Golf season is upon us in Ontario, and there’s no better time than right now to plan that getaway with the boys you dreamt about all winter. So whether you’re looking to celebrate a milestone or just enjoy some quality guy-time, here’s a trio of trip ideas that match superb courses with equally worthy 19th hole locales.
MANCATION IN MUSKOKA
There are 18 picture-perfect reasons why Muskoka Bay is the top-ranked public course in Ontario by ScoreGolf Magazine year after year. Designed by acclaimed course designer Doug Carrick, the course offers everything you’d expect of a Muskoka gem – a challenging game set along dramatic vistas.
Book your group’s stay here and relax between rounds in one of the resort’s villas, accommodations as impressive as the golf.
Local eats: The two on-site restaurants, Cliffside Grille and Muskoka Room are can’t-miss options. And if you’re looking to recount the day’s great shots and near misses, grab a table overlooking Lake Muskoka at Dock of the Bay in the heart of Gravenhurst.
Local brews: Also located in the centre of Gravenhurst is Sawdust City Brewing Co., dedicated to the art of craft beer and sharing that art with visitors. The on-site saloon is the place to be on Saturday nights when live music kicks the energy up a notch. Sawdust City is also the start/end point for Brew Tours which offers private tours of Muskoka’s finest craft breweries.
For more Stay & Play options in all over the Muskoka region, check out the GolfMuskoka website.
BROS & BREWS ON THE BAY
Set along sweeping views of Georgian Bay, just north of Owen Sound, lies another Doug Carrick beauty, Cobble Beach. This is links-style, resort golf at its finest with pot bunkers, greenside hollows, and winds coming off the bay reminiscent of links courses in Scotland and Ireland.
Make yourself right at home with a stay in one of the Cobble Beach Cottages with enough room for up to eight buddies and countless tales of all the birdies that got away.
Local eats: Dine inside or al fresco at the resort’s Sweetwater Restaurant where the cuisine is as impressive as the views. In the nearby town of Sydenham, Eigensinn Farm and Haisai, the brainchildren of Chef Michael and Nobuyo Stadtländer have elevated the farm-to-table concept into feasts for the senses. Or head an hour east to Blue Mountain Village where the C&A Steak Company prides itself on its selection of steaks and extensive wine list.
Local brews: The ultimate in responsible enjoyment of suds, the Beer Bus’ Beer Around The Bay full-day tour includes visits to five of the area’s top craft breweries. After lunch and tasting at Northwinds Brewery, don’t be surprised if you feel compelled to take home a souvenir 1.89L growler, refillable on your next visit.
With over 80 courses and countless ways to be entertained after a round, the region of BruceGreySimcoe is truly a buddy golf getaway mecca.
CHART A COURSE FOR THE COUNTY
Considered by those who’ve discovered it as a top value-for-quality track in Ontario, Black Bear Ridge in Belleville is a picturesque parkland layout that can play short for a group of friendly duffers to over 7,000 yards from the tips for the more competitive set. However you slice it (pardon the pun), this course has certainly earned its place among the very best in Ontario.
For package deals with a stay in Belleville, golfinontario.ca is your best bet. But with Prince Edward County just a solid 3-wood away, consider adding flair to your golfcation with a suite stay at the Drake Devonshire.
Local eats: The Globe & Mail named The County ‘the Gastronomic Capital of Ontario’, so your dining options are plentiful – farm fresh, fine dining, food trucks. Fantastic!
Local brews: Well known as a winery destination, The County also boasts an emerging craft beer scene with veterans like Lake on the Mountain and new kids on the block like Midtown Brewing Co. all calling the area home. Head out on a guided beer tour to take in the sights and samples. And check out what’s on tap and who’s on stage at The Hayloft. But this isn’t your father’s bar, so be sure to get your tickets ahead of time.
You’ve earned this getaway. Go fore it!
Photo credit: top photo courtesy Muskoka Bay Resort