Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course - Banff, Alberta
The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course originally opened as a 9 hole course designed by Bill Thomson in 1911. The course would later be expanded to 18 holes under Donald Ross in 1924. However, it was Stanley Thompson in 1928 who designed the layout as it plays to this day. With unlimited funds available via the Canadian Pacific Railway, Banff Springs Golf Club was the first golf course that would cost over $1 million to build. It would take 6 years of taxing physical labor, but Stanley Thompson delivered a gem in the end.
Today's course differs only slightly from Thompson's original plan. The course has been lengthened to offer a significant challenge to today's top golfers. The rotation of the holes has also been changed to accommodate a larger clubhouse due to capacity demands. The end effect is that the amazing downhill tee shot on 15 is no longer your opening tee shot as originally designed. The course also ends on a relatively pedestrian par 5 instead of the stunning 14th. The good news is that you still get to play all 18, no matter how they rotate.
The 4th hole, or the "Devil's Cauldron," is easily one of the most stunning holes in the golf world. The hole plays 170 yards over a crystal clear glacial lake with the sheer face of Mt Rundle looming in the backdrop. There is no other golf hole in the world with a 10,000 foot peak this close to the bottom of the cup. It is awesome.
As a courtesy, I have attached the highlight reel from our round. The full Canadian Rockies trip recap can be found here.