Canadian Rockies Trip Planning
General Travel Information
Western Canada, covering the provinces or Alberta and British Columbia is a golfer’s paradise with legendary courses, stunning natural beauty, easy access and warm Canadian hospitality.
Calgary (Alberta) and Vancouver (British Columbia) International Airports are served by direct flights from most major cities in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Try not to over pack, but we do suggest enough clothes to make it at least two-thirds through your stay, and then have your laundry done. Most hotels offer laundry service. Proper golf attire is required (t-shirts, collarless shirts, un-cuffed golf shorts are not allowed on the courses or in the clubhouses). Casual wear for the evening. Suggest packing a few warm jackets & long sleeve shirts. Rain jacket and waterproof shoes recommended as well (hopefully not needed!).
We highly recommend traveling with a light carry golf bag in a canvas style carrying case. Large golf bags and hard carrying cases can cause problems when traveling since it takes up a lot of vehicle space.
Canada is the second largest country in the world and spans seven time zones. Vancouver and Whistler in British Columbia are in the same time zone as Los Angeles (Pacific Standard Time). Calgary and Banff in Alberta are in the same time zone as Denver (Mountain Standard Time).
British Columbia is three hours behind Eastern Standard Time.
When it is 12 noon in Vancouver, BC, it is:
3 pm in New York, Montreal, Atlanta, and Miami
Alberta is two hours behind Eastern Standard Time.
When it is 12 noon in Calgary, AB, it is:
2 pm in New York, Montreal, Atlanta, and Miami
To call home to the US direct, dial 1 followed by the area code and phone number. For calls abroad, dial 011 followed by the country code and phone number. If you decide to call from your hotel room, always check the cost as an additional service charge is generally added by the hotel. These charges can be expensive! You can have your mobile phone activated by your service provider to use it either for text messages only or text and call.
Customs operates on the red (declare) & green (nothing to declare) channel system. For more detailed information, we suggest visiting www.customs.gov on the Internet. US citizens and visitors from most European countries do not require a Visitor Visa for entry to Canada. For Americans, a passport is now required for identification. Visitors from other countries require a passport valid for at least six months longer than their intended stay.
The Canadian dollar and notes come in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100; coins 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, $1, and $2. Many retail stores, restaurants and other locations might accept American Dollars, we advise our guests to exchange funds into Canadian currency.
Sales Tax Refunds
A 5% Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) is charged on goods and services in Alberta and British Columbia. Ask for a tax-free shopping form with each purchase and follow the simple instructions. At the airport, you check at the customs desk regarding GST rebate information. If you have your purchases shipped home by the store, the tax will be deducted by the store on the spot. For further information on the GST Rebate Program, call 1-800-668-4748 from Canada or (902) 432-5604 outside Canada.
Tips or service charges are not usually added to a bill in restaurants in Western Canada. In general, tip approximately 15 to 20% of the bill amount based on service quality. $2 is normal for incidental tips such as luggage handlers or bellhops.
Golf Club Information
Visitors are welcome in the clubhouses in Canadian Rockies. After golf smart casual attire is suggested.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Many clubs throughout the Canadian Rockies will not allow golf shoes (spiked or spike less) in the clubhouse. We advise bringing a pair of street shoes with you to each golf course.
Riding carts can be requested in advance by The Golf Travel Group. Cart fees can be included as part of your tour package and in some cases inclusive of the green fee.
Please make sure that all members of your party carry a valid handicap card from their home club, however, handicap cards are not mandatory for play.
Western Canada offers a very hospitable climate for golfers — with long warm summer days, and mild spring and fall temperatures. The golfing season in the mountains runs from mid-May to mid-October. Naturally the weather is variable in such dramatic terrain so always pack your rain gear. On the milder West Coast, many courses in British Columbia are open year-round, with great golfing available from February to November. Our latitude means we enjoy daylight as late as 11pm during June and July. Average summer temperatures are in the high 20°s Celsius (70°s Fahrenheit). Humidity is low, especially in the mountains and it’s pleasant, warm and never extremely hot for summer golf in Western Canada.
Other Items To Know
Calgary (Alberta Province / Calgary International Airport). Vancouver (British Columbia Province / Vancouver International Airport).
Canada has an excellent highway system, with distances and speed limits clearly posted on highway signs in metric (k/hr). The scenery is spectacular so take your time and enjoy the journey!
IN CANADA YOU DRIVE ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE ROAD.
Canada Is On The Metric
Canada follows the international metric system. Temperature, distance, velocity and weights are in metric units. 1km is equal to .6 mile. 80 km/hour is equal to 50 mph. 28 degrees C is equal to 80 degrees F.
English and French are Canada’s two official languages. English is predominant in British Columbia and Alberta. Hotels, airline offices, restaurants, banks and shops in key tourist destinations have multilingual staff.
Passport & Drivers’ License
A valid U.S., Canadian or other national passport is required. To drive a car, a valid driver’s license is sufficient.
Travelers checks are safer to carry than cash and can be used in most places. Be sure to check the exchange rates at both banks and Bureau de Change if you choose to carry US dollar travelers checks as rates can differ.
Credit Cards & ATMs
Most credit cards are widely accepted and are useful for buying gas, shopping, dining out, etc. The most widely used are Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Automated teller machines (ATMs) are open 24-hours daily. At ATMs displaying the Cirrus, Plus or Interac international banking network symbols, visitors can withdraw Canadian funds using their own personal automated banking cards or credit cards. The visitors’ bank sets the exchange rate. In addition, be sure to advise your credit card company that you are traveling and will be using your credit card for purchases overseas.
Golf Handicap Card
Please make sure that all members of your party carry a valid handicap card from their home club, however, it is not mandatory to play the courses.
Outlets and voltage (110 volts) are the same as in the USA. Small appliances such as hair dryers, irons and razors can be used in Canada.
Adapters are required for electrical appliances for those from countries outside of the USA. The frequency of electrical current in Canada is 60 Hz. The best place to purchase such an adaptor is before your flight at the international airport duty free shop, as they are not generally stocked in local stores.
Vacation Travel Insurance
There are varieties of travel insurance that cover everything from health and accident costs, to lost baggage and trip cancellation. They can be obtained with one blanket policy, or they may overlap with coverage you already have. It is best to consult your insurance agent to determine what coverage is best for you.