Originally a 9-hole course upon its opening in 1978, community-owned The Bridges at Claresholm expanded into an 18-hole course in 2005 after designer Les Furber spent four years expertly crafting a back nine. Four tee boxes and attachable Gadget arms precede each hole, allowing patrons to adjust their distance to the green and driving angle to better avoid obstacles such as 12 water hazards. The Bridges at Claresholm also employs golf expert Lyle Broderson to offer private, semiprivate, or group lessons to golfers looking to make improvements, and hosts tournaments and male, female, and gopher leagues. Additionally, an on-site pro shop supplies participants with essential gear such as balls, clubs, and golf-suitable clothing, and Putter's Restaurant & Catering in the facility's clubhouse satiates visitors with weekly specials such as the Friday-night all-you-can-eat fish fry.
The course at Vulcan Golf & Country Club straddles Elizabeth Street just outside of town, meandering for 6,306 pleasant yards. Players encounter water twice on the front nine and six times on the back, not counting the washrooms at the tee boxes of holes 6 and 14 or the squirt guns amassed by the course's territorial squirrels. The drama builds over the next 17 holes until peaking at the course's signature 18th. The final hole is a par 3 bordered by water on the left for its entire 184-yard length, and loaded with bunkers protecting its large green. Rounds at Vulcan Golf & Country Club often last under four hours, leaving plenty of time for lunching at Mac's Diner or turning oneself in to the authorities for taking an unwarranted mulligan.
Course at a Glance:
Hidden just off the highway, the course at Crowsnest Pass Golf & Country Club carves through the dense evergreen forests that blanket the Rocky Mountain pass for which it’s named. As groups start their rounds on the par 5 first hole, Turtle Mountain juts skyward on the horizon, providing a suitable target for drives off the tee. This sort of scenery is commonplace throughout the Les Ferber-designed course, as players drive and putt their golf balls beneath the peaks of Mt. Tecumseh, Crowsnest Mountain, and the Flathead Range hovering above the pines. The mountain path leads players past trout-filled streams and over drastic elevation changes, demanding strategic shot selection or a caddie who happens to be a Gold Rush-era mountaineer.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 73 course
Total length of 6,814 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 72.7 from the back tees
Course slope of 131 from the back tees
Four sets of tees per hole