Canada is home to many incredible things like poutine, maple syrup and ice hockey. For the golfers of the world, they'll see Canada as one of the top priorities on their touring bucket list. From British Columbia and Nova Scotia to West Vancouver, the country is rife with great courses suited to players of ability levels.
With over 2,600 golfing facilities in the country, you'll probably need some help prioritizing courses on your trip. Luckily, Ask Genie has compiled a list of Canada's 10 best golf courses, so you can focus on how to play instead of where.
The 10 Best Golf Courses to Visit in Canada
In Canada, golf is up there, with ice hockey as one of the nation's beloved sports. Candian golf courses are a match made in heaven, combining the country's stunning natural landscapes with mild, relaxed summers.
The clubhouses benefit from the mixture of English and French architectural traditions that meet in the country, too - contributing to some of the most stunning locations in the world of golf.
From coast to coast, Canada offers a diverse range of golfing experiences. Golfers can enjoy courses dotted across the rugged shoreline on the Atlantic coast, providing scenic ocean views during rounds.
As you make your way inland, golf courses in Ontario and Quebec showcase lush green fairways framed by towering trees. These parkland-style courses are elegantly designed to test players' skills while offering amazingly serene settings.
In the Canadian Rockies and other mountainous areas, you'll find some of the most unique public courses in the world, where golfers are treated to views of perfect vistas with snowy mountains, pristine lakes and meadows. These courses blend seamlessly with their natural surroundings, offering some of the best golfing experiences money can buy.
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1. The National Golf Club
Claiming to be "the best pure golf experience in Canada" and widely revered by visitors as one of the best in the country, The National Canada Golf Club earns its place on our list. The course opened to the public in 1975 and is respected as one of the most challenging courses in Canada and even the world.
There's little room for error with their narrow, tree-lined fairways, but visitors will all agree that the toughest challenge comes when you get to the putting greens. Known for being some of the best in North America, the famous surfaces adjust deceptively from being smooth and predictable to cruel and borrowed over a few inches of green.
This makes for some captivating drama when it comes to the final putt. Golfers love this course for its consistency, as The National Golf Club promises a perfect blend of beauty and challenge with every hole.
This private golf course has a membership starting fee of $50,000, with annual fees after that being around $8,000.
2. Hamilton Golf (West and South)
Conveniently placed less than an hour's drive from the centre of Toronto, Ontario, Hamilton Golf and Country Club gives a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of Canada's biggest city. The course boasts its fair share of history, too, having opened over 100 years ago and played host to several Canadian Open tournaments.
Year after year, Hamilton Golf Club strives to be the flagbearer of golf in Canada, linking the country's rich golfing traditions with world-class modern-day standards. Alongside this, there have been some renovations to the site over the past few years, giving the famous greens a refreshing and tasteful resurgence that has gone down well with patrons.
To enjoy one of the country's best, most exclusive golfing communities, you'll need to obtain a membership. For unlimited golf and priority tee times, members' fees start at $1,567.05.
3. Cabot Cliffs
The most scenic golf course in Nova Scotia, Cabot Cliffs, has been dubbed amongst golf fans as not a golfing day out but a spiritual adventure. Just about a mile from the famous Cabot Links, the Cliffs course had much to live up to when it first opened to the public. The course lived up to its stunning scenery, however, climbing to the upper echelons of Canada's Top 100 courses within months of opening.
Overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Cabot Cliffs' stunning fairways glide unusually from wetland to woodland and meadowland. The landscape and expert design makes way for interesting, fun and varied golf. If you're considering visiting Cabot Cliffs, do it; you won't look back.
Rates vary depending on whether you're a resort guest or not, but green fees tend to start at around $90 per person for this scenic golfing experience.
4. Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course
Who'd have thought that the Canadian Rockies would make some of the highest-ranked courses in the country? Redesigned by the legendary Stanley Thompson, the picturesque setting of Fairmont Banff Springs can't help but grab the attention of any golfer, regardless of their skill level.
Navigating from hole to hole and taking in the famous, almost angelically placed backdrops, visitors can lose themselves in the forests, taking life one swing at a time. The course was built in 1911 to accompany the awe-inspiring neo-gothic hotel, The Castle in The Rockies.
