Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Teeing it Up in Muskoka

Muskoka’s landscape – with its abundance of rocky outcroppings, trees and water - makes for some stunning (and sometimes challenging) golfing. Whether you’re looking to just hit a few buckets of practice balls at the driving range or want to play 18 on a world-class golf course, you’ll find just what you’re looking for within a short distance of Colonial Bay.

Right across the road from Colonial Bay is The Acres Driving Range. It’s a well-marked range with both natural grass or mats on the elevated tee deck. They have natural target greens and bunkers to aim at (or avoid!). Clubs are available to rent and lessons are available by appointment.

A short drive to the west down Highway 60 are the two courses at Deerhurst resort. The Highlands is a majestic, world-renowned course that offers challenging lies and gorgeous views. Deerhurst’s Lakeside course is a good choice for beginners and families or anyone who wants to play a quick game.

Further west along Highway 60 are ClubLink’s Grandview courses: the 18-hole Mark O’Meara and a 9-hole Academy course. The Mark O’Meara offers spectacular views of Fairy Lake from a course that winds through granite outcroppings and towering trees. The Academy course is ideal for a quick round or a game with kids.

The historic Huntsville Downs course opened in 1925 and was originally designed by the legendary Stanley Thompson. Huntsville Downs is playable by inexperienced golfers but still challenging for more experienced players. They offer the option to play 9 or 18 holes and, in truly family-friendly fashion, let’s kids under 12 play free when playing with an adult (starting July 9 – contact the course for full details).

Bigwin Island Golf Course (pictured above) provides a unique experience for golfers: the course is on an island in Lake of Bays and is accessible only by water or air. Public play is available in the spring and fall: Monday to Friday after 10 am or Saturday and Sunday after 1 pm in May, June, September and October. Check their website for information on tee times and access to the island.

There are more courses further afield in Port Sydney, Bracebridge, Port Carling, Windermere and Gravenhurst. You’ll find a comprehensive list at Explorers’ Edge. Why not head out for a round the next time you stay at Colonial Bay? And when you return to your waterfront cottage, a Muskoka chair on the beach will be waiting for you.

Happy golfing!
The Howell Family

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