ALBERTA AND BC—Canada—You’ve had the lessons, spent time practicing and know about proper stance and posture. But as a golf newbie, you know you have some more work to do before you book a tee time at Pebble Beach. “Your first experiences have to be positive,” says K. Gordon Schultz, President of Golf Canada’s West, a company that specializes in golf vacations in Alberta and British Columbia. “You don’t want to start on challenging courses. The game is tough enough as it is.”
All courses welcome newbies, but Schultz warns there are certain considerations every new player should think about before choosing a golf course. “As a newbie, you’re looking for courses that don’t have a lot of elevation changes, that have relatively flat lies, and have traditional designs with no hidden hazards,” he says. “You want to keep the ultimate challenge down.”
With these guidelines in mind, here are three of the best golf courses in Alberta and BC for newbies.
1. Whistler Golf Club in Whistler, BC
The oldest golf course in Whistler, Whistler Golf Club is a par 72 course that was designed by Arnold Palmer. “Whistler is a traditional risk/reward course with no hidden hazards,” says Schultz “which makes it great for newbies.” Fir trees, snowcapped peaks, gentle mountain streams and lakes add to the ambiance, making this an enjoyable course for any golfer, newbie or not.
2. Harvest Golf Club in Kelowna, BC
Designed by acclaimed architect Graham Cooke, Harvest Golf Club is a championship-length golf course of traditional design. “None of the hazards on this course are hidden,” says Schultz, making it one of the best golf courses in BC for newbies. The recommended pace of play here is 4:15, which Schultz admits can be daunting for golfers without a lot of experience. “Think about what club you’re going to pick and be ready to hit the ball when it’s your turn,” he advises. “Be cognizant of the group behind you, and try to keep up with the group in front of you.”
3. Canmore Golf and Curling Club in Canmore, Alberta
Pristine greens bordered by snowcapped mountains make Canmore Golf and Curling Club one of the top destinations for a golf vacation in the Canadian Rockies, but its classical design is what makes it a draw for newbies. “This is a tight, tree-lined course that challenges all players,” says Schultz. “It’s classically designed, and a lot of fun to play.”
Looking for more of the best things to do on your Canadian Rockies vacation?
Don’t pack up your golf clubs as soon as you’re finished on the fairway. There’s plenty more to do during your stay in the Canadian Rockies. Visit Banff National Park or Jasper National Park, raft the Kicking Horse River, or feel the rush on a zipline tour. For more activities in the Canadian Rockies, check out Banff Travel or Jasper Vacations. Eager to get on the whitewater? Visit AlbertaRafting.org for more information about whitewater rafting in the Canadian Rockies.