Kananaskis Country Golf Course #1 Lorette Dr, Kananaskis, Alberta |1-877-591-2525 Green fees: $68 – $125
In 2013 Alberta was devastated by riotous floods coming off the Rocky Mountains. The perfect combination of a high snowpack and heavy rains resulted in a rapid melt of a deluge of water flowing off the mountains. Calgary suffered billions in damage, High River had entire communities flooded, highways were wiped out, and one of Canada’s golfing jewels, Kananaskis Country Golf Course was ripped apart by mud and debris.
But now, 5 years later, as Kananaskis Country Golf Course wraps up its rebirth season, you’d be hard pressed to find any evidence of anything that covered the course 5 years earlier. It has been resurrected to be just as stunning after as before.
Banff gets all the attention, but I really do love Kananaskis Country more the valleys here are more narrow, the mountains more dramatic, and closer. Even the animals are closer (there’s no highway fence here keeping elk, goat, sheep, or bears off the road and they will go on the road!).
Kananaskis feels far away from the crowds and it’s a great place to escape into the wilderness of the Rockies. Some might camp, or hike, but we’re here to golf, and Kananaskis Country Golf Course is a comfortable place to play no matter what shape your game.
There are two sets of 18 to play here, the north course is the Mt. Lorette Course (it features a couple of large lake sized water hazards), the south course is the Mt. Kidd Course and has a few more striking elevation changes while both dance back and forth across the Kananaskis River.
While there are targeted hazards throughout the course, the fairways are wide open allowing you a free swing (provided you can reasonably hit your target).
There are 5 sets of tees on the course and, as Rollie at the Starters’ Shack said, “it shouldn’t be a hard round, but there are teeth.” Like the 10th hole which has a bunker right in middle at 150 yards out with the tee boxes staggered to give varying views to mess with your targeting.
You will find a rogue tree, a larger bunker (sand is almost impossible to get up and down from – for me anyway), some water, a dogleg around a hill, or a river on every hole, but the biggest distraction to your game will come from the scenery.
Keep your camera handy – just remember to keep up your pace of play.
The greens are hard and fast and yet I still found a quick “Tiger step” after each stroke that soon became a running joke in our foursome.
I’d hit a putt, and then I’d hop after it just like Tiger knowing it would go in. I made them all.
The staff were incredibly friendly. From bag drop to the starter to the halfway hut to the staff at the Summit Restaurant (with an incredible patio overlooking both courses throughout the valley), the service was just as perfect as our experience on the course.
I had a few favourite holes, playing from the back tees on 16 was fun to try and hit a 215 yard par 3 with a long iron was fun (I hit it on the 2nd try), but hitting it stiff to the island green at 4 stands out for me (not to mention nailing a lot of long putts that drove my partners crazy).
Kananaskis Country Golf Course is everything a perfect day on the course should be: casual, competitive, rewarding, scenic, and fun. I’m so glad she’s back and I can’t wait to get back.
Disclosure: We were guests of Kananaskis Golf Course for our round.