“YOU MIGHT SEE an elk, or even a bear!”  One of the treats if you play the Banff Springs Golf Course, Alberta.  The Canadian Pacific Railway Co.  built a nine-hole golf course in 1911 as an attraction for it’s luxury hotel.  Canadian architect, Stanley Thompson  extended and redesigned the course in 1927.

The Bow river flows alongside, hurtling over the thundering Bow Falls, and the Rockies tower above.   One of the world’s most scenic holes is the ‘Devils Cauldron’ 4th,  a full carry par three over a glacial lake to a bowl -shaped green.  With breathtaking views from every hole a round of golf at the par-71 Banff Springs is said to be unmissable, although I’d pass on being chased down the 18th  by a bear.

Above the course sits the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel,  built in 1888 as a replica of a Scottish baronial home/cum Loire Valley Chateau. ]Guests can relax in the hotel’s world-famous Willow Stream Spa, or join a ghosthunt for the hotel’s resident spooks.

IN THE 18 HOLE playoff  at the 1971 US Open at Merion the irrepressible Lee Trevino produced a 3 ft rubber snake from his bag on the first tee to general laughter.  Jack Nicklaus was the favourite to win, but in the wet conditions  Trevino, used to hitting low after honing his game in windy Texas, beat him by three strokes.

At windy Richelieu Valley near Montreal two weeks later  Trevino was in his element and won the Canadian Open with a 15ft putt in the playoff.   The following week he won the Open at Royal Birkdale, where he followed a double bogey on the 17th  with a birdie at the last to take the Claret Jug.

The RCGA and its Canadian Open sponsor Imperial Tobacco called what Lee had won that year  a Triple Crown. The PGA Tour doesn’t recognise it but Trevino isn’t bothered. He knows what he did that summer of 1971.

SCOTLAND’s FIRST TOPGOLF  “TopGolf Glasgow” will open at Rutherglen this November.   The complex  will include 72 hitting bays, a sports bar, event space and open air roof terrace.  Twins Steve and Dave Jolliffe opened TopGolf Watford in 2000.  In 2020 Callaway, who had invested in the company since 2006,  acquired Topgolf outright  for $2billion.

Together with TOPTRACER  it now brings Callaway more revenue than their golf equipment sales, with venues in the USA Canada Mexico and UAE.   TopGolf caters for a younger audience  looking to have fun, though I’m not sure it would be a lot of fun sitting on a roof-top terrace in Glasgow in November.

“A whole new group is being introduced to the game, who ordinarily wouldn’t go anywhere near a golf course,” says Steve Jolliffe.  To be honest, we probably wouldn’t want them anywhere near it either.

VICTOR HOVLAND’s great year since winning  the 2021 BMW International Open has hopefully eclipsed his memory of his two-stroke penalty in the opening round at TPC Sawgrass.

He moved his marker on the 15th green and put it back in the wrong place, something his eagle-eyed mum noticed on TV. She phoned Viktor after his round and told him to report it  to the officials who reviewed the footage and penalised him for unknowingly violating a rule.   That blew her Mother’s Day card  last year then.

MYGOLFSPY’s review says:   “The Ping G425 Max is the model aimed at offering maximum forgiveness, and it delivers that in spades. A carry drop-off of just seven yards between pure strikes and mishits is incredible; the second most forgiving driver in our test saw a drop-off almost double that.

The G425 Max which was introduced last year  was also the tied-third longest forgiving driver and continues to offer a brilliant blend of distance and forgiveness for club golfers.”   If they get much more forgiving they will come with an automatic pardon from the Pope.

Words of Wisdom:

The ball always lands where the pin was yesterday.

Confidence evaporates in the presence of water.

Until next time: Happy Golfing.

Contact Mick for regripping and repairs.  638 859 475.



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