Fall golf in Ontario: where to play, stay, and play some more
This post was originally published on the Ontario Travel blog.
Don't let the sun go down on this year's golf season just yet. You know there's nothing better than your foursome on a great course surrounded by full splashes of color, a comfortable crispness in the air, and the promise of one last chance at birdie until next spring.
Keep the dream alive this fall in Ontario. The summer golf locales that beckoned earlier in the season remain just as welcoming now. And here are three more buddy golf getaway options just a drive and short iron away.
A Winning Weekend in Windsor
Three words: Ambassador Golf Club. This gem designed by the legendary Thomas McBroom should be on everyone's golf bucket list. Consistently ranked among Ontario's finest public courses; and on the quality-for-value scale, you'd be hard pressed to find a better bang for your buck.
Where to stay: Two more words, Caesars Windsor. You don't need to go all the way to Vegas. This downtown hotel and casino on Windsor's waterfront offers everything you could hope for in a weekend getaway, and then some. Gaming, live entertainment, and a slew of dining options will make sleep optional. And your morning tee time won't be at risk because the Ambassador is also in the heart of the city, just a short drive away.
Where to play some more: The birthplace of whisky in Canada, Windsor Essex is now home to a new generation of craft distillers and brewers for you to discover on the Barrels Bottles & Brews Trail. Or take a break from all the action and head over to the quaint town of Kingsville, on Lake Erie's north shore less than hour's drive away, to peruse the shops, stop for a bite and pint, and maybe even another 18 at the Kingsville Golf & Country Club. Also within easy reach are the town of Leamington and a ferry ride to Canada's southernmost point, Pelee Island, home to Pelee Island Winery.
Head for the Hills
The Hills of Headwaters, to be exact. The rural townships just to the northwest of Toronto may be best known for its local food scene and devotion to all things equestrian, but it's also home to some of the finest courses in the province. Hockley Valley Resort in Mono is a four-season playground and an ideal destination for a golf-and-more getaway. The 18-hole championship track, also a Thomas McBroom design, is rivaled only by its stunning setting of rolling, fescue-covered hills and mature trees.
Where to play some more: Just a kilometre away from the resort, Adamo Estate Winery is definitely worth the visit. Mario Adamo, the patriarch of the Adamo family (owners of Hockley Valley), famously created an award-winning winery out of land previously thought of as inhospitable to grape growing. Interesting people in interesting places are the hallmark of the region, so wandering is highly recommended. We suggest the Town of Erin (pronounced ear-in). And when you're ready for more golf, a lot more golf, get yourself over to Osprey Valley in Alton where three distinctive and highly regarded 18-hole courses await. That's 54 holes of awesomeness. Can you handle it?
Fall Golf by the Falls
As if you needed more reasons to visit the Niagara Region, let's add great golf to the list. And the Niagara Golf Trail, with its seven member courses, makes deciding where to play easy. You can't go wrong at any of the three Niagara Parks championship courses - the two at Legends on the Niagara, and the venerable Whirlpool Golf Course, created by the godfather of Canadian design, Stanley Thompson.
Where to stay: From chain hotels to boutique inns, and every other accommodation style you can think of, you'll find it all in Niagara. So if you're the center-of-the-action type, then consider Fallsview Casino Resort. But if you want your stay to match the mellow vibe of nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake, then you can't go wrong at either of Niagara's Finest Hotels' three properties.
Where to play some more: Again, depending on how you define playtime, the opportunities here are endless. If the lane you pick includes winery touring, then you're definitely in the right place. Over 80 wineries in the Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Niagara Escarpment & Twenty Valley wine regions make this an oenophile's heaven. If you're up for a different experience, try a Niagara Segway winery tour. And when you're ready to hit the links one more time, walk the pristine fairways of Grand Niagara or grip it and rip it at the John Daly-designed Thundering Waters.
Wherever your golf cart takes you this fall in Ontario, hit it straight and have a blast.