Tee it up with hickories, play the original Thompson routing at historic Fairmont Banff Springs August 15-16
I played with hickory shafted golf clubs at Musselburgh’s Old Links in Scotland a few months ago, and I loved it. There’s nothing quite like playing an old golf course with hickories. Your entire body tingles when you hit the sweet spot.
And in a couple weeks, the historic Fairmont Banff Springs in the Canadian Rockies course will offer the opportunity to play their Stanley Thompson design from the 1920s in its original routing - and with hickories if you so wish.
When we arrived at Banff Springs a few weeks ago to play, the Director of Golf Steve Young greeted us, decked out in patterned knickers and wool cap. He teed it up in the group ahead of us, playing from the original tees and with hickories. The original tees included a different, hidden set on their famous par-3 4th hole.
Just about anyone in golf is familiar with the 4th, “Devil’s Cauldron,” whether you’ve played it on a video game, seen it during a Skins Game or simply seen artist renditions of it in a clubhouse. But what you might not know is that the current elevated tee isn’t the original, Stanley Thompson tee. Thompson’s tee is located level with the pond guarding the green to the right of the modern tee, which poses an entirely different - albeit still intimidating - shot over the water to the smallish green that’s satanically defended.
The course routing was also changed a few years back, so the original closer is now the 14th hole, which I called the course’s second best in our recently published “Best holes of Alberta’s Canadian Rockies” on TravelGolf.com.
If you’re interested in the package for that weekend, which also includes breakfast at the Waldhaus (the course’s original clubhouse) and a forecaddie, check out the Fairmont Banff’s page for more info. And click here to learn more about Fairmont’s Stanley Thompson Cup, which is a great bargain going on all summer with sister property Jasper Park Lodge just north on the Icefields Parkway.
Considering my questionable play with my 21st century titanium cannons that rainy morning at Banff Springs, I might have faired better with hickories myself.
And by the way, I’m still in the market for a set of my own…Email me if you’ve got a deal.
You can catch a glimpse of the original tee on Devil’s Cauldron, located left and below the elevated tee box.
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