Golf has been popularly described as “a good walk spoiled.” Those who share this opinion have obviously never played golf in the Bay of Quinte. Below is a roundup of five great courses in the region to play this summer and to enjoy some spectacular nature.
BARCOVAN GOLF CLUB
1412 County Road 64, Carrying Place
Barcovan is a beautiful golf course and wildlife abounds. Yellow warblers, turtles, and frogs are sprinkled through the wetlands that can be found on holes 8-12. If you’re not quite as excited about nature as I am, Barcovan is a course that makes you think. On most holes, golfers are required to make tough choices: should I lay up, can I make the green in two? It’s critical to hit the fairway on your drive because the first cut of rough is deep and punishing. Once on the putting surface, golfers face lightning quick greens. Barcovan is a challenging but thoroughly enjoyable course for all skill levels.
OAK HILLS GOLF CLUB
1538 Frankford-Stirling Road, Quinte West
Like many of the area courses, Oak Hills has incredible scenery. Golfers are spoiled for choice with two 18-hole courses to choose from: The Highland and The Glen. Both are fantastic, but my personal preference is The Glen. A lovely river runs through most of the front nine and can be found on several holes on the back, attracting great blue herons and lots of barn swallows. The Glen features many doglegs, forcing players to make accurate tee shots. Another challenge is the small, postage-stamp size greens. Immaculately maintained, to hit the green, golfers iron play has to be spot on. Oak Hills is a fun 36-hole experience.
TRILLIUM WOOD GOLF CLUB
1281 Highway 37, Corbyville
Trillium Wood is a picturesque course: tee boxes, fairways, and greens are all kept in exquisite shape. Extreme doglegs force pinpoint tee shots and large greens sometimes result in 70 foot puts with multiple breaks. Trillium is a tough course, but with several tee boxes it caters to all different levels of golfer. To help golfers meet the challenge, Trillium has top-notch amenities. Carts include a GPS system that give players accurate yardage, hole views, and a voiced flyover with advice on how to approach each hole. And although I played terribly during my recent round, I did see a beautiful deer on hole 12. Indeed, whoever said golf was a good walk spoiled was absurd!
BRIAR FOX GOLF CLUB
7415 Old Highway 2, Marysville
There’s a great feel about Briar Fox — instantly upon arriving at the course you’re made to feel welcome. Even better, the course offers four tee boxes for golfers of all skill levels and ages. A personal highlight for myself is hole 8, a beautiful par 3 with water protecting the front of the green and a stately church located behind. Another attraction is Briar Fox’s greens. Well-maintained and often tiered, virtually every green slopes away from its centre creating an upside down saucer shape and a distinct challenge. And for the nature lover, rabbits, frogs, and butterflies dot the course.
NAPANEE GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB
201 County Road 8, Napanee
This year is Napanee’s 125th Anniversary. Founded in 1897, Napanee has a long and storied history: in fact, the legendary Sam Snead held the course record for many years. A 9-hole course, Napanee has dual tee boxes, creating a unique and “genuine” 18 holes. With dramatic elevation changes, golfers are challenged to choose the right club. This is particularly true on hole 2 and 11, a stunning par 3 where golfers tee off high above the green below. An unrelated pleasure are the train tracks that pass at the back of the course, resulting in distinctive train whistles from passing passenger and freight trains.
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