Rated and measured by the Golf Association of Ontario, the course at The Fox Golf Club brings together 18 pleasantly challenging holes on one well-groomed, links-style turf. In order to make a play for the par of 72, players will need to adapt to long par 3s—all more than 200 yards from the back tees, save one—and a preponderance of dogleg fairways that lie within the course’s 6,409 yards. A 350-yard driving range and two practice greens await players near the clubhouse, where athletes can refuel after their games with hot dogs, beer, and golf balls infused with foie gras.
Canadian course architect Rene Muylaert designed Echo Valley Golf Club's 18-hole course, which rolls across 6,343 yards of rolling terrain. The natural topography divides the course into two stylistically discrete sections, dubbed "the upper" and "the valley," letting clubbers enjoy diverse scenery as they trace power-draws across the sky and shush chatty 9-irons at each tee box. CPGA Master Professional Bruce Atkins roams the verdant expanse, conducting lessons and imparting advice culled from a career that includes a stint as the President of the Ontario PGA. An on-site driving range helps players nurture relationships with their drivers, irons, wedges, and oversized soup ladles.
Spread across 270 historic acres, Knollwood Golf Course is a challenging 36-hole facility comprised of the Old Course set right alongside the New Course—both designed by well-regarded course superintendent Jack Harris in 1970 and 1990, respectively. Players can opt for a round on the Old Course or the New Course links and enjoy hole designs that embrace the natural Ancaster topography. Elevated tees and long, perplexing par 5 holes with ominous names such as Buried Treasure and Redemption lead to finely timed fairways that open up into stirring panoramas. The New Course entices advanced club swingers, and the Old Course's more accessible series of par 4 holes with large, accommodating greens is appealing for beginners.
Knollwood players don clean-cut golf attire and enjoy a golfer's paradise that has been open to the public since 1970 and keeps players happy with sprightly paced 10-minute tee times, on-site restaurants and beverage carts, and a "no-argue" rain cheque policy. The facility's proud groundskeepers maintain large, naturalized areas on the course intended to encourage the wildlife to thrive and occasionally join in on a game.
Though the layout is welcoming to all golfers—from weekend warriors to players with scratch handicaps—danger is never far at Rattle Run Golf Course. Pine forests are an ever-present threat, lurking just outside the primary cut of rough, beyond most of the greens, and in flashbacks triggered by pine-scented air fresheners. Meanwhile, 78 bunkers and several water hazards enter the picture on 15 of the 18 holes, ensnaring many golfers who play more aggressively than skill and conditions permit. On the other hand, those golfers who can keep their golf balls on the short grass likely find these rugged natural features to be picturesque, and choose to admire their beauty over drinks on the clubhouse's wrap-around balcony.
Since 1993, Crab Apple Ridge Golf Course has been challenging fledgling club-wielders and golf gurus alike with a par 72 course sprawled out across more than 125 acres of rolling terrain. Tee off from blue, white, ladies, or seniors tee boxes and avoid course-speckling crab-apple trees, ball-gobbling ponds, and knicker-adorned ghost caddies prone to offering up unsolicited fashion advice on your 18 hole-in-one attempts. Sloppy shanks and great drives both enable players to embark on exhilarating cart rides in search of their short-lost friend.
Touted by The Sand Trap as "Erie's best public course," Whispering Woods Golf Club provides a comfortable yet challenging environment for beginners to smooth out the rough edges of their game and veteran ball-whackers to whittle their skills to a finer point. The John Exley-designed, 18-hole course encompasses sprawling, lush fairways lined with huddles of tall trees and streams crisscrossing the rolling terrain. Five sets of tees afford golfers varied approaches to the water hazards and 50 formidable bunkers peppered throughout the scrupulously maintained course. A cart rental for two relieves the burden of those playing exclusively with 17-irons.