The windswept, coastal hillocks of the Old Course at St. Andrews and the seaside cliffs of Pebble Beach both come to life in the aboutGolf Simulators of The Golf Den. Showcasing massive, high-definition screens, the four simulators let golfers—armed with their own clubs or sawed-off curtain rods—play rounds at digital replicas of 40 of the world’s top courses. Players can also work on their swings in the practice modules, which feature systems of high-speed cameras that project the flight of each shot.
Before warping into digital Scotland for a round of 18, golfers can perfect their form with a lesson from one of The Golf Den’s CPGA-certified instructors. During lessons, the staff use V1 Video swing-analysis software to provide visual feedback for each shot, and FlightScope technology to track the ball’s trajectory. Guests in need of replacements for aging clubs or sand wedges that have taken jobs as firewood axes can browse The Golf Den’s inventory of Callaway clubs.
With the Edmonton skyline stretched across the horizon, players scurry past tall pine trees and stone retaining walls as they conquer the nine-hole course at Sherwood Golf & Country Club. The 3,136-yard layout combines challenge and charm with a creek that intertwines throughout the course and a waterfall that sends water crashing earthward, creating a prime opportunity for a between-holes shower. Players that manage to keep their shots dry may not be out of trouble, as glimmering white silica-sand bunkers stand as stoic beaches around slick bentgrass greens. The par 36 design ends with back-to-back par 5s, the last measuring just 473 yards, giving golfers a chance to end their round with a birdie or golf-cart barrel roll before heading in to have a beer at the clubhouse.
Rundle Park Golf Course provides a classic par 3 executive course experience, but it also includes shots and situations that would even be challenging on a normal, full-sized course. Two holes extend well over 200 yards in length?long par 3s by any definition. Tree-lined fairways and greens guarded by bunkers test players throughout. These obstacles are tempered by some much shorter holes that play friendlier to beginners and shorter hitters, who can use the course as a opportunity for building confidence and overcoming a reflexive need to apologize to every divot.