Kawarthas Golf Trip Part II
My original post covering my three trips to the Kawartha region of Ontario started to get a little long. For that reason, I decided to cover some of the other golf courses that are maybe a little further afield in this second post.
Sturgeon Point Golf Club
Founded way back in 1899, Sturgeon Point Golf Club is among the oldest in Ontario.
Set on a piece of land on the shores of Sturgeon Lake this nine-hole course has a driving range and clubhouse.
Interestingly it offers free docking facilities! Not many golf clubs can offer that.
An easy walking parkland course, some holes with views of the lake.
I recall that the pro was very welcoming.
The pace of play was a little bit slow as the course was pretty busy.
Green for the nine holes is perhaps a tad too high but if you’re playing 18 second nine will only cost you C$10 so that balances it out.
Byrnell Golf Club
A pleasant little nine-hole in a mature parkland setting with a few water hazards that shouldn’t pose too many difficulties.
Like many of the courses in the area, it is very much a holiday course. With four par-3s And the longest par-4 measuring only 355 yards, it’s not one for the bombers.
It’s condition was on a par with many of the local courses.
Twilight rates are C$20, C$5 less than the full rate but there’s no mention of the cost for a second nine. If they are just going to charge you double then that would be a little expensive I think for such a short course.
Minden & Haliburton
Gull River Golf Club
Back when I played it this was called Beaverbrook Golf Course, it opened for play in 1939.
Given that two holes run adjacent to Gull River it’s not exactly surprising that the name of the club has been changed.
If picturesque holiday golf is what you’re after then you should take a trip to Gull River, where there are a number of pretty holes. The length of the course won’t catch you out either.
A little more expensive than some of the other nine-hole courses but not ridiculously so.
Haliburton Highlands Golf Course
Another short nine-hole course with the longest hole measuring a mere 341 yards.
Some scenic holes and plenty of mature trees to test your game. Given the length should be a relatively quick round.
It will cost C$25-C$28 for nine holes with a second nine adding $12 to the price.
Interestingly if you have a non-playing partner that wants to walk around with you then they expect you to pay C$8. Don’t think I’ve seen that anywhere else! Most clubs just wouldn’t allow you to take non-players out.
Whitetail Golf Club
Despite my round being a little slower than I would like, this was one of the more enjoyable rounds I had.
An 18-hole course offering a wide variety of holes and using natural changes of elevation well.
When I played, the course was in good condition and represented excellent value for money at their twilight rate. Looking at their site at the moment, if you play on a weekday after 3 PM it’s only going to cost you C$25 for 18 holes.
I’ll admit it was quite a drive considering I was staying near Bancroft. Particularly considering I was on the wrong side of the road and on the wrong side of the car!
Of course, people living in North America think nothing of driving much longer distances than Brits due to the size of the place.
West Highland Golf Course
In Madoc, you can find an unusual course which has 12 holes!
I’ve never played a course with 12 holes before and I don’t recall hearing of another.
West Highland Golf Course is a fairly typical Kawartha’s golf course. Even from the white tees you only have two par-4s over 300 yards and the par-5 is only 462.
Even quite modest hitters will be eyeing up a number of the par-4s as driveable.
The condition was okay given the green fees but if you’re looking for something challenging in pristine condition then this won’t be for you.
A great little course though for beginners or for a game on a summer’s evening after work.
Poplars Golf Club
This club seems to have closed, unfortunately. This is a shame as I recall having an enjoyable game. Fairly easy walking and offering a decent challenge off the very back tees at over 6500 thousand yards.
Trillium Wood Golf Club
Trillium Woods was one of the better condition courses that I played during my visits to Canada. Of course, that was reflected in the green fees which are a little bit higher than some of the other courses further north in cottage country.
One of the longer courses at over 6600 yards on the card. This will test all but the longest hitters.
If you’re visiting the area then I would say this is a course you should have on your itinerary.
Black Bear Ridge Golf Course
In close proximity to Trillium Wood Golf Club, you can find Black Bear Ridge Golf Course.
