Golf and curling are similar in their basic values: both games require a steady hand, have their own distinct vernacular, and emphasize sportsmanship so much that the post-match handshake is a universal ritual. Roseland Golf and Curling Club brings the two genteel games together in one facility that features a six-sheet curling rink and a 27-hole golf complex. Open November through March, the curling club offers free “Learn to Curl” classes at various points throughout the season, leagues for curlers of all ages and abilities, and open ice sheet rentals all day on Saturdays for those looking for a place to stash their perishable snacks.
Outside, golfers can test par-hunting skills at an 18-hole, par 72 course designed by Donald Ross and built in 1926. The layout measures a formidable 6,943 yards from the farthest tees, requiring golfers to call upon every club or oversized crowbar in their bag to complete the round. In addition, the facility offers shorter, short game-oriented rounds in the form of a 9-hole, par-3 course.
The 18-hole course at Arkona Fairways entices golfers with lush, tree-lined fairways and fast greens. From the rolling inclines of the back nine, swingers can gaze out for miles, allowing them to quickly spot golf balls in argyle pants. The course’s signature 18th hole stretches out for 405 yards and challenges players to match a par 4 while tackling a dogleg right laden with traps and conquering a green in the shape of the Eiffel Tower. Burgers and wings sate post-round appetites while golfers lounge in the shade of patio umbrellas of Mulligan's Bar & Grill.
The Bogey Golf Tour grants golfers a chance to take to the links and compete against fellow amateurs in tournaments scheduled at some of the finest courses in the London, Windsor, Detroit, and Kitchener/Waterloo areas. At each event, scratch golfers compete in the Birdie division, 0–15 handicaps square off in the Par division, and 16+ handicappers trade pinpoint approaches and sequined divot tools in the Bogey division. The top five finishers in each division receive prize money—which can be paid out in gift certificates or cash—and the Tour also holds prize competitions for longest drive, closest to the pin, and 3-iron jousting. The Tour publishes the results from each tournament in local newspapers, and players can chart the peaks and valleys of their careers on the Tour Members list, which compiles all of their tournament results. Along with providing an outlet for amateur golfers to exercise their long-suppressed competitive side, the Tour and its sponsors have raised $74,000 for various area charities since 2003.
Trying to refine your golf game at the driving range alone is often difficult, especially for those who can't resist the urge to blast through an entire bucket of balls with nothing but their driver. At Kitchener Golf Academy/Ryall Golf's Doon Valley location, golfers encounter a variety of training venues to address all elements of the game.
The facility encompasses an 18-hole, championship-length course and a full-length 9-hole course, where golfers can test their mettle against a variety of holes sculpted through wetlands and along the banks of the Grand River. Doon Valley also features a 9-hole, pitch-and-putt course, where a series of short holes helps players zero in on the most critical aspect of golf—the short game—and ignore the sweet siren song crooned by their driver. However, when it is time to test their power off the tee, Doon Valley offers a full-size driving range—the main feature of a practice facility that also includes a putting green and a practice bunker. The grounds at Kitchener Golf also host the 18-hole Rockway course. Built in 1935, the par-70 course measures 5,520 yards from the farthest tees and challenges golfers with trees that line the fairways like spectators at a golf cart drag racing event.
Kitchener Golf Academy/Ryall Golf's staff of PGA of Canada pros make use of all of Doon Valley's facilities in lessons and clinics offered to golfers of all ages and abilities.
Though the 200-acre BraeBen Golf Course boasts an 18-hole Championship course, a 9-hole Academy course, a driving range, and wildlife such as falcons and coyotes, its most unique attribute can’t be seen with the eye. The site’s green energy system provides enough renewable energy to continually power more than 5,000 homes in Mississauga, making the course not only a joy to play but also a positive example of golf-course conservationism. This respect for the environment is evident as golfers tee off on the par 72 Championship course, an homage to golf’s early days in the Scottish highlands with its tall grasses, deep pot bunkers, and strong winds that can knock iron approaches and jump high-fives well off-course.
The Academy course and its CPGA professional instructors create a prime setting for player development, winning BraeBen the GAO Coaching Facility of the Year award in 2011. Director of Instruction Bradlee Ryall and his team use all 9 holes—measuring between 100 and 200 yards and possessing unique game-improvement challenges—as opportunities for players to lower scores and collect fodder for their annual Christmas letters. Additionally, they deploy TrackMan 3 golf radar to measure players’ key swing statistics, including trajectory and landing position, for every swing from 6-foot pitches to 400-yard drives.
CyberGolf Lessons' duo of veteran instructors smoothes out swings and divulges birdie-hunting wisdom at the Markham Golf Dome. The score-shaving syndicate pairs human expertise with modern golf refinements, utilizing video swing analysis that provides golfers with a visual aid to better understand instructors' feedback and determine their sand wedge's good side. After lessons, pupils have access to a Swingview! Pro profile that stores video captures of their unique motions, allowing them to compare them with a database of PGA Tour swings and chart their progress over time. CyberGolf also doles out rental clubs free of charge for use during lessons, saving beginners the hassle of buying new clubs or inventing the self-hitting golf ball.
At The Practice Tee Driving Range, players sidle up to one of 32 separate hitting stations, unsheathe their golfing sticks, and proceed bash their unsuspecting golf balls skyward. After straightening out a slice, perfecting a 1-iron stinger, or adding a front handspring into a preshot routine, they often proceed to the short game practice area to brush up on putting touch and calibrate lobs in the 30-yard chipping zone. And because practice should prepare one for all manner of unexpected occurrences, from plugged golf balls to miniaturized Dutch windmills, intrepid players and their kids can also play a round of putt-putt on the miniature golf course that resides on-site.
Find reviews and articles on outdoor activities, attractions, things to do.