Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club – a timeless Canadian gem

It was a very overdue trip, but we finally made our way up to scenic Jasper, Alberta to play and review one of Canada’s highest regarded courses — Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club. It was approximately a 4.5 hour drive from Calgary, and the trek between Lake Louise and Jasper along Highway 93 is one of the most scenic drives you can experience.

 

Lake Louise to Jasper highway 93

Beth taking in the views and stretching the legs during a pit stop

There was a lot of hype over Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club leading up to our trip. Score Golf recently ranked it #3 in their Top 100 Canada list and anyone we talked to who has played the course spoke very highly of it. Expectations were high.

When we arrived in the pro shop to check-in, I had a great first impression. It felt welcoming, down-to-earth,  and the staff were extremely friendly. While we were warming up on the range prior to our round, the pro shop manager, Troy, was making his rounds and made sure we had everything we needed for our round ahead, and offered some information about the course. A small gesture that really elevated the customer service.

The 6663 yard Stanley Thompson layout was everything I’ve come to expect from a Thompson design, plus more. It is a course set in the mountains but is not a typical mountain course. Thompson provides generous fairways and utilizes visually stunning bunkers, dramatic contouring, and natural elevation changes to challenge you. I love that it’s a very walkable layout, and I would highly recommend walking if you’re physically able to, as it definitely enhanced the experience.

A look from the fairway of the par-5 2nd hole:

Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club

I can’t say I am ever that excited to see a 240 yard par-3 on a scorecard, but the 4th hole, which plays significantly downhill, was as fun to play as it was nice to look at:

Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club

If you have a keen eye, a cool thing you’ll notice is that Thompson shaped many of the bunkers to mimic the mountains in the background. I was captivated by both the bunkers and the mountains, but unfortunately can’t speak to the challenge of playing out of the bunkers since I somehow managed to avoid every single one of them (yes, I am bragging), so you’ll have to ask my wife about that!

The dramatically downhill, 230 yard signature par-3 9th hole, named “Cleopatra”:

Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club

The par-4 11th tee shot:

Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club

If all the stunning mountain views on the front-nine weren’t enough, you’ll be treated to more as you progress through the back-nine, including a couple of fun, unique, and challenging holes along Beauvert Lake.

The par-4 14th hole, pictured below, was the most freakishly Canadian feeling hole I have ever played. Besides the stunning emerald green lake, there were canoes, a loon calling, and a bald eagle soaring overhead. We didn’t see a beaver, but I’m sure there was one nearby.

Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club

A look back from the 14th green:

Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club

The downhill 463 yard par-4 18th hole is a solid finish to a great day:

Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club

Although my expectations of the Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club were very high, it still managed to exceed them. The course was in impeccable condition — the best I have seen from a course in the mountains. The layout was fun, playable, visually stunning, cleverly challenging, and the surrounding scenery was breathtaking.

The Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club deserves every bit of praise it receives, and I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to validate this for myself and give it more well-deserved credit. The layout has stood the test of time, and will continue to do so. It is a true Canadian gem, and worthy of any golfer’s bucket-list.

Happy golfing!

Josh

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  11 comments for “Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club – a timeless Canadian gem

  1. August 8, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Josh, these are some of the best pictures I’ve seen of a golf course. For such a great course, if this is even possible, it seems Jasper Park is underrated. Sounds like you and Beth had a wonderful experience. Your review makes me want to pack up the travel bag and book a trip west again. Thank you, Mike

    • August 8, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Hey Mike,

      Thanks a lot! To be honest, I was worried about being slightly let down because of the hype, but I clearly was not. It is different than Banff, even though they are both clearly Thompson designs. He sure knows how to make the most of the terrain he is given. Highly recommend getting up there on your next trip west.

      Cheers!
      Josh

  2. August 8, 2016 at 7:03 am

    Great review and wonderful photos!

    • August 8, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      Thanks a lot Jimmy! It feels easy to take wonderful photos of a place like that.

      Cheers
      Josh

  3. August 8, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Aloha Josh,

    Great post – and leading with a picture of Beth is always a good idea.

    I like the loos of this course. Although 230 and 240 yard par 3s would have me looking hard for the short landing zones.

    Congratulations on a sand free round – don’t get rusty now.

    A Hui Hou,
    Wayne

    • August 9, 2016 at 8:49 am

      Aloha Wayne,

      I see you are onto my tricks — I’ve had good success utilizing pictures of Beth in my posts.

      Yes, the “driveable par-3’s” were a challenge, but at least they played much shorter than the scorecard indicated, which made me happy.

      Have to enjoy those sand free rounds when they happen, because they sure don’t happen often!

      Cheers!
      Josh

  4. August 14, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    That’s a course that photographs well!

  5. August 16, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    That part of the country is stunning. You are fortunate to be able to play there. Sounds like a fun time. The pics are just so beautiful.

    • August 17, 2016 at 11:02 am

      Thanks, Linley! There is certainly some unique and beautiful golf in these parts

      Cheers
      Josh

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