Like its near-neighbour this was also in pretty good condition although a couple of fairways were a bit damp when I played. I think that was due to watering because of the high temperatures at the time.
Designed by Brian Magee who owned and farmed the land prior to the golf courses construction.
Should you decide to take on the black tees then you need to bring a great long game. Two of the par-5s alone add up to 1200 yards between them!
Fortunately, there are five sets of tees to choose from to suit your game.
The holes are well spaced out and run in all different directions through the property. With plenty of trees to catch you out should you stray from the fairways.
In addition, there is a short game area plus a driving range and a nine-hole short course to keep you occupied.
The green fees reflect the quality and conditioning of the facility so prime-time on a weekday it’s going to cost you C$75. Although you can take advantage of the twilight offer in the afternoon.
Bay of Quinte Golf & Country Club
Celebrating their centenary in 2021 after originally starting as a nine-hole course. Split into two halves which presumably represent the original and newer nines. The course not surprisingly offers a mature parkland feel. Plenty of trees to catch you out and quite a few water hazards mostly on one side of course.
The green fees, in particular their twilight rate, are pretty good value considering the course conditioning. C$29 is all your pay after 5 PM.
Timber Ridge Golf Course
Probably favours someone who draws the ball as a number of holes dogleg left and only one really dogleg’s to the right. 20 years old in 2021 the course has plenty of mature trees in places to mess with your ball along with a few water hazards and bunkers.
By the looks of recent reviews, those bunkers are being rebuilt and the sand replaced at the moment.
The course offers pretty good value with weekday twilight rates of C$35 rising to a peak weekend rate of C$65.
Warkworth Golf Club
I played Warkworth Golf Club in the company of two members and it was an enjoyable round of golf.
It is a mature parkland course, easily walked although buggies are available.
The course was in good condition but is not particularly long even off the back tees.
Green fees are quite reasonable at less than C$40 and if you live in the area you can get membership from C$1600.
Picton Golf & Country Club
Golf has been played there for more than a hundred years. The course is bisected by a road with three holes and the clubhouse near the shores of the lake and the remainder of the course on the other side of the road.
Water is in play on four holes with plenty of mature trees dotted around to block your path as well!
Coming in at 6300 yards it provides enough of a test without becoming a slog.
Their peak rate green fee is C$55 but by using their online system you can take advantage of discounted pricing at off-peak periods.
Glen Lawrence Golf Club
Looks like this is another course that has closed since I played it.
Smuggler’s Glen Golf Course
Was recommended to play here and I’m so glad I did. Despite being a slightly slower round it was still very enjoyable.
Running to 6603 yards from the very back tees it is no pushover. A number of water hazards and bunkers will test your game.
There are several rocky outcroppings and some elevated tees.
There’s a wide variety of green fees depending on day and time but the twilight rates offer excellent value at around half the peak time rate.
Baxter Creek Golf Club
Baxter Creek is a relatively new course and uses water as a defence on many of the holes. While there are a few holes protected by trees for the most part there is a bit of space off the tee.
It was in good nick when I played and looking at more recent reviews that still seems to be the case.
There is a choice of tees stretching from 6000 yards to 6600 yards depending upon how far you hit it. Even off the back tees though there aren’t really that many really long par-4s.
Unusually they don’t have a weekend rate with everyone paying the same Monday through Sunday, C$72. There is however a generous discount for their twilight rate (C$40) although it doesn’t mention the exact time you would need to start.
Kawarthas Golf Trip Part II: Conclusion
Considering I’ve only spent eight weeks in Canada and not all of that in the Kawarthas I think I’ve managed to cover a fair few golf courses!
It’s true to say that many courses in the region are only nine holes and therefore ‘serious’ golfers may be put off. Yes, some of the courses aren’t in the greatest condition but golf is not the main reason people come to the area.
Depending on where you’re staying you may have to drive for a few hours to find the best-conditioned courses.
I found pretty well every course is welcoming to visitors although whether that was due to my accent who knows!
If you are near Toronto then you might want to check out my more detailed review of Glen Abbey.