Banff Springs Golf Course

We continued our mountain trip to Banff Springs Golf Course.  Banff was ranked #6 in ScoreGolf’s top 100 courses in Canada for 2014.  Compared to Stewart Creek and Silvertip, this was a much flatter and perhaps easier course.  The course itself is very playable, complete with an occasional ‘wow’ hole framed by the mountains or by the Fairmont Banff Hotel.

We found Banff to be a nice balance between being tourist friendly and great views but to be honest, there are better deals/value for your golfing dollars just 20 minutes south of Banff in Canmore.  For a course that is just as interesting and playable, I’d recommend Stewart Creek.  In terms of pure visual sensory overload, you might want to check out Silvertip first.

Regardless, it was yet another excellent day of golf for the crunchy couple in the mountains!

Welcome to Banff Springs, a Stanley Thompson Design

This is the driving range backdrop

We actually had a huge storm brewing behind us all day long, chasing us all the way to the 18th and luckily, we finished just in time before thunder and heavy rain downpour got to us on the course.  *phew*

 

Silvertip, Canmore

Day 2 of our trip had us golfing the beautiful Silvertip golf resort.

One thing I’ll never get used to is the thin mountain air.  I didn’t grab the right club out of the cart on hole #10 greenside.  I thought I was 30 yards short of the green, but the ball was actually another 60 yards further back.  So that meant a hike back up the mountain (across the fairway) to the cart, then back down to 90yards out, then back up 90 yards to the green, chip on, putt out, then hike back up the mountain slope to the cart.  Wow, I was still trying to catch my breath for the next 2 holes afterwards from all that hiking!

Welcome to Silvertip!

A real pretty par 5. It doglegs right and then straight UPHILL to the pin

A fun par 4. I pulled my drive left of the tall single pine, hit the forest, bounced out and had 200y uphill left to the pin on the right! Hybrid to greenside in between the bunkers (phew), chipped on and putted out.

Looking back on to the tee box on the same par 4 hole

2nd shot on hole #18. We both landed on the right fringe from this area. Hard not to get distracted with the view instead!

Indian Canyons, Palm Springs, CA

One of our favorite course was Indian Canyons – South Course.  My friend had played this course before last Christmas and insists on coming back and I can understand why.  It’s secluded behind the mountains, quiet, and very scenic as you can see for yourself.  The course is in great shape, including fast rolling greens and a nice practice area that we took advantage of.  Also, finally, I started to get in touch with my driver again and made some progress with my irons to get back into my usual bogey golf range.  That, combined with an afternoon of 27*C really capped off another amazing day of vacationing and golf.

 

Lucky my ball stopped rolling towards the drink! Lucky that I’m a righty in this situation.

 

Every hole is like a postcard!

From the practice green

 

 

 

Another nice shot right down the middle!

 

 

Palm Desert Country Club, Palm Desert, CA

We played Palm Desert Country Club the next day, another well maintained public course that weaves in and out through a community.

http://www.palmdesertcountryclub.com/

Some people dislike playing so close to houses but it never bothers me- afterall, they should never be in play, right?

Well, I discovered why after my opening drive massively push sliced almost into someone’s back yard!  Even the starter gave me a hearty “WOAH There!”  🙂

In the end, despite another very rusty round, we thoroughly enjoyed the course- helpful staff, everything was very open and fair with no blind shots and no unwanted surprises.

Another early morning start

Unbelievably green and lush in the middle of a desert