During the rut or mating season, testosterone levels spike tensions between bull elk, moose, and other ruminant forest dwellers. Hot and bothered, they blow off their aggro-steam in an antler-locking battle of the beasts. The winners build a harem of choice females while the sad-sack losers retreat into the woods unfulfilled.

I’m told the whole rigmarole can wreak havoc on fairways, but still Grizzly Paw's "Rutting Elk Red" seemed the perfect choice prior to a round at Canmore's Golf and Curling Club. The medium-bodied amber ale with faint hints of caramel led to my best scorecard in a week of playing five courses in the Canadian Rockies, and I give full credit to the rut. 

A mere month after a nightmarish deluge soaked Southern Alberta, displacing residents from their homes and causing umpteen millions in property damage, the province’s premiere Mountain golf courses are back in the saddle again and looking mighty pretty. With the exception of waterlogged casualty, Kananaskis, closed unfortunately for the season, the rest of the golf herd is open for business.

Jasper Park LodgeAlberta … Mistress of the 5-Iron

Hot women often gripe about not being taken seriously because of their looks, but when it comes to golf, beauty is a prerequisite to achieving critical notice — and the Canadian Rockies have more than their fair share of beauties.

It’s easy to be seduced by the intelligent charms and sophisticated undulations of The Fairmount Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club. The Stanley Thompson marvel, named the No. 1 Golf Resort in Canada by SCOREGolf is the Rachel Weisz of golf courses — brainy, foxy and possessing a devilishly sharp sense of wit. The mere notion of a signature hole is ridiculous on a course where you’ll be tapping on your Instagram app in every other elevated tee box. The alluring par-3, 9th hole has Pyramid Mountain in the backdrop and is shaped like a centrefold, complete with a cinched waist and ample bunkering for its bosoms. Back in the day, straight-laced ownership toned down the chest area to make it more abstract when they got wind of the resemblance, so you do need a little more imagination now to make it out. The hole is appropriately nicknamed Cleopatra, easily the sexiest woman in the world in Caesar and Marc Antony’s day. No. 10, with bunkers sculpted in the shape of sea creatures including a walrus and an octopus, is also deserving of a fist bump.

Then there’s Lac Beauvert, an aquamarine sparkler, the most fetching lake I’ve ever beheld on a golf course. Drinking it in will certainly consume your attention on the dogleg left 14th. Outside of the pure golf grandeur, this Western Canadian dreamscape’s setting is its trump card. Smack dab in the middle of a National Park, the golf club is far removed from the bustle of city life surrounded by snow-capped peaks, thickets of forest and air so fresh you’ll want to bottle it and take it back home.

In place of zooming cars, electric lines and other vestiges of modern living that can creep into play on the outskirts of most golf courses, is the quiet hush of wilderness. If you listen closely you can hear the sound of roaming elk who are not exactly shy about coming into play.

Devil's CauldronLater on in the week after mastering heads-up golf, a prerequisite while taking in the dazzling scenery on display at Silvertip and Stewart Creek, it was time for another Stanley Thompson masterpiece, the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Club. At this vaunted track, Cleopatra met her rival in the fairest fairway of them all in the golfers’ ultimate bracket.

One of the gents in my foursome, a well-traveled golf nut who has left divots all over the globe, went absolutely gaga for Devil’s Cauldron. The bodacious par-3 features a glacial lake protecting the green in front and a mountain looming large in the background. While there is no doubt it is a perfect 10, to him it was the sexiest golf hole he’s ever laid eyes on. He went so far as to compare birdying it to scoring with a supermodel. I asked this clearly smitten golf hole lover if he felt it surpasses the venerable Cleopatra in the looks department. Without missing a beat, his response: “This one is wetter.”

Fall in love with Alberta’s most mesmerizing golf holes on your own terms. Packager Canadian Rockies Golf will hook you up.

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