Muskoka is known for its natural beauty and world-class amenities. For golfers, both courses are in abundance on the courses scattered in our region. The Muskoka signature holes are not necessarily the longest or the most difficult, but they are the most spectacular. The problem facing the linksters, however, is which course to tackle first?
After a breathtaking view and a solid golf test on the top nine places, the tenth hole at Taboo Resort, Golf & Spa has improved. This par-4 s extends to 439 meters of tips and requires a precision of departure. A long report on a ruthless gorge is essential to reach the panoramic fairway from left to right. Aim the fairway bunker on the left as everything goes to the right on this hole. Once secure in the short grass, note the position of the flag on the very attractive green kidney-shaped. Anything less than ten feet from the hole is a job well done and the normal 10 is a great way to start your new home.
The fifth hole in North Granite Ridge is arguably the most spectacular view of any Muskoka. Perched on one of the highest peaks of the ridge, the pinnacle of a true golf experience in Muskoka is at your feet. The 388 yards listed are misleading because the hole plays all that and more. Precision is paramount from the start, as towering white pines run along both sides of the fairway and give this hole a corridor appearance. A small pond on the right side requires 255 meters to transport it, the ideal distance to swallow its fair share of errant strikes. The success lies in the striking approach because the green is all upstream. All that lies outside the narrow, sloping green down the hill leaving a clumsy punch. Deer are known to hunt down places so keep your camera close at hand.
The 8th hole of the South Muskoka Curling & Golf Club brings into play all facets of your game. The swirling winds are a danger on this high tee, as are the bunkers and the pond surrounding the hole, club selection is crucial. Golfers who fly green have a good chance of finding themselves in one of the four deep bunkers that make it an unrealistic result. Those that are too short run the risk of creating a water hazard or protected area of the environment, a no-go area for breeding birds and wildlife, in which golfers are allowed to play, involving a bogey or a higher level. Staying below the hole on this sloping green allows for an aggressive birdie race. Bring your digital camera and take some pictures, because this hole is as picturesque as it is difficult.
With the iconic clubhouse in the background, The Diamond in the Ruff’s fifth hole is as challenging as any other par-3 in any Muskoka. At 217 yards, the real test is to gather enough courage to put enough time in your bag to play enough in the wind. With perhaps the largest Muskoka bunker, measuring 200 meters, the portage is the key to marking this hole. The encroaching pines offer golfers who are considering a rescue plan very few options, especially to the right. With the green inclined from right to left, special attention must be paid to the position of the spindle. Anything above the hole requires a putt of 3. Be grateful for any green in the regulation. Take a deep breath, go up and do the putt.
The ultimate risk / reward occurs at the 17th hole of the Huntsville Downs Golf Club. This par-5 plays less than the 473 yards announced. The elevated tee overlooks the beautiful stretch of golf course and is a visual feast during the fall season. Long strikers will see the green in two, the generous downhill fairway and food heading for the green. A hand-made stone wall divides the hole and encourages golfers to reach their markers. Two fairway bunkers are sure to make the bird a bird out of the equation and worse if you end up in the mixed Muskoka bush on the left side. An undulating green makes very few putts but rolls true. Expect to have a glimpse of Muskoka’s diverse wildlife on your way down this trail.
The 11th hole of the Windermere Golf & Country Club, aptly named "The Pulpit", provides a sense of divinity while perched on this huge rocky cliff. Measuring approximately 173 meters, the tee shot will be longer than expected. The direction of the wind is of the utmost importance to stick it tightly. Anything long, left or right is a disaster. A large bunker on the left devours the golf balls for breakfast. Long is a shit with many rocks and pines to bring chaos into the mix. Once on the small dance floor, you can rest assured that the putt will be clean and faithful on its way to the cup. A must for lovers of fall colors and golf.
The tee-off on the 5th hole of Kirrie Glen exudes peace and tranquility, indispensable after a tormenting experience on the previous green. The precision is all about this par-3 which is protected by sand traps, mature trees and a stream known to catch a ball or two. A dominant breeze from left to right favors those who tend to fade the ball. A strong start is usually rewarded on this green because there are no extreme ripples or breaks to negotiate. Considered the easiest hole on the course, it is also the most spectacular.
Although less known to be the most famous cousin of the Highlands, Deerhurst Lakeside Golf Course offers spectacular views of Peninsula Lake as well as challenging holes. The second signature hole does both. Rated 201 meters, this picturesque par-3, although classified under three other par-3 holes on the course in length and difficulty, requires your attention. The speed and direction of the wind must be noted and taken into account in the selection of the club. The tee shot is all about this hole because the green is lined with water on three sides. Hit the green in regulation and birdie is a viable option. Miss it, and bogey or worse is just hiding around the corner. Remember the old golf adage that everything has to break water.
The first hole at Deerhurst Highlands will give you a memorable start. This magnificent par-4 measures 37-meters, but draws every centimeter. A well-placed tee shot of the picturesque raised tees is a must. To get away too far from this fairway quickly seals your destiny. Faced with an approach shot in 130 m, the bird is an undeniable possibility. Keeping in mind that the green slopes back and forth and that the much sought after real estate is protected by two deep bunkers, should encourage players to take more clubs than originally planned. The strategic choice of your target and the navigation in this green finally make the difference on this hole.
