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Monday, July 28, 2014

Silvertip Brings Out Your Inner Mountain Man

If Grizzly Adams played golf, you’d find him on the tee at Silvertip Resort in Canmore, Alberta. Silvertip is true mountain golf, beginning with several holes in a valley but climbing steadily with a switchback layout until it climaxes with a finishing hole that descends so fast it will make your ears pop. The course rises—and falls—600 feet in total.

It also features panoramic views, crows the size of eagles, gophers, elk, and frequent visits from bears, coyotes, and wolves who take advantage of the property’s two wildlife corridors and certification as an “Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.”

Silvertip is also an eminently enjoyable golf course, with six sets of tees stretching as long as 7,140 yards and as short as 4,822.  Both fairways and greens are heavily contoured so you’ll never have a level lie or a straight putt, yet it never calls for an impossible shot.Many of the holes are visually intimidating but much easier to play than they look—or vice versa depending on how you’re swinging the clubs that day.  The 510-yard eighth looks short but plays long, for example, and brings water into the equation off the tee.  The typical hole on the back nine (if there is such a thing), features a soaring shot from an elevated tee then squeezes your scoring attempt with an approach to an elevated green.

One of the great innovations at Silvertips is the Short Course within the regular track.  Separate tee boxes on every hole create a 2,666-yard par 58 course ideal for the resort guest of any age who can’t handle the length of regular golf course but wants to enjoy the beautiful, thought-provoking green complexes.  It’s ideal for kids or the once-a-year resort golfer who wants to join in the fun.

Silvertip is a modern design by Les Furber that contrasts perfectly with the classic Stanley Thompson courses in the region like Banff Springs and Jasper Park.  It's a must-have on any golf trip to the Canadian Rockies.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

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