He played junior hockey for the Edmonton Oil Kings (a Detroit Red Wings' farm team) from 1951 to 1955. He then was promoted to the Red Wings' minor pro team, the Edmonton Flyers, where he played until 1963. Detroit called him up for 15 games in 1958-59 and 8 games in 1961-62 and he scored a total of one goal and three assists in the NHL.
When the Flyers folded in 1963, Holmes was transferred to another Detroit farm team, the Pittsburgh Hornets.
He coached the Totems in 1971-72.