There are a lot of awesome things about living in central Ontario in the summer, but one that has to be right near the top of the list is the number of truly awesome golf courses right in our back yard. The courses featured here are all public, so they’re accessible to anyone. If you’re looking for a one-in-a-million golf experience, you can’t go wrong with any of these.
1. Muskoka Bay Club (Gravenhurst)
Course designer Doug Carrick is a member of the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame, and Muskoka Bay is one of his finest courses. It was named one of the “Top 10 Golf Courses in Canada” by Golf Digest in 2021 and has stunning views and is a real treat to play.
2. Copper Creek (Kleinburg)
Copper Creek has a reputation for being one of the top public courses in Canada, and with good reason. The well laid out and challenging course is always immaculately maintained. You could debate that Copper Creek can hold it’s own against any private course, but one thing you can’t debate is that the views are spectacular.
3. Lora Bay Golf Club (Thornbury)
Named one of the Top 5 New Courses in Canada when it opened in 2005, Lora Bay is another spectacular course set along the shores of Georgian Bay. Named one of Score Golf’s Top 59 Canadian Public Courses in 2019, this course offers dramatic bunkering and bold greens that make for a challenging game.
4. Deerhurst Highlands (Hunstville)
Deerhurst Highlands was originally built in 1966, but the redesign by Thomas McBroom made this one of Canada’s most unique courses. Also named one of Score Golf’s Top 59 Canadian Public Courses in 2019, the par 72 course is a benchmark for other courses in the area – watch below and you’ll see why.
5. Taboo Muskoka Golf (Gravenhurst)
Starting to see a theme here? It’s really no surprise that Muskoka is home to incredible golf. Taboo Resort offers another stellar course that we had to put on our list. It’s consistently voted one of Canada’s Top 50 courses. Each hole is framed by outcroppings of the Canadian Shield, so you really get the feeling that you’re playing a private course.
6. Eagles Nest (Maple)
Another Doug Carrick designed course, Eagles Nest is a world class course just a short jaunt down the highway. The course itself is very pretty, you can even see the CN Tower from the 8th tee. There are elevation changes, dozens, and numerous false fronts on the greens to make this course a challenge.
7. Wooden Sticks (Uxbridge)
When designing Wooden Sticks, Ron Garl took inspiration from some of the most famous golf courses around the world. In fact, 12 of the 18 holes at Wooden Sticks were each inspired by a different famous golf hole from the PGA. So, you can imagine yourself playing off a road in Scotland, across a famous creek in Georgia, onto an island in Florida, or through pine forests in New Jersey, all without leaving Ontario.
8. Tangle Creek Golf & CC (Thornton)
Don’t discount this awesome course that is literally in our backyard. Declared Barrie’s top golf facility for decades, Tangle Creek Golf & Country Club blends the traits of a links style layout with a traditional North American parkland golf course. The golf is challenging for all levels, so be sure to bring your “A” game.
9. Ridge At Manitou (McKellar)
Designed by Thomas McBroom, this course is cut out of the Canadian Shield. No matter your playing ability, you’ll be able to enjoy this gorgeous course that cuts in and out of the Canadian wilderness.
10. Cobble Beach (Owen Sound)
Cobble Beach is another Doug Carrick’s Ontario golf courses. The links style course imitates the rugged terrain found on the great links courses of Scotland and Ireland, and Carrick nailed it. Small pot bunkers, closely mown chipping areas and hollows surrounding the greens mean fast running, bump and run golf.
Main Image Courtesy of cobblebeach.com