10 MUST-PLAY GOLF COURSES
Hit the links at one of Canada’s hottest destinations.
Prototype Course In 1990, Muskoka’s golf boom began with the launch of Deerhurst Highlands Golf Course, a superb Tom McBroom–Robert Cupp co-design at Huntsville’s Deerhurst Resort.
Par Three to Remember From the wildly elevated eighth tee at Lake Joseph Club near Port Carling, golfers hit to a valley green dwarfed by a giant striated wall of pink granite.
Celebrity Endorsed The official home course of 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir, Gravenhurst’s Taboo Golf Course offers a roller-coaster ride through wetlands, rock shelves and a forest of birch, pine and balsam.
Blindingly Beautiful The Mark O’Meara Course at Huntsville’s Grandview Golf Club frequently forces golfers to blast blind shots over menacing rock faces. Daunting at first, the gorgeous forest layout grows friendlier with each playing.
Memories of Scotland Muskoka Highlands Golf Course, an appealing Scottish links-style layout in Bracebridge, meanders over 150 rolling acres on a routing that forces golfers to whack tee shots into the wind.
Fantasy Island Elevated tees—notably at the sixth and 18th holes—present glorious vistas of the surrounding Lake of Bays at Bigwin Island Golf Club, a design by Doug Carrick that numbers among Canada’s most picturesque courses.
Bogey Hole Perhaps Muskoka’s most feared hole is the 16th at Bracebridge’s recently restored South Muskoka Curling and Golf Club. The par four features a long approach over a ball-hungry gully to an undulating green.
Most Anticipated Re-Launch Closed last season for the refinement of several holes, The Rock Golf Club, an award-winning Nick Faldo design in Minett, is a tight and twisting layout that demands precision.
Golden Oldie An older, classically designed course not to be missed is Huntsville Downs Golf and Country Club. A local favourite since 1925, the tract was carved through dense forest and Canadian Shield granite.
Best Bargain North Granite Ridge, midway between Huntsville and Bracebridge, offers many of the thrills, challenges and rugged scenery of Muskoka’s best-known courses at about half the cost.
Tip! In Muskoka, green fees have climbed as steeply as the popularity of its golf courses. Many clubs offer twilight fees that allow you to play at a discount late in the day.
Brian Kendall is the author of Northern Links: Canada From Tee to Tee.