The targets are unique custom made baskets painted with Canadian colors on top. While they're obviously showing their age, their double chains and deep cages still catch fine. The first several baskets which are harder to see have been augmented with bright orange cones on top of them for enhanced visibility. Very nice tee signs and scorecard (with map and rules). Navigation of this well marked course is quite easy with a scorecard/map. There are a couple "next tee" signs on the course where applicable. Ample parking and restrooms on site.
The distances on the scorecard don't match the distances on the tee signs, neither of which matched very well with the laser distances I measured. In my opinion #13 needs a sign for mando forcing the leftward path off the tee. On a couple dogleg holes a spotter can be helpful. The tees are natural and several of them are a bit slippery with loose gravel. Always a danger of bears and mountain lions.
First pick up a scorecard at the "Trail Sports" sporting goods store (which also sells discs, although pricey at $15CAD for DX/Pro-D and $20-25CAD for Champ/Z), then walk across the parking lot to the small course sign. If you walk past the sign you'll run into basket #18, keep walking to the next trail and follow it down to the practice basket. Just past that is the first tee box.
Not an easy course, but surely not the most difficult course either with me shooting a 62 my first time there. The off fairway rough isn't too bad and will typically cost you only a stroke to recover if you play safe. Hole #16 was my favorite: a 440' hole teeing off from a bridge over a steep (for disc golf) valley to the basket on the other side, the gap is relatively narrow the entire way. I'd call this a good destination course; for what it lacks in challenge it makes up for in scenic beauty.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: This is a Long, techinical, well kept. This course has it all offering wooded to open areas, hills both up and down, tight technical shots. Challanges that you wont find most places. they even offer a map and score card at the store right at the center.
Cons: No solid tee off pads. and Can be a bit hard to fallow first time around.
Other Thoughts: This is my favourite course I have played, worth a trip just to play. dont worrry pros and cons just play it is the best.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
I Love it and it Hates Me
Pros: This course is very challenging and can become frustrating, but it is one of my favorites. It is on a cross country ski course, so elevation changes and both left and right turns abound. The majority of the holes have a very clear fairway and thickly-wooded rough. It is easy to find your way around once you find the first tee. The scenery is absolutely stunning.
Cons: The ground is rocky, which prevents predictable skips and also is hard on discs. Climbing up and down the hills will give you a good workout, which could be a pro or a con, depending upon your frame of mind. The first time you throw to an elevated basket and watch your disc clang off it and roll past you back down the hill, be sure and take a moment to breathe deeply and take in the beautiful surroundings!
Other Thoughts: In the summertime it is daylight here from before 5 a.m. until after 10 p.m., so there are ample opportunities to play.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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