Kick Off NHL Season on a Canadian Course
Have you dusted off your hockey jersey lately? If not, you may want to as soon as possible.
After all, the 2014-2015 NHL season is scheduled to officially begin tonight at 7 p.m. ET, when the Montréal Canadiens face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.
To celebrate, we have compiled the following list of five of the most pristine golf courses you can play in Canada – the homeland of hockey.
Glasgow Hills Golf Club (Hunter River, Prince Edward Island)
As a previous recipient of Golf Digest’s four-star rating as a “Best Place to Play,” Glasgow Hills’s gorgeous natural surroundings, including the Gulf of St. Lawrence and River Clyde, have attracted golfers from around the world since it opened to the public in 2001. Renowned as a challenging, yet fair layout that all golfers can enjoy, Glasgow Hills measures nearly 7,000 yards from the back tees and features several elevation changes, as well as a course rating of 73.8 and a slope of 134. Aside from its surroundings and layout, the course has also steadily gained recognition for its immaculate conditions, which are typically sustained throughout the summer and fall.
Pakenham Highlands Golf Club (Pakenham, Ontario)
A 27-hole championship golf club, Pakenham Highlands offers guests three distinct nine-hole courses – The Lake, The Canyon and The Island. Measuring 3,174 yards from the back tees, The Lake Course is the shortest of the three, yet it is anything but a cakewalk, as its water hazards, undulated greens and fairways require precision and course management. The Canyon Course also rewards accuracy, as it is even narrower than The Lake Course, with fairways that are often surrounded by wetlands, streams or ponds. On the other hand, The Island Course is a bit wider than The Canyon or The Lake courses, yet it is also the longest of the three, measuring 3,308 yards.
Sandpiper Golf and Country Club (St. Albert, Alberta)
A true test of golfers’ patience and course management skills, Sandpiper is particularly renowned for its water hazards, which are featured on 17 of its 18 holes, as well as its variety of fairway and greenside bunkers. Whether they are playing the links-style front nine or the more narrow back nine, golfers should focus on precision, rather than distance, as they hit their drives. Despite the course’s difficulty, it still remains fair for all golfers, as it offers three sets of tees, ranging in length from 5,621 to 6,638 yards. In the meantime, a golf academy is also available on site and is led by former Canadian Tour professional Leigh Thomas.
Seven Lakes Championship Golf Course (LaSalle, Ontario)
Appropriately named, as it actually features seven lakes, the 18-hole, par-71 championship course is certainly challenging, as many of its holes are surrounded by wetlands and beech, maple or oak trees. In contrast, some holes have links-style golf characteristics instead, such as long grasses and a variety of bunkers. With a slope of 73.4 and a rating of 134, the course, designed by Michigan-based architect Bruce Matthews III, provides a test to even the most experienced of golfers, in spite of its shorter distance, as it only measures 6,802 yards from the back tees. Golfers are also welcomed to play the nearby original nine-hole Old Course, which has been entirely renovated and redesigned.
Tobiano Golf Course (Kamloops, British Columbia)
Designed by renowned architect Thomas McBroom, who has created 12 of SCOREGolf’s Top 100 Canadian courses, Tobiano offers something for everyone. Whether golfers are seeking a daunting layout or a relaxing round of golf in which they can gaze at canyons, wildlife, or a large, stunningly beautiful lake, they will not be disappointed by Tobiano’s ever-present challenges or views. Five sets of tees are available for golfers at the par-72, 18-hole championship course, ranging in length from 5,358 to 7,367 yards (the back tees currently feature a course rating of 75.3). In terms of intimidation, one hole especially stands out – the par-five 13th, in which golfers must hit their drives over a canyon.
Featured image of Tobiano Golf Course courtesy of WorldGolf.com.