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.
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:
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:
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”:
The par-4 11th tee shot:
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.
A look back from the 14th green:
The downhill 463 yard par-4 18th hole is a solid finish to a great day:
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.