Framed by the tree-spotted foothills of Vermont, Rocky Ridge Golf Club’s 18-hole course unfurls across a verdant expanse of rolling farmland. Throughout the course, elevated fairways and greens offer breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding mountains, as well as a safe lookout from which golfers can detect rival armies of croquet players. Flower beds and rocky outcrops along short-grass corridors further accent the layout’s bucolic environs. Clubbers looking for lessons can seek out golf pro Ed Coleman, who roams the grounds in a zen state attained through 20 years of coaching experience and aromatherapy that uses the odor of freshly mowed fairways. Cozy, green-side seating and tables nestled in shaded porches await golfers for post-round relaxing at the clubhouse restaurant.
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.
As they traverse Capital Golf Centre's course, players will notice that there aren’t any water hazards or sandtraps to contend with, or, for that matter, any par 4s or 5s. This is entirely by design: the course architects designed a low-stress experience for all players, but primarily those who are just taking up the game or picking it back up after a long time away. The result is a par 3 course that winds through the Ottawa Valley forest, composed of 18 holes measuring up to 202 yards. The layout helps novice and veteran players alike focus on accuracy with their irons and short game, without the difficulties from long water carries or tight lies in bunkers riddled with sunbathing tourists.
Players can head to the practice area and make use of the driving range’s mat or grass tees, putting green, and chipping green. A portion of the driving range is specifically dedicated to short iron play, with targets spaced out between 50 to 350 yards away.
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:
Carved through the tree-lined wetlands near the Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort, Golf Manitou's par-58 course showcases the artistry of architect Darrell Huxham. By design, each hole is a grassy homage to a different legendary golf course—the sand encircling the tenth green, for instance, recalls the Desert Highlands Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the towering pine trees around the third hole mimic North Carolina's legendary Pinehurst. Unlike the thick shag carpet covering other courses' greens, slick bent grass makes for fast putts at almost every hole—including the fourth green's two-tiered tribute to Ballybunion Golf Club in Ireland. Before rounds, golfers can warm up at the driving range, which sports both grass and synthetic hitting bays, or practice putting and chipping on a massive 18-hole, 30,000-square-foot practice green.