Burlington, Ontario and area…a Golfers Paradise
Okay I need to fess up right from the start. I am not a golfer. However, I can appreciate those of you who can’t wait to get out on the links, enjoy the challenge of the game, the fresh air, the camaraderie of playing with your friends and getting some great exercise.
So in order to write this blog, I needed a little help from my golfing colleagues. We arranged to have one of our summer students Greg take a golf lesson at Tyandaga the municipal course in the city to get some great golf tips. I also asked some local golfers things like: what is their favorite hole, who has a great pro shop, is there a tasty menu item at clubhouses etc. So this blog is a combination of all those experiences to help you determine which course(s) are best suited to you.
Burlington has nine courses located within our city limits and each one offers unique golf experiences. North of the urban buzz are a number of course nestled in the escarpment with beautiful views and challenges holes.
Burlington Springs was built in 1962 by CPGA pro Larry Bunkowskyand is the proud home of LPGA Touring Professional Barb Bunkowsky-Scherbak. This is a well-kept 18-hole semi-private course with no initiation fee. It is a forgiving course which is easy to play and moves well so you can play fairly quickly. It is a par 72 with a total of 6,582 yards on the gold tees. This affordably priced course also welcomes tournaments with a capacity of 175 diners, plus offers golf lessons, and a pro shop.
Camisle Golf claims to be Burlington’s only mid-length course and features two separate pay as you play courses, the original 9 hole course (Par 34 – 3000 yds) and the 18 hole (Par 69 – 5053 yds) Land of Legend course. They have 3 licensed patios, a pro shop and can host tournaments for up to 100 golfers. This year they are celebrating 41 years in operation and are the home to winter golf (on mild winter days with minimal snow they will be open!) A great course to take beginner golfers as it is less adventurous and you can play straight down the middle (unless you golf like me!).
Crosswinds is the newest golf course in our area designed by Robert Stevens and located between Mount Nemo and Rattlesnake Point. The course is aptly named as directional winds change your shot and means changing clubs on most holes adding an extra challenge. With fabulous views of the escarpment on every one of their 18 holes, it has a very attractive layout. The course is a par 72 with 7240 yards, the longest course in Burlington. The island green on a windy day is always a test for every golfer. It has won many awards including the Post Readers Choice Diamond Award, Voted Top 10 “Best Bang for your Buck” by Ontario Golf Magazine in 2009 and 2011, Top 50 in Ontario voted by Ontario Golf Magazine 2011, Platinum Award Burlington Readers Choice for Banquet Hall and Up! Magazine Top 10 Value Courses in Canada in 2010. You can buy passes or green fees, they do not offer memberships. Amenities include a pub, restaurant, patio, driving range and pro shop. It is known as a challenging course with lots of sand and water traps to keep you on your toes. Staff are friendly and help ensure efficient play on the course.
Hidden Lake opened in 1962 and was formerly known as Lake Medad Golf and Country Club. Purchased in 1979 by the current ownership, the course was renamed the Hidden Lake Golf Club after the lake that flows alongside the holes of the “Old Course”. Home of the Canadian Open Qualifier, there are two championship courses that cover over 500 acres. The courses are rated roughly the same (71/6743/6712) so you can play the Old one day and the New the next! They also have a complete practice facility (you can see it on the drive in) and a large pro shop and banquet facilities for up to 260 people – a great tournament location. This year they have just added silver tees on both courses at a distance of 4,000 yards to bring the fun back to golf. It is quite a challenging course with holes that are located very close together, so heads up! Favourite holes mentioned were 15 on the old course the new courses.
Lowville is a sister course to Hidden Lake and is known for its rolling hills and breathtaking views of the countryside and Toronto. Opened in 1973, the course was transformed in 1998 by architect Dick Kirkpatrick. In 2005 a beautiful new clubhouse was opened that can accommodate banquets of up to 150 people. They have a well stocked pro shop, offer lessons and welcome tournaments. A cart is a must on this challenging course and you need to watch out for hidden shots. They have an All you can Play Every Day promotion – play as many holes as you like for one green fee. This course topped the list of the Toronto Star Bogey Man, receiving most scenic and most improved club honours.