It is not common for the shortest hole on a golf course to be considered a signature hole, but in the case of the eighth hole in Muskoka Highlands, an exception is required. An extremely high tee measures 121 meters, but the peer is by no means a guarantee. The screaming winds, a permanent tenant on this links course, conspire to throw your ball further and require careful consideration of club selection. Bunkers with deep Scottish inspirations punish those who go astray for too long. A large green offers a large landing room, but a ridge crosses the middle of the surface, cutting it essentially in half. Hitting your ball on the wrong side of this adjustable wrench adds to the pressure to do the par.
On paper, the 5th hole at Beaver Run Golf Course looks pretty benign. A par-4 at only 315 yards usually requires little attention or respect. But this hole requires both precision and creativity on the part of the challenger. With a pond 200 meters from the lapel pin, golfers must choose between starting or bombarding their tee shot in a tiny, ruthless landing zone. The reward is easy terrain to the green, but a group of pines on both sides of the hole and rocky outcrops wreak havoc in the golfer’s mind. With three bunkers surrounding the little green, it is essential to hit and stick this sloping green. Stay below the hole for easier climb. If your ball finds water, facing a beaver at temperament is a losing battle in advance. Take your medicine and continue.
The sixth hole at Bracebridge Golf Club is perhaps the most versatile of any Muskoka. The four different approaches to playing this hole fit all skill levels. Going directly to the green requires not only a monstrous elbow, but also the precision needed to maintain the ball in the narrow fairway bordered by the forest on the left and by a cavernous ravine on the right. More careful is to carry on the valley on the crest of the hill. From there, a medium green iron leaves an au pair or better. The altitude changes are spectacular and even at a distance of 317 meters, this par-4 requires all your shooting repertoire.
The Ninth Hole of the Muskoka Bay Club, nicknamed The Narrows, is a topic of conversation for almost all golfers who have played this tribute to the sport. Love it or hate it, The Narrows & # 39; begins with a daunting start, high above the natural wetlands, to a landing area about 200 meters away. There is still a lot of work to be done, a bottom-up approach of a green protected by two rock walls, although visually stunning, testing the full range of your creativity. Those lucky enough to find the green in the regulations face a perilous and hilly journey. The par is traditionally accompanied by a sigh of relief.
After leaving the longest hole of the course, a 640-yard monster, the 10th hole of The Rock, plunges you into a false sense of security. At just 389 yards, this seemingly seemingly parsimonous 4 seems, to the unsuspicious, as the perfect opportunity to regain your composure. Do not let the idyllic landscape fool you, two obstacles prevent you. First of all, a precise tee shot, above a marsh where one is bouncing, is necessary to win real estate on the lush fairway. Secondly, a tiny, sloping green appeals even the hardest of corner players. Any approach taken even a short distance from the edges of the green will inevitably find its way out of the dance floor. Pencil in your 4 and go to the next beauty of Muskoka.
The 8th hole of the Lake Joseph Club is a spectacular and scenic par-3. The tee is well above the green and requires a commitment from the golfers to make the right club choice, taking into account the drop in altitude and the whirlwinds of winds that cross the valley. A steep stone wall comes into play for missed shots on the left and a long operation may require a search and rescue team. Starting shots that fall or a smidgen on the right always have an au pair hope. Green rolls at the speed of the neck, but holds a real line.
During a skins match, John Daly has already reached the 18th hole of Normal 5 at Grandview Golf Club – the Mark O course. Meara with a pilot and a corner. For mere mortals, the starting shot is a forced transfer of Muskoka wetlands to a wide fairway. The marsh continues on the left side when you think about your bridging options or the Herculean effort of the green. The approach shot will probably be blind because the green is still well above you. Take an extra club and a higher trajectory to ensure a smooth landing. Putting this green is not a good deal because the slope and contours will put your speed and your line to the test.
The 12th hole of the Rocky Crest Golf Club is a par-5 that can rarely be mastered. Take a moment on the starting blocks, because the altitude offers a majestic view. A wide fairway awaits your route and will allow extra distance during the driest summer months. The second shot should be a game with a medium iron, as precision is needed to avoid kicking left in an anxious pond. An approach shot will be within 100 meters of a large green that tilts from the back to the front. Placement is key for a realistic birdie attempt on this smooth mat.
Lorne Rubenstein has already mentioned the 6th hole of the Bigwin Island Golf Club, the best tee shot in Canada. With its elevated tees, this 4-par gem is located 1,500 feet above lake level and is the highest point on the island. A breathtaking view welcomes you every season with all the lake bays in the background. With a generous fairway and the prevailing wind in your back, you’ll have the courage to really go to this 460-yard hole. Two deep fairway bunkers on the left side flirt with those looking to gain a little more roll on the tilted fairway from left to right. An average iron approach is what remains at the saddle-shaped green that is well above you. The roller coaster ride continues as a false front and penalizing the bunker on the right front protects the pin. Usually at 11 o’clock on the Stimpmeter, it is better to stay at hand to avoid a dreaded 3 putts on this green.
No matter which course you choose to play, a unique golf experience in Muskoka is assured. From tee to green, there are not only divots and pitch marks. Beautiful scenery and majestic views accompany golfers on their odyssey through the fairways and greens of Muskoka. The only question left is when will you be back?