BACK in the early 1980s I enjoyed a time I fondly refer to as my “Ski- Bum” period. Winters were spent in Canada, Austria and Utah in my pursuit of winter adventure. While the finest skiing was experienced at Snowbird – just outside Salt Lake City – the award for the most beautiful area goes hands down to Banff in Canada.
Golf was just a small blip on the radar in those days and I was vaguely aware of a golf course below the Banff Springs Hotel – I even once went and had a look at the first tee. But that was as close as I came to hitting a shot.
Since then the order of the course has changed, the first hole now becoming the 15th. Plus, the tee box on the old first has been shifted from near the Bow River to an elevated spot higher up towards the hotel.
The location of the new tee box is of some debate, but the real issue is the changing of the hole order to accommodate the new clubhouse. For me there could be nothing more grand than to stand on the tee of the old first hole, with Mt Rundle soaring above the fairway, and teeing up for the great adventure that is the Banff Springs golf course.
For many golfers a game at Banff is what dreams are made of, and the old first hole encapsulated all that is magnificent about Banff. It immediately made all the effort imminently worthwhile. For me, the new first simply doesn’t have that charisma. Ø