At Hickory Ridge Golf & Country Club, 10 holes check in at under 300 yards. The first hole is not one of them. Though it doesn't trip up golfers with any tricky bends or bunkers, the club's opening hole does challenge them by measuring 522 yards?by far the longest on the 5,200-yard course. The signature 18th hole, meanwhile, bookends the course with a sloping fairway and shimmering pond. Such scenery is reflective of the entire course, whose crisp, undulating fairways and gently rolling terrain invite golfers to walk instead of renting a cart or strapping a saddle to their caddy. Hickory Ridge also features a complete range of CPGA teaching programs, as well as an on-site practice facility complete with target greens and a driving range.
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.
At Forest Glen Golf Centre, golfers are able to hone their skills in perfect succession. They can start by working on their short game while putting across a pair of 18-hole mini golf courses, which stretch out across three acres of forested terrain and open parkland. Next, players can reach for their pitching wedges and work their way around the 9-hole, par-27 pitch and putt course, with yardage varying from 40 to 100 yards. Those lengthier challenges provide the perfect warm-up for the driving range, an area that boasts 70 hitting stations and three target greens so golfers don't have to take aim at passing airplanes. On-site lessons with seasoned pros help improve scores, and a children's play area keeps youngsters busy with a tire park and zip line.
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.