A Timeless Club & Resort – Golf as it is meant to be played!
I have played the most northern golf course in the world and the most southern. Golf has taken me to Asia four times with the Philippines next on the list this spring, played in Europe on a number of occasions and pretty much in every State east of the Mississippi. Yet even with living in the Greater Toronto Area most of my life and the last 17 years in the Collingwood area I had yet to visit The Briars Golf Club and the Resort which sits on the south side of Lake Simcoe on Jackson’s Point.
Needless to say when I saw the invitation to attend a two day event for us media members of the Golf Journalists Association of Canada, I jumped at the opportunity.
As tee off time approached on day one, mother nature decided to dump an hours soaking on us and all that we could do was enjoy a few pre round pints on the clubhouse deck overlooking the 18th green. As the puddles on the green began to disappear our host Brian Allen announced that we would be teeing off in about 45 minutes. A testament to the drainage capabilities of the course whose initial 9 holes (1922) were the masterpiece of the late great Stanley Thompson with the back nine being crafted by Thompson’s protégé, right hand man Robbie Robinson in the 70’s.
A great walkable resort style course, the only hole that has any formidable distance from green to tee is from th 10th green to 11th tee and you can’t help but enjoy that walk over the Black River. Not a long course, 6,300 yards from the tips, but it is a tight tree lined layout with a number of doglegs so being able to manage your ball moving in both directions is an asset to scoring well. There are not a lot of bunkers to deal with, greens are small and sloped in the typical Thompson tradition.
The front 9 is relatively flat, once you cross over the River to the 11th tee you will find more rolling landscapes and elevation change. On the par 5, 14th you will find an old silo which has been preserved and adds unique character and you can see that I got up close in personal on day 2 of our little event. I did manage to skirt by with a pitching wedge and catch the front edge of the green. Photo credits to journalist extraordinaire Guy Nicholson.
The Golf Club is private, accessible to members, their guests and guests of the Briars Resort. “Our membership is capped, which is one of our best features,” says Allen. “This translates into easy tee time accessibility and uncrowded fairways. Rounds under 4 hours are common and there are times when you can just show up and walk on. Our members and guests love it!”
There is a reason that members return year after year and for that matter so does the staff. Almost like one big happy family!
The Briars Resort is a timeless heritage Ontario lakeside resort with more than just golf. An ideal setting for conferences and weddings or simply to explore cottage country in Ontario. The award winning Briars Spa has a menu to suit all senses. Speaking of menu’s… whether its snacks and cocktails in Drinkwater’s Lounge to fine dining, silver plated cutlery to white linen nappies you will find what you need to satisfy your pallet.
Side Note: I would be remiss if I did not tell you that your Traveling Golfer and his partner Allister Orr of On The Tee were the champions of this inaugural 2-day event. Although we played together on day one, being a blind draw for partners we did not know until after the round that we were in fact partners for the tournament. With somewhat of a commanding lead after day one, there were some solid rounds put in by the teams of Jody Jenkins and Ted McIntyre -8, and my playing partners for Day 2, Big Dog Tim Baines and Guy Nicholson -6. Allister and I came in with a -7 on day two, added to -10 the day before and the others were simply no match over these 2 days!
Needless to say I will be returning to the Briars next year. An extra special thank you to all the warm and friendly staff at both the Golf Club and comfy cozy Resort.
For more information of the Briars Golf Club www.briarsgolf.com
For more information on the Briars Resort and Spa www.briars.ca
Or for that good old fashion personal touch give Brian Allen a call: 1-888-515-5558.