The experience starts at around $230 per person and alters depending on timings and membership level.
5. George's Golf and Country Club
Another excellent option for anyone in the Toronto area, as it is essentially in the city's centre. St. George's is known for its tight twisting fairways and rippling changes in terrain. Similar to Hamilton Golf, the golf and country club has a stellar reputation in the country. In its long history, it has deservedly hosted many a Canadian Open.
With par set at 71 for this course, it's a challenging day out for golfers at any level and not one to be missed. For their vibrant greens and rich history, you'll need a membership to play at this course. Membership rates start at $70,000.
6. Highlands Links
Situated in the Breton Cape Highlands, Highlands Links is a thrilling yet traditional course that lives naturally among the original landscape it was built upon. The course has panoramic views of the coast, stunning dense woodlands and natural bodies of water that serve an array of wildlife.
Visiting fees to this 18-hole course start at $80 and vary depending on time and season - a fair price for such a stimulating golf experience!
7. Jasper Park Lodge Golf Course
In the uniquely rugged Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Stanley Thompson is responsible for yet another golfing wonder of the world. Dreamily placed in a valley overlooking Lake Beauvert, these fairways offer some of the most awe-inspiring driving in the country.
With large greens and few undulations on the surface, the Jasper Park Lodge Golf Course is an approachable and enjoyable golfing experience that most levels can enjoy. Green fees start at around $175 during off periods.
8. Predator Ridge Golf Resort
Predator Ridge is situated in Vernon, British Columbia, and is revered for its luxury golfing experience both on and off the greens. The Predator Ridge boasts some of the best conditions in the country, from expertly kept fairways to elegant dining and housing.
With a total of 36 holes to enjoy while taking in the grassy hills of the Okanagan Valley, alongside live events in the resort all year round, it makes sense to spend more than a day here. Daily guest fees start from $135, increasing during peak times and busy periods.
9. Capilano Golf and Country Club
Strikingly placed, nestled between mountains of British Columbia, the Capilano Golf Club was chiselled from a hillside of fir trees and rock. These wrap themselves around the sloped fairways, making for some tight and narrow holes. If you bring nothing else to Capilano, ensure it's your driving accuracy and maybe a raincoat, just in case. As Sean Connery famously said…
"There's no better place to be on a Monday morning than the first tee at Capilano."
To play amongst the stars, golfers need a membership. Membership rates start at $96,000 and include shareholding and voting privileges within the establishment.
10. Beacon Hall
With peace and tranquillity assured, Beacon Hall is a private golf club in Aurora, Ontario. A pleasantly firm and fast playing experience, The golf course has a good amount of tactical variety from start to finish of the 18-hole retreat.
The course is entwined with lush rough patches, and visitors can expect to come into contact with patches of water, too. There is a challenging, engaging amount of risk throughout the course, with many obstacles to avoid as you make your way from tee to hole.
Membership to this club is currently capped at 260, ensuring an exclusive, relaxing and intimate golfing experience for members to enjoy.
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What Is The Oldest Golf Course in Canada?
The Royal Montreal Golf Club has the oldest golf course in Canada, dating back to 1873. The lore states that it was initially founded by a group of Scots who got together to recreate their beloved national sport.
How Many Golf Courses Are in Canada?
Canada is the third-largest golfing nation in the world, with 2,363 golf facilities. The provinces of Ontario and Quebec, home to around 60% of the population, contain just under half of all golf facilities in the country.
Who Are The Most Famous Names in Golf Course Design?
There are several iconic names in golf architecture; a few are Robert Trent Jones, Stanley Thompson, George Fazio and Tom Fazio.
Where is Next Year's Canadian Open?
While Canada has many courses fit to host the illustrious event, next year's (2024) Canadian Open is at the famous Hamilton golf course in Toronto, Ontario.
Are There Any PGA Courses In Canada?
Canada holds an average of 10 PGA events annually in locations across the country. Some of the most prestigious clubs of past events include the likes of Lambton Golf & Country Club, The National Golf Club of Canada, Point Grey Golf & Country Club, Scarboro Golf & Country Club, and Toronto Golf Club.
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