With just a few weeks before the fourth annual Great Waterway Classic on Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada, there’s never been a better time to visit the Kingston area for a weekend of golf.
With more than 10 courses within a 45-minute drive of the city’s beautiful downtown, it’s no wonder that Kingston has become a hotbed for travellers and residents alike. Golfers looking for playable, affordable and scenic courses need to look no further.
When planning a stay-and-play golf weekend, the best place to start would be where the Great Waterway Classic itself got started – at Smugglers Glen Golf Course.
Just 30 minutes from Kingston on the shores of the St. Lawrence, Smugglers Glen was nominated as ‘Best New Course in Canada’ by Golf Digest in 2006. It remains one of the best courses in the Eastern Ontario area, and hosts some of the region’s best amateur golfers each year at the Flagstick Shootout. With fabulous vistas from several elevated tees, the course is always in immaculate condition and takes advantage of the natural terrain.
The exposed rock of the Canadian Shield is visible on many holes, which make the course feel as though you’ve been transported to the Muskoka region.
30 minutes the other way from Kingston is Loyalist Golf & Country Club, the home of The Great Waterway Classic for the second year in a row.
“We are pleased to be returning to Loyalist for The Great Waterway Classic in 2015,” said tournament director Brad Parkins. “The ownership group, management team and community residents at Loyalist wholeheartedly embrace the event last year.”
That said, the course is open to the public, and golfers looking for an interesting challenge in a serene setting will certainly enjoy Loyalist.
Take the par-4 9th as a highlight, for example. A long dogleg right, the view from the tee is of the town’s water tower, and Lake Ontario itself. It’s a fine finisher before moving to the windswept, challenging back nine.
If, however, you’d like to explore the rest of what Kingston offers in terms of golf – after you play where the pros have played, of course – then both Garrison Golf & Curling Club and Glen Lawrence Golf & Country Club will certainly whet your appetite for great golf in a tremendous location.
Garrison is located just 10 minutes from downtown Kingston. After opening its first nine holes in 1971, it’s become a staple in the area for golfers of all skill levels. The club expanded to 18 holes in 1985.
“I think what our players love most about the golf course is the consistency you get when you play it,” says Office Manager James Breen. “We strive to bring the finest golfing experience to the Kingston area with challenging gameplay on a beautifully groomed surface.”
10 more minutes up the road from Garrison lays what could be classified as a ‘hidden gem’ in the area. Glen Lawrence has a fabulous patio filled with a robust membership, and, the golf course meanders through an elegant setting with pristine conditions.
“Our reputation is about the quality of the course layout,” explains Doug Wark, the director of golf. “It’s a very playable course, with interesting and enjoyable golf holes.”
Glen Lawrence is also known for being having an incredibly fun atmosphere.
“This year I have introduced new ‘Fridays at the Glen’,” says Wark. “Top quality local musicians play nearly every Friday night and monthly on Saturdays. This has been a huge success.”
So whether it’s world-renowned golf you’re looking for, or maybe just a casual course where you can enjoy a great round and a cold beer, the Kingston area has a little bit of everything for you this summer.
The Great Waterway Classic starts August 27th at Loyalist Golf & Country Club. More details here.