Indian Wells is nestled beneath the towering cliffs of Mt. Nemo and has fantastic views of both the escarpment and the GTA. Opened in 1973, the Toronto Sun has presented the course the Silver Award in the category of “Best Value Golf Course in the GTA”, in both 2011 and 2012. It is a nicely laid out par 71 championship length (6,402 yds) course with dramatic elevation changes.. The front nine challenges the golfer with ponds coming into play on six holes, and the back nine presents narrow fairways and deep mature forests. The 16th hole has been called “The Greater Toronto Area’s Supreme Short Par 4” by The Toronto Star’s Bogey Man. It is one of the prettiest and toughest holes at Indian Wells. On site they have a pro shop, patios and clubhouse that has a dining room and private meeting rooms so you can combine business with pleasure.
There are three courses in the urban centre of Burlington that are convenient to both residents and have easy highway access for visitors.
Millcroft Golf Club is a par 70, 5,890 yard semi-private course which challenges golfers of all playing abilities. This is a beautiful Florida-style course that meanders through a residential neighbourhood and is a great course to walk. It has been awarded Burlington’s “BEST GOLF COURSE” for the last 10 yrs. by the Burlington Post Reader’s Choice Awards. This course is more challenging than it looks and rewards an accurate game. You don’t have to hit a long ball but it better be straight! They offer annual memberships with no entry fees and playing privileges at Indian Wells Golf Club. In addition they provide golf lessons and junior clinics to help develop your game. A pro shop, dining room with patio and welcome tournaments for up to 144 golfers.
Tyandaga Municipal Golf Course is a 71 par, 5,756 yard course situated in the heart of the city of Burlington, and offers golfers the convenience of an urban course coupled with the atmosphere of a rural setting. Tyandaga’s natural contours, waterways and broad leaf woods create a unique and challenging golfing experience that will stretch your skills. This is a pretty, mature course that winds its way through homes and has nice views of the city and lake. This 18 hole course offers memberships and green fees, golf clinics, lessons and junior golf programs plus can host tournament play.
The Burlington Golf and Country Club was established in 1922 and is a private 18-hole course located on Burlington bay in the centre of the city. It is a par 71, 6,470 yd course that is nicely laid out and beautifully manicured. Hole 17 is a great challenge and presents picturesque lake views. The golf club includes a pro-owned golf shop, a state-of-the-art practice facility with an enclosed driving range, world-class short game practice area and teaching facility. The spectacular new clubhouse opened in 2009 with banquet and meeting rooms, outdoor patios and BBQ’s many overlooking the bay. The club also has a curling facility which has hosted the Ontario and Canadian Mixed Curling Championships. Their meeting/banquet facilities are available for public bookings.
As I mentioned, I am not a golf enthusiast so I recruited Greg, Summer Travel Counsellor and renewed golf enthusiast to head to the course for a lesson.
“As we arrived to Tyandaga Municipal Golf Course this past Thursday, on the hottest day of the year, I pulled my dust covered golf bag from the truck bed, trying to remember how long it had been since I had last swung a club. It was clear Supervisor of Golf Operations Brad Weake had the odds stacked against him in giving me a lesson on my game. Nonetheless, he was up for the challenge, and away we went to the range.
Brad had me start off with a few practice swings, followed by a couple hacks which ended with the ball no further than where it had started. However, with a few minor tweaks, adjusting my hand position, shortening my back swing and keeping low as I followed through, progress was gradually made. Within 20 minutes, Brad’s tips and feedback led to the development of consistent, straight shots. My pitching wedge, which most likely could have been thrown further than hit, was now going straighter than ever, and 120 yards. Brad’s teaching allowed me to focus solely on a couple things at a time, and as lessons progress, more and more coaching would be added, as not to overload your mind. And of course, no coach would be a coach, if there wasn’t a final emphasis on PRACTICE. Getting out to practice these tips is essential to keeping them in your swing, and not reverting back to old habits.
The lesson immensely improved both my confidence and passion for the game of golf. After all, why be frustrated with your game, when there are opportunities with such skilled professionals as Brad, who you can learn from? As the saying goes, a bad day on the golf course is still better than a good day at work…unless of course, you work at Tourism, where you get the best of both worlds!”
Did you know that just minutes away in nearby Oakville the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame & Museum celebrate the game of golf with interactive activities and exhibits. Located on the grounds of the world famous Glen Abbey Golf Course.
Enjoy your summer on the links!