Golf courses are defined by their surroundings, and there’s no greater setting for scenic links than the beauty of the mountains. Standing high atop a tee box, looking down at a fairway or green with massive jagged mountain peaks in the background is a bucket lister for any golfer. Mountain golf courses are a special breed, providing golfers with challenges that few other environments can match.
While traditional golf settings sprawl across relatively flat land, mountain golf courses often come with massive elevation swings, thin air for balls to fly through, stunning vistas that can distract even the most focused player, and tilted greens that require golf carts with reliable automatic brakes.
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When planning that idyllic golf trip this summer, consider skipping the same old, board flat, sea-level coast or desert links for some cool, crisp, mountain golf. From Maine to Colorado to Western Canada, here are some of the best mountain golf courses to get your high-elevation fix this summer.
7 Best Mountain Golf Courses in North America
1. Silvertip Resort: Canmore, Alberta
Set in the majestic Canadian Rockies in the Bow Valley region of Canmore, Alberta, with 600 acres of mountains and grassland surrounding it, Silvertip Resort Golf Course is rated as one of the best new golf courses to play in Canada. The 18-hole championship course is designed by Master Golf Course Architect, Les Furber, with fairways featuring 600 feet of elevation change and championship tees with a slope rating of 153. The high-altitude course goes by the mantra, “Golf on the roof of the world.” It’s an apt enough slogan on these undulating greens which pair nicely with Canmore’s scenic mountain backdrop.
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The Ranch Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., is set around historic ranching homesteads from the 1900s and a nine-acre lake you can hit across. With plenty of sage meadows, native grasses, and big bunkers, the course is a challenge for the best golfers. Pro tip: you can receive free golf at either of these courses on your arrival day when you book qualified lodging with Keystone Resort.
2. Sunday River & Sugarloaf: Newry and Carrabassett Valley, ME
While the West may hog the spotlight for mountain golf, some noteworthy courses are right up there in the hilly Northeast too. Sugarloaf’s pair of spectacular courses—Sunday River and Sugarloaf—were designed by none other than Robert Trent Jones II and are known as one of the most scenic golf sites in all of New England.
Sunday River is made up of 18 holes with dramatic elevation changes, scenic overlooks, and pristine Maine woodland. Sugarloaf, also an 18-hole course, is a bit more open, with broad views of the surrounding mountains and challenging shots from start to finish. Playing either of the courses in the fall when the New England leaves are changing is especially epic.
3. Teton Pines: Jackson Hole, WY
It’s hard to beat those iconic views of Wyoming’s Grand Tetons from any angle. Teton Pines Country Club frames them head on at one of the most gorgeous mountain courses on the planet. The newly renovated links, an Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course, is a par 72 at 6,200 feet—well over a mile high. The thin air course lets the ball fly with more than 7,000 yards stretching from the tips to greens. Situated just west of Jackson near Teton Village, the neighboring Teton Range is your stunning backdrop on this course. You’ll have to be extra diligent to stay focused on the ball in this setting.
4. The Stock Farm: Hamilton, MT
They don’t call Montana Big Sky Country for nothing, with or without a wedge in hand. One of the most dazzling golf settings in the Lower 48, Stock Farm Golf Course places you in an amphitheater of peaks at the base of the Sapphire Mountains. The Tom Fazio-designed course stretches for more than 7,200 yards with mountain views all around and six tee box options. Located in Hamilton, MT, in the picturesque amphitheater of the Bitterroot Valley, it’s nearly impossible to discuss great mountain golf courses without including the Stock Farm in the conversation.
5. The River & Ranch: Keystone, CO
When summer melts all that Colorado snow away, Summit County’s largest ski resort, Keystone, is home to two of the top mountain golf courses in the West. Tucked in the scenic White River National Forest of the Rocky Mountains, the resort’s River and Ranch courses offer 36 holes perched at 9,280 feet with a spectacular backdrop of summits. The River Course, designed by Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry, follows the Snake River and has elevation drops so steep that the cart paths have speed bumps. Each hole offers unique views of the surrounding snow-capped peaks. The course meanders through a lodge pine forest at times, and you may even see a fox roaming around the greens. With six sets of tees on each hole, it’s hard not to play the tips for the views alone.
6. Canyons Golf: Park City, UT
Canyons Golf in Park City, UT, isn’t just about golfing in the mountains—it’s golfing on the mountain. You’re actually golfing where folks will be skiing when the snow falls again. The 18-hole course offers a challenging 550 feet of elevation change. Designed by Gene and Casey Bates, this unique mountain experience has an iconic hole with a dramatic 297-foot elevation change from the tee box to the green. The fun yet tricky course features amazing views of the surrounding Wasatch Range, sloped fairways, and hilly greens that the ball can roll right off. Short par three holes come with lots of water, island-style greens, and some serious elevation jumps. In other words, you probably won’t want to walk this one.
7. Anchorage Golf Course: Anchorage, AK
Picture Alaska and several images come to mind. Probably none of them are golf-related, but some of the sport’s most remarkable settings are hiding up there too, featuring those massive jagged peaks jutting up from the ocean. Uniquely situated in a region known as Alaska’s Anchorage Bowl, the Anchorage Golf Course is set alongside the world-renowned Chugach Mountain Range—famous for extreme skiing and North America’s highest summit, Mount Denali. Based in south Anchorage, the 18-hole course is designed by architect Bill Newcomb, offering a gape-worthy golf backdrop unlike anything in the Lower 48.