Date: 2007-Sep-26 Review by Alberta Bound
The greens were on the large size so make sure you got the right club. Number 8 is 46 yards in depth. With six other greens over 40 yards deep. They were in very good shape and the fringe was smooth and well maintained. The bunkers were in good shape with great sand. The greens presents a few different rolls. A few slope back to front, two have two or three tiers and others have subtle undulations. Remember where the river and valley are located.
The fairways were very good with the sprinkler heads marked as well as traditional marking at 100,150, and 200. A number of the fairways were fairly bumpy causing some lies that were not the best. The fairways had generous landing areas with a well maintained first cut that gave way to some rough that was very dense. There is not too many fairway bunker about 7 or 8 in total. The bunkers were well trimmed and had the normal amount of rakes
Golden has three tee boxes which are coloured gold, white and red. Each tee has an official yard marker, a good sign, attractive garbage containers, and ball washers. A number of the tees had very attractive flower arrangements. The tees were in good shape, level and orientated in the correct direction.
This is a very popular course which is a result of the design and setting. Each hole is different and unique. Some holes follow the Columbia River while others have Holt Creek that runs through or along the side. The course was designed by Bill Newis and Les Furber. The four par threes are of different length so you get to play different clubs. The second hole is a long par four of 446 from the whites. Water comes into play on 5 or 6 holes. There are three fairly sharp dog legs that require well placed tee shots. Number 11 could be the signature hole as Holt Creek runs around the tee then down the right side of the fairway before crossing in front of the green.You could walk the course as there is only one hole that has a good elevation change.
The greens fees are very reasonable for a quality mountain course. They belong to a number of 2 for one coupon books.
The slopes are 133 and 125 from the gold and white tees. The course plays to 6800 and 6300. There are not a lot of fairway bunkers or hazards but enough to keep you thinking. I found it played a little be easier then I expected.
The course is in the Columbia Valley surround by the mountains to the east and west. On a number of holes you get some excellent views down the valley as well as some river views. The forest and wildlife add to your experience.
The staff were warm and friendly and seemed to like working there. The restaurant and pro shop staff made sure we got our lunch and got to the first tee on time.
The clubhouse is a small cedar type of building. It suit's the surrounding and is very well landscaped. They have a really nice BBQ patio overlooking the ninth green. The pro shop is well stocked and the menu in the restaurant is typical of many clubs. They did offer breakfast all day which is nice those that have a late morning tee time or driven a long way to reach the club.
The parking lot is paved and they welcome RV units to their camping area. They have a decent practice range and putting green by the first tee. Cart paths are paved and the carts come equipped with windows and rain covers for the clubs. The approach to the club is outstanding as you go past a couple of fairways and approach a well landscaped bag drop. The score card is very well done with a picture of each hole along with the tips and descriptions that you need for a first time player.
Golden is a recommended play. I would love to go back and play there each year. They get a number of golfers that drive the 2 hours from Banff for a round of golf. They also get clients from Radium and Fairmont which is about 1.5 hrs away. The setting and quality of the course is very good. The green fees are reasonable. The day we were there we saw a few deer on the course and bear on the way there. If you are driving the Trans Canada Highway and looking for a game make sure you stop in Golden.