Let’s start this journey at the southwest corner of the province in Windsor, Ontario with Ambassador Golf Club with accolades right off the get go. In 2005 they were nominated for Best New Golf Course in Canada by Golf Digest. Always one of the top in “Bang for the Buck” courses.
The tourism area known as Windsor Essex is also home to one of Ontario’s Wine Regions, well worth the visit.
Now we are going to flip you right over to the Eastern side of the province before taking you to one of Ontario’s most prolific playgrounds, Muskoka, then way up north to the north side of Lake Superior.
Two courses stand out for me here, both are extremely challenging layouts.
The Marshes Golf Club in Kanata, just west of Ottawa and right next door to the Brookstreet Hotel makes it a destination unto itself! Set against the stunning vista of the Gatineau Hills, designers Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Sr. have created a challenging and breathtaking course taking you through tranquil lakes and peaceful streams.
Black Bear Ridge Golf Course in Belleville, is just downright demanding on every shot. A traditional parkland layout designed with, dramatic elevation changes, sweeping vistas and natural water features. Play Black Bear in tandem with Trillium Wood right next door and you have a 1-2 punch equal to any! Both of these courses and so much more at https://bayofquinte.ca/tourism/
To view our videos about Ambassador Golf Club, Black Bear Ridge Golf Course, and Trillium Wood visit our Ontario Playlist on YouTube. CLICK HERE.
With that we come to another wine region in Prince Edward County, another playground on the shores of Lake Ontario, named the “Gastromic Capital of Ontario.” Sandbanks Provincial Park is what it sounds like, outstanding fishing and with some 40 wineries to temp your pallet!
Told ya so, right?! A theme here, where there’s golf, there’s wine! Wine not, the golf demographic is a perfect fit!
Heading west, about 2-3 hours north of Toronto, Ontario’s playground of the rich and famous, athletes and even a smattering of Hollywood’s elite. Discover Muskoka with an amazing diversity in landscape, lakes, rivers and streams around every corner.
Hard to pick a favourite here, ClubLink has a trifecta of exceptional golf with options to Stay & Play Resorts. My favourite of these is Grandview Golf Club. Huntsville will give you the landmark to set your sites on, co-designed by Mark O’Meara, rock outcroppings accentuate the fairways that guide you around lakes and marshes while elevation changes enhance panoramic views.
Rocky Crest Golf Club (Resort) in Mactier, and The Lake Joseph Club on the lake of the same name are the other two to check out here along with the Sherwood Inn for that traditional Muskoka experience also on Lake Joseph. Both courses along with Grandview are Platinum Level Clubs on the member’s platform.
Not done yet with Muskoka…My favorite outside of ClubLink would be Taboo Muskoka (Resort). Consistently voted among Canada’s Top 100 courses and renowned for its panoramic beauty and innovative use of the dramatic Canadian Shield landscape. Designed by my none other then my buddy Ron Garl!
One of the most unique experiences in Muskoka and maybe all of Ontario requires a very short boat transfer to a private island. Bigwin Island Golf Club with Stay & Play options is an exceptional experience on Lake of Bays. Always in Canada’s Top 20, go figure, another Doug Carrick design.
And now to the granddaddy of golf in Muskoka, the original, Deerhurst Resort, the Highlands Course co-designed in 1990 by Robert Cupp and Thomas McBroom established the benchmark for golf in the region. From the first elevated tee overlooking Fairy Lake, the course takes full advantage of the rugged beauty of the Canadian Shield. It’s a bit like stepping into a Group of Seven painting. Bold granite outcroppings and dramatic terrain shifts are epitomized on the tenth signature hole with a sheer granite rock face in play along the length of the fairway.
For a general overview of Golf in Muskoka visit https://golfmuskoka.com/
On my list to get to in the Muskoka area are: Diamond in the Rough, Oak Bay Golf & Country Club, The Rock Golf Course, (heard it is really tough) North Granite Ridge and Muskoka Bay. Invites welcome, LOL.
Heading way north now, our last stop for me was initially induced by the search for the elusive Brooke Trout. To the north side of Lake Superior and since we were traveling by car, I could hardly imagine not taking my clubs. First stop, Elliot Lake, even before the redesign and new name of Stone Ridge at Elliot Lake it was a pretty good and fun track. Might just need to make an excuse to get back up there! Have flyrod will travel too!
If I make it to Elliott Lake you can bet your life that I will make it to Blind River, about an hour away and the Huron Pines Golf & Country Club. After all, I can count the number of rounds I have played at even par or better, and yupper one was here many years ago! A good solid track, no real wow to it, but you will meet some of the nicest people locally and from afar!
For more information on visiting either Elliott Lake https://www.elliotlake.ca/en/recreation-and-culture/visiting.aspx or Blind River http://www.blindriver.ca/visitors
That’s it but it certainly will not be all. Any golfer living in Ontario who has not explored the Province from top to bottom, east to west do so – you will not be disappointed.
Visitors to Canada and Ontario all I can say is BRING YOUR CLUBS…and I hope that you enjoy some wine.
Some other helpful links:
Ontario Travel – https://www.ontariotravel.net/en/home
Destination Canada – https://caen-keepexploring.canada.travel/canada-nice