Ontario’s Top 25 Public Access Courses

*Each of the following is accessible to walk-on public players.

 

 

 

1. Muskoka Bay Club (Gravenhurst)
This Doug Carrick masterpiece takes advantage of a stunning slice of quintessential Muskoka landscape and graces it with 18 memorable holes of pure golfing challenge. Unforgettable stuff, regardless of your handicap. www.muskokabayclub.com

 

2. Bigwin Island GC (Lake of Bays)
From the boat that ferries you from the parking lot to the island, to the absolutely jaw-dropping scenery of the Doug Carrick creation, to the abundance of wildlife that call the island home, this is as fine a golf experience as there is to be had in Ontario. www.bigwinisland.com

 

T3. Eagles Nest GC (Maple)
A links-style design on steroids, this Doug Carrick beauty and brute is the lone GTA course among the top five. Rich with fescue grasses, huge faux-dunes, waste areas and pot bunkers, Eagles Nest is an intriguing topographical blend of a former ski hill and a sand and gravel quarry. www.eaglesnestgolf.com

 

T3. The Ridge at Manitou (McKellar)
Originally intended as an exclusive private enclave, this serene and photogenic Tom McBroom layout is hewn out of the Canadian Shield and flows through rock, forest and meadowland, culminating in one of Ontario’s most memorable 18th hole finales, with the shimmering Manitouwabing Lake in the background. ridgeatmanitou.com

 

5. Osprey Valley – Heathlands Course (Alton)
The first and finest of the magnificent trio of Doug Carrick courses at Osprey, the Heathlands’ Scottish links nature is reflected in its tight, undulating fairways, pot bunkers and rolling dunes covered with fescue grasses, not to mention its location between a country road and a rail line. www.ospreyvalleygolf.com

 

6. Glen Abbey GC (Oakville)
A rare opportunity for public players to test a PGA Tour course, this longtime Canadian Open host is famed for its photogenic valley holes, but features a variety of demanding greensites throughout and can simultaneously host high-handicappers while challenging the world’s best—a testament to the inspiration of Jack Nicklaus’ first solo design. glenabbey.clublink.ca/

 

7. Cobble Beach GL (Owen Sound)
Sculpted to emulate the rugged, hummocky, bump-and-run terrain of the great links courses of Scotland and Ireland, this sublime Doug Carrick work features small pot bunkers, closely mown chipping areas and greenside hollows—with every hole offering stunning views of Georgian Bay. cobblebeach.com

 

8. Taboo (Gravenhurst)
Routed through a dramatic, 300-acre forest tableau of white pines, mature red oaks and bold, pink granite outcroppings, this Ron Garl design demands some precise tee shots, with its challenging green complexes further protecting par in this beautiful Lake Muskoka setting, just 90 minutes north of Toronto. www.taboomuskoka.com

 

9. Copper Creek GC (Kleinburg)
Home of the four-and-a-half-hour-round guarantee, and renowned for its intimidating drive from the elevated 10th tee, this Doug Carrick design required some environmentally sensitive design work in creating a series of thought-provoking holes while also taking advantage of the Humber River Valley. www.coppercreek.ca

 

10. Tarandowah GC (Avon)
The first course in Canada designed by noted British architect Martin Hawtree (who has since refurbished the prestigious Toronto GC), Tarandowah is an intriguing, inspired links-like creation fashioned from a seemingly ordinary piece of farmland. It’s also, by far, the most affordable course among the top 10. www.puregolf.net

 

  1. Deerhurst Highlands (Huntsville) www.deerhurstresort.com
  2. Whitewater GC (Thunder Bay) www.whitewatergolf.com
  3. Osprey Valley – Wasteland Course (Alton) www.ospreyvalleygolf.com
  4. Grand Niagara (Niagara Falls) www.grandniagaragolf.com
  5. Angus Glen GC – South Course (Markham) www.angusglen.com
  6. Seguin Valley GC (Parry Sound) seguinvalley.com
  7. Crimson Ridge GC (Sault Ste. Marie) www.golfcrimsonridge.com
  8. Osprey Valley – Parkland Course (Alton) www.ospreyvalleygolf.com
  9. Kawartha GC (Peterborough) www.kawarthagolf.ca
  10. Wooden Sticks GC (Uxbridge) www.woodensticks.com
  11. Black Bear Ridge GC (Belleville) www.blackbearridge.ca
  12. The Golf Club at Lora Bay (Thornbury) www.lorabaygolf.com
  13. Legends on the Niagara – Battlefield Course (Niagara Falls) www.niagaraparksgolf.com/legends-on-the-niagara/
  14. Ambassador GC (Windsor) www.ambassadorgolfclub.com
  15. The Club at Bond Head (South), Bond Head bondhead.clublink.ca/

 

 

 

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