Forty-five hitting bays span the length of Markham Golf Dome’s indoor driving range, allowing players to groom golf games year-round. The six-storey dome covers 53,000 square feet, which could easily serve as a modern sports stadium or a blimp's favorite napping spot. Alternatively, the facility also hosts an outdoor driving range with 60 hitting bays, target greens, and chipping greens to help players hone long-range and short-game techniques. Each of Markham Golf Dome’s instructors has accrued more than 10 years of experience in helping players drive, pitch, and scissor-kick balls with the precision and consistency needed to achieve tee-to-green success.
LakeShore Links Indoor Golf’s sleek, 8,000-square-foot facility helps golf swings avoid offseason rust with nine golf simulators and a duo of instructors that hold lessons year-round. Within the simulators, wall-sized, high-definition screens capture every blade of grass at 23 legendary courses, including Bay Hill and Pinehurst, and built-in video-swing-analysis cameras allow players to scrutinize their techniques, introducing them to a digital doppelgänger soon to be their inferior. Virtual rounds even grant stick-flickers the freedom to take a mulligan with the mere touch of a button, which instantly lets them replay their previous shot. LakeShore’s resident aces help groom games with everything from private lessons to junior development programs, and golf-simulator league play helps participants sharpen their competitive edge all year round. As golfers play through a circuit of fairway facsimiles, the club curbs appetites with a menu of very real light fare.
At Fairtree Golf Centre, links-lovers hone long-games on a 300-yard driving range and short-games on a two-acre practice area. After grabbing their buckets of Pinnacle range balls, which the staff replaces each season, golfers toe up to one of 50 fibre mats that look out upon the range's expanse. Thwacking through a large bucket typically takes about 45 minutes, although some may opt to save a little ball ammo for the short-game area's two putting greens and arduous sand traps. Since there is no time limit on either of the facilities, players can take their time and recite a farewell haiku to each and every ball.
The piercing clang of well-struck drives resonates across the grounds at Golden Ridge Golf, their echoes beckoning to clubbers to come groom their game at the multifaceted complex. Guests can smooth out rough-edged swings with a stint at the 300-yard driving range, where players can hit off of natural grass or faux-turf mats and take cover in sheltered hitting bays during rainstorms or pelican pranks. An 18-hole mini-golf course channels the charm of an old country town with a decorative wagon, general store facade, and putters that double as moustache combs. All of the grounds’ score-shaving resources are utilized to the fullest during Golf Academy clinics and lessons, which are overseen by CPGA-certified pro and former touring professional Gordie Burns.
A 27-hole golf complex, Royal Niagara Golf Club comprises a trio of nine-hole, par 36 courses that share the water-laden landscape and showcase scenic views of an ancient canal, a tree-lined trail, and the steep elevation changes of an escarpment. Each nine-hole course—The Escarpment Course, The Iron Bridge Course, and The Old Canal Course—extends more than 3,500 yards from the back tees and bears a title that reflects its most notable feature, just like at the world-famous courses Pebble Beach and Neighbour’s Windshield. On The Escarpment Course, for example, players travel up and back down the Niagara Escarpment, and The Old Canal Course leads them past the 120-year-old Welland Canal and four large ponds.
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.
Gothic Hill Golf Course grants playing groups ample space to address their golf balls on the tee and take aim at each of nine pins, en route to the overall par of 27. At 1,353 yards, though short, the course demands concentration and precise execution with each shot—competitive skills that can be easily applied to other situations such as trying to play Sudoku in the bathtub. After a full day of golf, customers can visit Wesley's where they can unwind on the patio over a meatball sub or cheeseburger.
Course at a Glance: