18 holes in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains

Adventurous golf addicts are not looking for new golf courses: they are looking for adventures, for experiences to tell. For them, for you reading this, there is nothing better than a round in the Rocky Mountains. Here the wilderness and the orderly beauty of the greens come together, resulting in an experience that goes far beyond just a passion for golf.

Golf in the U.S. Rocky Mountains…

The Rocky Mountains run through both the United States and Canada. Perhaps one of the most beautiful sights is in Colorado, where mountains frame the Great Lakes. Here lies the Rocky Mountain National Park and, right on the border with it, the beautiful Grand Lake Golf Course.

The view alone is enough to justify the trip: the huge pines, poplars, and colorful undergrowth open up just enough to leave room for the greens. The white tips of the mountains look down on you from above, peeking through the dense vegetation every time you move from one hole to another. And then there are the animals, somewhat wary like all wild animals, but still benevolent. As you are preparing for a swing, a deer may happen to peep through the trees and watch you curiously, trying to figure out what you are doing.

This fusion of natural and artificial beauty is thanks to Dick Phelps. His was the idea of placing the starting pitches in elevated areas to give you an opportunity to admire the view right before you hit the ball.

Or perhaps to spite you, distracting you with such beauty at a crucial moment.

…or golf in the Canadian Rockies?

Canada also has its portion of golf in the Rocky Mountains to offer you. There are several golf courses in the area, but the most interesting one is probably Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club. In fact, it is located in the heart of Jasper National Park, the largest in the Canadian Rockies.

The golf course is a figment of the imagination of Stanley Thompson, who in his time moved heaven and earth to design it exactly as he wanted it. The result is a work of the hand of man, yet it seems to arise spontaneously from the valleys in the midst of the mountains. Each hole is anarchitectural work of art, offering incredible views of lakes and snow-capped peaks.

Although the potholes wind through the mountains, the trails are wide and easy to walk. So you can enjoy the wild beauty of the Rocky Mountains even if you don’t like backpacking.

Warning: being in the middle of a park, you may run into some typical “tenants” of the area. The bears in the Jasper Park Lodge logo are not just a graphic designer’s quirk…

Travel is half the pleasure

In the case of Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club, part of the pleasure is also in getting there. Jasper is in fact the terminus of what might be called luxury made train: the Rocky Mountaineer.

It is a tourist train that leaves from Vancouver and crosses the Rocky Mountains to the town of Jasper, precisely. There are several routes available, all sharing the beauty of the scenery and luxury treatment on the train. Depending on what you choose, you can turn a simple train trip into a full-fledged vacation of its own, even several days.

The large panoramic windows are one of the best things about the Rocky Mountaineer: they look directly out over the forests and lakes of the Rocky Mountains, so you can admire its wonders without sacrificing comfort. The small rooms located on the second floor have a partly transparent ceiling so you can enjoy the view from all angles. If you also want to feel the scent of the mountain and the wind on your skin, however, you can access the outdoor platform.

When they say it’s not just the goal that matters, but also what you do to get there.

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