Having grown up playing golf in a small town, I have a huge soft spot for small town courses. It has instilled a permanent sense of appreciation for access and affordability, both of which were crucial in giving me the opportunity to fall in love with the game of golf. Sundre Golf Club, located in the small town of Sundre, Alberta, provides not only access and affordability, but a great golf experience to boot.
When I think about the town of Canmore, the first things that usually come to mind are the hardcore outdoor activities such as back country skiing, mountain biking and rock climbing. However, our recent visit to Canmore Golf and Curling Club set me straight -- Canmore is also a very proud golf town. The Canmore G&CC was born in 1926 when local residents comprised primarily of coal miners and businessmen funded the building of the first 9 holes with sand greens, coffee cans for holes, and a membership fee of $5.
For this episode of A Casual 9, I am humbled to have the provincial governing body for golf in Alberta since 1912 -- Alberta Golf -- join us. Alberta Golf is a subsidiary of our national governing body, Golf Canada, and conducts amateur championships within Alberta, including the Alberta Men’s and Ladies’ Amateur, The Alberta Open, and many more. They also run programs for junior golf development, performance development, grow the game initiatives, they administer the Rules of Golf and the handicap system within Alberta, provide scholarship programs, and more. Please enjoy.
I continue to be humbled by all the amazing golf courses we've been able to play and write about over the years, and looking back on 2017, it was no exception. Our 2017 journeys took us to the California desert, Vancouver Island, the Monterey Peninsula, Ontario, and the Canadian Rockies. Needless to say, there was no shortage of tremendous courses to discover for the first time.
Our Top 10 Courses of 2015 set the bar extremely high, but 2016 was no slouch. We started and ended the year in Hawaii by visiting Maui in January and Kauai in December. Both islands have spectacular golf and are strongly represented on this list. Despite what some major publications want you to think, ranking golf courses is always subjective (and sometimes political). After much contemplation, here are my top 10 golf courses played in 2016: