by: Brent Long
Every summer I keep expecting to hit the ball further but I don’t seem to be gaining the yardage that the television commercials keep telling me I should be getting. Over the last few months I have been fitted for three new drivers courtesy of Titleist, Nike and Exotics, so I should be well over 300 yards or something like that. Good thing, because I hope to knock off one of my bucket list items this summer – that is playing the 10 longest golf holes in Ontario. I have played eight of them with only No. 3 and No. 4 to play before I can start to figure out the 10 longest holes in Canada.
No. 1 Black Bear Ridge Golf Course, Belleville (Opened in 2005)
The 11th hole at Black Bear Ridge GC enjoys the honour of being the longest hole in the province at 690-yards. It’s a demanding four-shot hole that played as a par-6 for a time. It features a lateral water hazard running from tee to green down the right side of the fairway and on the left there’s out of bounds from tee to green. While it originally had an island green, the front portion has been filled to allow golfers a “run-up” approach. Fewer than 100 people would play the course from the tips in a season.
No. 2 The Club at Bond Head, Bond Head (Opened in 2005)
At 669 yards, No. 12 is also the longest hole the American golf course architectural firm of Hurdzan Fry has ever created. Although the landing areas off the tee and for the second shot are generous, nine fairway bunkers line this hole, which dramatically doglegs left toward the green. There’s also a pot bunker 15 paces in front of the small green, with another cut sharply into the front left side of the putting surface.
No. 3 Bonnie Doon G&CC, Camlachie (Opened in 1997)
The ninth hole on Bonnie Doon’s Black Heath Course stretches some 658 yards from the back tees, but playing with a southern summer breeze eases the distance on most days. Even so, long hitters have their hands full clearing a ravine off the back tee. On the second shot, there is water on the right, and a wayward shot left places a small grove of trees in the way of your approach to this large, flat and receptive green.
No. 4 The Oaks G&CC, Komoka (Opened in 1993)
Architect Rene Muylaert finishes off a terrific one-two-three punch over the final three holes at this private country club with one of the toughest finishing holes in Ontario when it’s played from the back tees at 651 yards. The right side of the tree-lined fairway is out of bounds, while the second shot is uphill to a plateau. A pond and bunkering to the right guard the green.
No. 5 Glen Eagle GC, Bolton (Opened in 1962)
Of the 27 holes at Glen Eagle most people will tell you that No. 9 on the Red Course is the toughest out there. The tee on the 650-yard, par-5 is set back in the trees on what is a tricky dogleg left that traditionally plays into the wind! It finishes downhill to a large green. Designed 50 years ago by Ontario golf course architect Rene Muylaert –the hole played as No. 8 on the original 18-hole layout and measured 602 yards. It would have been one of the longest holes in Canada, if not the world at the time. Another nine was added to Glen Eagle in the 1990s and the hole was lengthen to 650 yards.
No. 6 Eagles Nest GC, Maple City (Opened in 2004)
Doug Carrick went the distance with No. 17 at Eagles Nest GC at 642 yards. Aptly named, this “Long” par 5 offers you a split fairway. If you go down the right the risks are great, but so is the reward! The right side shortens the hole considerably and may give you a crack at the green in two. The safer route is the left setting up a good view of what you have to do. Avoid the pot bunkers with your second shot to set up your approach to this well protected green.
No. 7 Whistle Bear GC, Cambridge (Opened in 2001)
When it’s played from the tips, Whistle Bear is one of the longest courses in Canada at 7,706 yards, par 72, so it should be no surprise that it is home to one of the longest holes in Ontario. The 16th is a 640-yard rollercoaster of a hole that runs adjacent to the forest property line with several swales and menacing fairway bunkers. There’s water off the tee left and right, the second shot rises and narrows with bunkers on both sides of the fairway and finally the green site is protected with a couple more bunkers within a stand of pine trees.
No. 8 The Marshes GC, Kanata (Opened in 2002)
Remarkably there are three par-5s in excess of 600 yards at The Marshes. The longest hole in town is No. 2, a 640-yard dogleg that is flanked down the right side from tee to green by a large pond so the smart play for the first two shots is to stay to the left side of the fairway. On the third shot the dogleg wraps sharply around the pond and the fairway narrows dramatically as it nears the green that overlooks the water. The other long-bomber holes are No. 4 at 604 yards and No. 16 at 607 yards.
No. 9 The Rock, Minett (Opened in 2004)
The best chance of making par or birdie on No. 9 from the tips at 640-yards is to play it as a three shot hole. Trying to get to the green in two requires a very long and precise tee shot with an extremely difficult and long approach shot to the green. An ideal tee shot would be a fade around the trees on the right hand side. Laying up around the 150 yard marker is the safest shot from this point. If you catch a drive then laying by the 100 yard marker is possible and will give you a great chance at an approach shot. The hazards around the green are bunkers right and rocks left, which allows for some bailout short or long.
No. 10 Mystic GC, Ancaster (Opened in 2005)
Hole No. 10 – 639 yards
One of the quirkier holes to make this list is the starting hole on the back nine at Mystic GC. While its length isn’t over notable as it comes in last on this list, its three significant forced carries require precision shots to avoid the hazards, especially with a dramatic left turn to the green. The good news is there are no bunkers around the green and a little bit of room if you miss the target.
Other Notable Holes
Watson’s Glen GC, Ajax Hole No. 2 – 633 yards
Dragon’s Fire, Carlisle Hole No. 13 – 633 yards
Crosswinds G&CC, Burlington Hole No. 4 – 628 yards
Tangle Creek GC, Barrie Hole No. 13 – 627 yards
St. Andrews Valley, Aurora Hole No. 14th – 624 yards
Longest hole in Canada
Have you ever wondered where one might find the longest golf hole in Canada? Well it was built back in 1995 at The Nursery G&CC in Lacombe, AB. I haven’t played it yet, but the 782-yard, par-six is certainly on my bucket list. Here’s a little known fact – The Nursery’s owners came up with the 782-yard distance, because it’s the prefix for the Lacombe-area telephone number!