With two 18-hole courses draped over a scenic stretch of Ontario countryside, Oak Hills Golf Club invites duffers to test their swings across rolling, timber-lined fairways. On both courses, constant elevation changes force players to hit toward uphill and downhill targets, and ponds, streams, and trees wielding catchers' mitts wait to snatch errant orbs. The longer of the two, the Highland Course connects across 5,655 yards, including an uphill, 568-yard par 5 that will require three long shots to reach the green in regulation. Though considerably shorter at 5,135 yards, the Glen Course requires more careful play with narrow fairways and traffic cones that carts must slalom in between each hole. The Club also encompasses a 30-stall driving range with grass hitting areas for pre-round warm-ups or casual practice sessions.
Sculpted into the banks of the St. Lawrence River, Iroquois Golf Club’s links-style course spans 6,158 yards of gently undulating terrain. As players traverse the picturesque par 72, riverside winds, relatively sparse trees, and scorecards printed in Gaelic channel the coastal charms of the old courses of the Emerald Isle. Intervening waterways appear on all but three holes, placing confident swings and sound course management at a premium. Rounds conclude with a dramatic finish at the par 3 18th hole, where approach shots must send golf balls soaring over a water hazard that sits between tee and green and houses a community of great blue herons who raise their young on a golf ball-based diet. Patrons who arrive by plane at the Iroquois Air Strip or by boat at the Iroquois Marine Services can call the golf club and arrange for a shuttle to drive them to and from the course.
Course at a Glance:
Thunderbird Sports Centre challenges clubswingers' short game on its nine-hole, par 27 Thunderbird Golf Course. Honouring the undulating terrain, plentiful evergreens, and deciduous trees, the course layout sets a brisk pace with a 10-storey metronome at the center and holes ranging from 88 to 142 yards. Design elements elevate play even further, intermingling bodies of water, sand traps, and deep rough. The fully lit course stays open until 10:30 p.m., or whenever the area's stone gargoyles come to life. Pull cart ($3.75) and club rentals ($9.15) are also available, and golfers can refresh before or after a game at the pro shop.
Built in 1993 by owner Neil Comstra, Eagle Ridge Driving Range has since expanded from a practice facility to a fun center with mini-golfing and go-karting action. While putting guests try their hand at the 18-hole mini-golf course, players rehearsing teeoffs on the 300-yard driving range can take aim at a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle and the mechanic trying to start it. Guests can transition to a different kind of driving by hopping into a single- or double-seated go-kart for a spin around the oval slick track. In between races, range time, and mini-golf games, youngsters can continue playing in an oversized sandbox or join adults on the facility's picnic tables or in the shade of a custom-built gazebo.
Foxbriar Golf Range's verdant grounds challenge all aspects of golfers' games with a variety of practice areas. Callaway range balls perch atop tees in the 4,000-square-foot grass tee area or on realistic range mats, with automated ball dispensers that allow players to practice at any time, day or night. A grassy putting green tunes up short games with challenging lies, and a sand trap helps golfers practice chip shots, wedge skills, and wrestling balls out of the claws of territorial crabs.New players and seasoned golfers looking to perfect their swings can up their game by taking lessons from Foxbriar’s on-staff PGA Professional, Mike Judy, who sports 30 years of mentoring experience. And kids’ or Lilliputians who want in on the fun can swing their clubs on the 18-hole miniature golf course, whose heather grass eschews kitschy obstacles for tricky, links-style layouts.
The course at Brockport Golf Club strings together a cornucopia of holes that require golfers to adapt their game to a green that is at times hilly and flat, lengthy and less so. Wedges establish themselves as the most important components of the golf bag on the front nine, edging out the woods and remote-control air horns, as tight fairways often leave players scrambling to get up and down. Water is more frequent on this side, with a stream twice crossing the fairway of the third hole, a 507-yard par 5. After players make the turn, the course opens up considerably and becomes better suited to long hitters, who can finally unleash pent-up power by nailing their tee shots or returning the flagstick to the cup with a 100-yard javelin throw. Though the track requires skill with each club, the undulating greens place most pressure on the putter and spell doom for those players who three putt too often.
Course at a Glance: