I've had a chance to play a lot of tremendous golf courses in the world. Kapalua in Hawaii has the greatest ocean views and trade winds. Sea Island in Georgia is lovely. Mission Hills in China is an amazing collection of a dozen courses.
But nothing compares with my new favourite, the Banff Springs. It's a stunning Stanley Thompson layout at the foot of the marvellously old school Banff Springs Hotel in the Rockies. The conditions are exquisite, the design is absolutely first-rate and the views are, well, breathtaking.
It wasn't considered one of the top courses in the country by some folks a few years ago but it's
as wonderful a golf course as you can find these days and deserves huge recognition around North America. It's truly one-of-a-kind.
The Jasper Park Lodge course is a very good one, and I also had a chance on Tuesday to play the Canmore Golf and Curling Club, which is straightforward and fair and in great condition and very reasonable, with absolutely marvellous views of the Rockies. But Banff Springs is my new Canadian favourite; hands down.
More to come in next year's Star golf magazine. But you'll have to wait until next April, I'm afraid.
I've mentioned the emphasis on local cuisine out here, having tasted venison at dinner the other night and all. On Tuesday, the Canmore Golf Club was serving an outrageously delicious tortiere with wild boar and buffalo/bison meat. The Americans seemed to love it, by the way.
SPECIAL PLACES DOWN SOUTH
Time.Com had a good piece recently on special, "authentic" places in each of the United States. I never
know what authentic really means, but it's worth checking out.