Even Canadians who have never been further west than Lake Superior know all about the round trip from Calgary and Edmonton, it is one of the great drives in all of North America, with stops in Banff, Jasper and Red Deer. The route kicks off with a giant yeeh haw from the annual Calgary stampede in July and golf at Links Glen Eagles to Canmore and Banff, where you will find the world famous Fairmont Banff Springs and spectacular Silver Tip course. The tour then veers north to the iconic Rocky Mountain scenery between Banff and Jasper. Connected by the Icefields Parkway, which runs past the giant Athabaska Glacier, the roadway is always a prime viewing area for Alberta wildlife including bears, elk, deer, mountain sheep and moose that frequently wander out of the bush to the edge of the highway.
In Jasper, you’ll find the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge tucked between the mountains and its own lake. The route then loops through Edmonton with the Ranch and Cougar Creek and new courses of Blackhawk and Jagare Ridge. Head south to Red Deer, taking in the spot where the eastern plains meet the western foothills with Wolf Creek Golf Resort and the courses of the Red Deer region. Delta has conveniently located hotels in both Edmonton and Calgary to help on your tour.
Prince Edward Island is a tiny place. No spot on the island is more than 16 kilometers from the sea and its diminutive size make P.E.I the perfect example of how good things can come in small packages. The Island boasts sumptuous seafood, bountiful beaches, a thriving art scene centered around the Anne of Green Gables stories and most importantly, lots and lots of good golf course, all within an easy drive from each other. The stand out courses are top ranked: The Links at Crowbush Cove, Dundarave, Fox Meadow, Glasgow Hills, Eagles Glenn, Brudenell River, and Mill River.
Along the south coast of New Brunswick it’s possible to be swept along the Bay of Fundy’s dazzling tidal bore on the back of a kayak, photograph a pod of frolicking whales from a whale watching boat, or spend an afternoon poking through village antique stores in places like St Andrews by the Sea, probably Canada’s most historic town and certainly one of its most charming. St Andrews is also the home of the elegant Fairmont Algonquin Resort, where the new links course has a golfing heritage that stretches back more than a century.
Anyone who has ever been to Vancouver knows that it has an unfair advantage against all other cities. Ringed by mountains and the ocean, it is simply the most glorious city sights on the planet. It’s also studded with a host of other attractions, from its eclectic neighborhoods, which range from funky to avant-garde, its glittering seaside architecture and the contemplative joys of exploring Stanley park, the city is hard to beat. Even better, the Vancouver area is also making a name for itself as a center for great golf. Courses to look for include: Mayfair Lakes, Northview, Westwood Plateau, Swan e-Set Bay, Redwoods, Meadow Gardens, Morgan Creek and Furry Creek.
Tucked two hours north of Vancouver along the spectacular Sky Highway, Whistler lies beneath the twin peaks of Blackcomb and Whistler. It’s already a legendary skiing center, famous for its snow and fell good vibe. Over the last decade, golf has taken an equal place at the four-season wonderland, with golf courses that wrap around the mountains, past granite chutes and glacial ponds. Whistler is also one the few places in the world where golfer can complete the ultimate daily double- ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon. The Whistler area courses are, Whistler Golf Club, Nicklaus North, Chateau Whistler and Big Sky.
Toronto’s big league teams and attractions tend to overshadow everything around. After all, it’s tough to compete with the world’s tallest tower, an internationally acclaimed array of art galleries and museums, theater and shopping districts and a phone book full of excellent restaurants. Fortunately, the Toronto area golf courses are top notch in both quality and quantity. Within a 90-minute drive from the CN Tower, there are almost 200 courses from which to choose. Among the best are: Glenn Abbey, Royal Woodbine, Lionhead, Osprey Valley, Wooden Sticks and St. Andrew’s Valley.
Located an hour north of Toronto, the Muskoka region is known locally as cottage country. Frames by a group of seven style lakes and trees, dotted with cozy country inns and high end resorts and wrapped in a ribbon of glamour (among cottagers who have fallen for Muskoka’s charms are Shania Twain, Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn and Martin Short) Over the last decade, Muskoka has also become a golfing hotbed. Among its golfing superstars are: Lake Joseph Club, Rocky Crest, the Deerhurst Resort, Grandview, Taboo at Muskoka Sands, and the Rock, opening this summer.
The Spray, the rumble and the roar of Niagara Falls continues to be the country’s #1 tourist attraction and last year 12 million visitors made the pilgrimage to Canada’s biggest water works. On the way, they discovered that the Niagara area is also home to a terrific winery trail, a classy casino, the Shaw Festival and for shopaholics, an enormous factory outlet mall. Golf is also making a splash in the Falls, especially with the recent opening of 45-hole facility, Legends on the Niagara. Other area golf courses on the must play list are: Royal Niagara, Hunters Pointe, Peninsula Lakes and Whirlpool. The Delta Meadowvale is a convenient base for most of the Ontario courses, as well as the Toronto Pearson Airport.
Quebec, long known for its rich and varied culture, historical landscapes, vibrant cities and highly contagious joie de vivre, is also developing a reputation for high quality of its golf. Set against a spectacular backdrop of rolling hills and forests, and in the fall, fabulous colors, Quebec’s courses offer great golf.
Two resort areas in the Belle Province worth checking out are Le Chateau Montebello and Le Manoir Richelieu. Both Fairmont Resort properties, Montebello sits about an hour away from Ottawa and Montreal, on the edge of the Ottawa River and against the granite edges of Wescott Mountain. It boast a Stanley Thompson designed golf course and a grand, log built hotel that resembles a wilderness castle.
Le Manoir Richelieu is perched on the Pointe-au-Pic Cliff, high above the St. Lawrence River in the Charlevoix region east of Quebec City. The resort, which includes a golf course that dates back to 1925 recently underwent a $140 million makeover and the new amenities include a casino and spa.