Options for the budget-minded in Ontario

By July 20, 2010, 10:12 pm


St. Thomas Golf & Country Club
Ontario boasts a variety of first-class golf resorts.

As the PGA Tour RBC Canadian Open stops at St. George's Golf and Country Club, it's a perfect time to take a look at the one-of-a-kind golf courses in the province of Ontario.

Wouldn't you love a leisurely drive to a vacation destination offering great golf, fine food and comfortable accommodations? Look no further. That seemingly elusive destination is right here in Ontario.

Search the Web for 'golf in Ontario' or regional golf publications such as Ontario Golf News, Bay Area Golfing, or Tee To Green. Check the exchange rate ('Whoopee!), open the road atlas and plan your trip. (Most courses have their own Web sites, as well.)


For more Canada travel tips, course reviews and golf packages visit
Throw your clubs and luggage in the trunk, fill up the tank and away you go. If you're extra value-conscious, you might want to arm yourself with a discount coupon book, available at bookstores and golf shops throughout Ontario.


In addition to playing on some beautiful courses, you'll travel through some of the prettiest scenery in Ontario. Take, for example, the Huronia tourist region, whose southerly border begins just a few miles north of Toronto, up the multi-laned Highway 400.

Closely defined, Huronia is synonymous with Simcoe County; for ease of understanding, think of it as the area centered around Barrie and extending north to Midland, west to Collingwood, east to Orillia and south to Bradford.

The vast majority of Huronia's courses – mirroring the situation throughout Ontario – falls into the recreational and value-conscious categories. As a result, competition is fierce, resulting in great value for the average golf visitor. (All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars.)

'Recreational' and 'value conscious' should not be construed as demeaning. Rather, the majority of Huronia courses are interesting for golfers of all calibres; better, or more masochistic, players can get all the testing they want at most of these courses simply by stepping to the back tees. Just don't clog up the course; four hours or less is the norm around here.

A little south of Barrie, on Highway 89 about seven miles west of Highway 400 near Alliston, sits Nottawasaga Inn. The Valley course charges $44 while the longer and tougher Ridge 18 will set you back $69. The 575-acre property, recently named 'Best Family Resort in Ontario,' offers many recreational opportunities, including a sports dome and extensive children's activities. Nottawasaga also offers great packages. For example, for $240 per couple, you receive golf, accommodation, and country buffet breakfast.

North of Barrie a few minutes is scenic Horseshoe Resort with its 36 holes at the base of ski hills. About $200 per person gets you unlimited golf with cart, accommodation, breakfast, and dinner.

In the nearby Orillia area, tackle Hawk Ridge's 36 holes. After a (hopefully) successful outing at the world-class Casino Rama, try Lake St. George, a par-72, 6,300-yarder. Around Barrie, Simoro Golf Links is a fun outing and Midland's Brooklea Golf and Country Club offers an executive nine, a links-style nine and a parkland nine. These, like most courses in the region, have arranged attractive package rates with local motels. Another possibility is the venerable Midland G&CC, a tree-lined shotmaker's paradise dating back to 1919.

On the other side of Georgian Bay, in the Collingwood area, the semi-private Blue Mountain Golf and Country Club welcomes visitors. The Coney Island-like atmosphere of Wasaga Beach is home to a couple of passable public courses for those who want a break from beach, boats and bikinis.

All these Huronia courses are well under an hour's drive from Barrie and only a little farther from Toronto. Decent accommodation is inexpensive and plentiful. Various stay-and-play packages are available are available all over the province, but seem more plentiful north of the Greater Toronto Area.

Let's head south for a change. Not south south, but just half an hour south of Brantford where, for $114 per couple on weekdays, The Greens at Renton offers two greens fees, a cart and two dinners. Stop in at the Erie Beach Hotel in quaint Port Dover the next day for a feed of its renowned local perch on your way west.

West? Darn tootin', pardner. Some of the best courses in the province are located in the southwestern region stretching from London to Windsor.

How about a little warm-up at the Holiday Inn in Sarnia, with its onsite nine-hole executive course? For a stronger test, tour Huron Oaks GC where PGA Tour star Mike Weir honed his skills or the excellent St. Clair Parkway course in nearby Mooretown. It's a great layout with huge greens and is always in fine condition.

The town of Forest is a superb spot to set up camp for a couple of days. Renowned for the theatrical performances at its outdoor amphitheater, the area also boasts some fine golf. On top of your list should be Indian Hills GC, a tough but inexpensive 6,500-yard outing with weekday greens fees of $32.

For one-stop shopping, try the Forest Golf and Country Hotel with its 27 holes. Weekend package deals include unlimited golf, accommodations, and full use of the recreation center for $200 per couple. Arkona Fairways is always in great shape, and a treat for walkers with an average green fee under $30.

In the Chatham region, the Wheels Inn Resort is a good base from which to try city courses like Indian Creek or Country View. And everyone fortunate enough to play it says the historic Blenheim GC is one of the province's best-kept secrets. Others worth playing in this area include Ridgetown G&CC and Deer Run.

If you want to sample Windsor's gambling establishment, you will want to stay in the heart of the city, close to the major arteries that will whisk you away to some terrific golf.

There are some 20 courses in the metro area, but the pick of the litter has to be the city-owned Roseland Golf and Curling Club. Designed by famed architect Donald Ross, it is always in nice shape and provides a pleasurable challenge for golfers of all abilities. Located about half an hour from Windsor, the 27-hole Kingsville Golf and Curling Club is another gem.

Two others you must try are Fox Glen and Royal Estate GC in nearby McGregor. And before you head home, go to Canada's most southerly course, Erie Shores G&CC at Point Pelee.

There are, of course, hundreds more golf courses in Ontario, the vast majority of which are friendly, enjoyable and relatively inexpensive. Too often, it seems, golf vacationers focus only on the high-end destinations when their dollars could be more wisely spent. Uninformed opinions to the contrary, a golf vacation remains affordable to just about everyone, be they hardcore golfers, families, couples or seniors.

Why not break away from the pack and try some of these or, if you're so inclined, discover your own hidden gems? It's worth it, in so many ways.

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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”