There’s a lot of great golf to be played in and around Georgian Bay area. From Collingwood to Owen Sound and everywhere in between, golf has truly developed the area into a four-season playground for everyone who enjoys the outdoors. With the help of Mother Nature and incredible panoramic vistas of Georgian Bay, the region’s par-3s have some of the most stunning views in Ontario, so get out there and take a swing at a few of these.
1- Batteaux Creek Golf Club – Nottawa
On a windy day, No. 8 at Batteaux Creek, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2012, is the one hole people don’t look forward to. The prevailing winds on the 193-yarder tend to blow in golfers’ faces or from the left bringing a large pond more into play. It’s a relatively straight shot from the tee with very little elevation change to a large two-tiered green protected by six bunkers. With five sets of tee decks there are lots of options, but remember more golf balls go in this pond than any other on the course, including mine!
2- Blue Mountain Golf & Country Club – Collingwood
When it comes to the most scenic par-3 at Blue Mountain that’s easy, it’s No. 14, which plays 166 yards from the tips. Head Professional Rob Weiss says the pond located directly in front of the green tends to get in peoples’ minds. If they make it over the pond there’s also a large bunker with a steep face between the water and the green to clear. The undulating, medium-sized green narrows from front to back and funnels down from right to left. There’s also out of bounds down the right side and beyond the green to keep golfers in check.
3 - Cobble Beach Golf Links - Kemble
Commanding a panoramic view of one of the most scenic areas in the province, the 17th hole is aptly named the Lighthouse for its distinctive structure silhouetted against the glistening waters of Georgian Bay. Designed by Doug Carrick and playing from 107 to 156 yards, this inspiring par three plays downhill to a spacious green that appears to fall off into the Bay from all vantage points. The marsh along the right side expands into a pond just before the green and circles all the way round behind the multi-levelled putting surface. Three deep bunkers guard the right front of the green. A pot bunker and greenside bunker protect the left.
4- Duntroon Highlands Golf Club – Duntroon
Standing on the highest point at the golf course on the eighth green at Duntroon Highlands there is a wonderful panoramic view of the layout below as well as the countryside and Georgian Bay in the distance. While No. 14 would be the most difficult par-3 on the course at 207 yards to a postage stamp sized green, No. 8 was redesigned in 2001 to make it more challenging. It features tee decks protected by trees and then opens up at the green with two bunkers on the left and one to the right of a rolling putting surface.
5- Georgian Bay Club – Clarksburg
While it may not be the toughest par-3 in the area, No. 3 at Georgian Bay Club is certainly the most picturesque. For those who have been lucky enough to play it you just stand on the elevated tee decks and say “WOW”. You don’t want to be distracted by the great view of Georgian Bay but it’s hard not to be. The green on this 146 to 217-yard par-3 is located on a plateau that dramatically falls away on three sides. A back left pin placement is not for the faint of heart. Enjoy the vistas, and play for par – it’s a good score.
6- Mad River Golf Club – Creemore
If you miss right, left or long you’re in trouble on No. 16 at Mad River – the toughest and longest of the course’s five par-3s. There’s an elevated tee shot on this tree-lined 176 to 224-yard hole, that falls off to a large green protected a pond at the front right with five bunkers that also line the green. The green is tiered back to front and if you’re not on it in one shot an up and down for par from anywhere is a good score. Take one less club than the distance indicated because of the drop, but be careful because the wind swirls above the trees.
7- Monterra Golf – The Village at Blue
Each hole at Monterra has its own moniker with No. 10 is aptly named “Stagefright.” Once you climb to the top of the tee blocks that are cut into the Nipissing Ridge, you’re looking at one of the most daunting shots in the region. Although it’s only 134 yard from the Gold tees, this par-3 puts a premium on accuracy over a valley to a smallish diagonally positioned green set on a small shelf surrounded by trees. Tom McBroom designed six deep pot bunkers, four that run along the left side of the green and two to the right that are nasty if you miss the mark!
8- OslerBrook Golf & Country Club – Collingwood
The fifth hole at OslerBrook grabs your attention. Perched on the highest point of the golf course, just below Osler Bluffs Ski Club, is a stunning par-3 with a panoramic vista stretching from Wasaga Beach to Midland. It’s the first par-3 on the course and the shortest at 177-yards from the tips. Although there are no bunkers at the front of this mid-sized green, it’s protected by a false front that extends down the left side and will send shots short of the target rolling backwards. Watch out for the winds on this Graham Cooke design!
9- The Golf Club at Lora Bay – Thornbury
Co-designed by PGA Tour professional Tom Lehman and Canadian golf course architect Tom McBroom, the 15th at Lora Bay is drop dead gorgeous. This dramatic par-3 features an elevated tee shot overlooking a magnificent forest and Georgian Bay. The tee shot on this 185-yard, par-3 drops some 180 feet to the valley floor and a raised, gently undulating green that slopes from back to front. It is protected by large bunkers at three of the four corners that appear to be larger than the green itself.
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