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The 18 hole golf course at Kananaskis Ranch was built in 2002  on lands the Brewster family has held since the late 1800’s. Bud Brewster, a fourth generation cowboy, grew up here and the golf course was the fulfilment of a long held dream.
The Brewster family are legendary in the Rockies for being tourism entrepreneurs. It started by escorting guests of the Banff Springs Hotel on pack trips, and continues to this day as Brewster Mountain Pack Trains Ltd. is a successful outfitting operation managed by the family in Banff National Park and Kananaskis Country.


Sitting on the first tee, with Mount Yamnuska towering in the distance, you can’t help but pause and stare and take the scenery in. More than a few times, on the opening holes, I remarked how the course could be considered a “poor man’s Kananaskis Golf Club.”

brewsters kananaskis ranch golf with Mount Yamnuska

With a shorter, more approachable range of holes, and scenery that easily matches what you’ll find at Kananaskis, Stewart’s Creek, or Silver Tip, alongside green fees that easily count a 50% – 75% discount of the others, this should be a popular spot for tourists to visit and check a box that they played golf in the Rockies. 


At just 5800 yards from the tips, this isn’t a course for big hitters. My round was with three course marshals from the Canmore area, all retired gentlemen who love being around the game. This is a great course for those who don’t have a lot of distance, but still possess the smarts to work their way around a course efficiently.

I played Brewster’s Golf Kananaskis Ranch in the early season and it was clear the greens didn’t winter well. There were dead spots on virtually every hole and the fairways were dead and brown.

Now I have driven through the area in the summer, after the spring rains have fallen and the course has filled in and it’s a bright, envious green. Still, the conditions of the greens was disappointing on this early May round.

This is a course you need to play a few times to understand.

Take the 7th hole, a 427 yard par 5 with a very sharp right dog leg. The tee shot demands a precise, not shorter than 190 yards, not longer than 210 yards to hit the corner angle to approach the green. Not having great local knowledge, I hit my iron dead straight and rolled through the fairway popping into a juniper bush.

There is no room for error here. 

Being punished for hitting a dead straight ball is frustrating, but this course is not for pounding the ball in the mountain air, it’s a place to work on the finesse of your game. Sure, there are a few driveable par 4s in the mid 200 yard range, but they’re immediately met by a longer par 3 pushing your iron accuracy at 212 yards.

The layout does get very repetitive.

On the front nine you have the third showing an elevated tee box, for a driveable par 4 with water guarding the right, to be mirrored on the fourth with a lower tee, an elevated green, and the same body of water again on the right.

On the back 9, the course often features an elevated tee requiring an iron to a valley, with a pitch to an elevated green. This pattern of up, down, up, repeats itself half a dozen times on the back 9 and becomes dull very fast. The only challenge might be the narrowing of the fairways the further you get into the round.

Check out the landing area at 16!

You’d think you’re teeing it up at the US Open with a narrow turning fairway barely 20 yards wide.

Another challenge for the blind, uphill shots is all the flags on the course are white! It can be impossible to judge where you should land on the flat and boring greens. 


This is not a free swinging course. Leave the big dog at home and just pack along your irons.

Brewster’s Golf Kananaskis Ranch is nice short track to practice course management by just hitting 6 irons off the tee and then pitching in to the elevated greens.  So take it easy and soak in the view of mountain golf for a fraction of the fees the surrounding courses demand.


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