For many, nothing says spring like hitting the greens. Yes, golf season is upon us. For golfers in the Newmarket and Aurora community, there is an abundance of options; whether you’re looking for public or private, challenging or laid back, we are surrounded by a range of beautiful courses to choose from.
While the past few winters have been harsh on the courses due to ice, the conditions this year are looking much better. Rob Pearce, director of golf at St. Andrew’s Valley Golf Club in Newmarket, says the course will be opening at 100 percent.
The 18-hole course is challenging, but also a lot of fun to play. The Valley has added a new silver tee deck this year, which helps attract beginners, juniors and seniors to the course. “We’ve always been seen as a difficult golf course, but we’ve now made the golf course playable for anyone, at all ages, and of all abilities,” says Pearce.
If you’re playing the course for the first time this season, watch for hole 10, a par 5 known as the pro’s favourite. The hole is named “Channel” due to the narrow fairway surrounded by water. “It’s probably our toughest shot on the course,” says Pearce. “You can be aggressive with your tee shot, but the second shot you have to either be conservative, because of the narrowness of the fairway, or very aggressive in trying to reach the green for this par 5 in two.”
In fact, most of the holes played at The Valley come down to the tee. “It’s the most important shot on the par 4s and par 5s,” says Pearce. “A well-positioned tee shot will help keep you out of trouble on this golf course.”
The Valley will be hosting a new senior’s league on Tuesday mornings, followed by ladies league on Tuesday nights. Men’s league is held on Wednesdays. The club features a junior golf camp for kids ages 7 to 14, starting on June 20th and running for 10 consecutive weeks.
Cardinal Golf Club in Newmarket will be hosting leagues and a variety of tournaments that anyone can join. You can also bring your kids out to play in the Parent and Child Scrambles held in June, July and August.
Cardinal takes pride in offering “something for everyone.” The main location features two 18-hole courses known as the East Wing and West Wing, accommodating a variety of skill levels. “Many like the West Wing because it’s a good walking course; it is flatter, but has more water hazards,” says Erin Thomas, marketing manager at Cardinal Golf Club, Kettle Creek and RedCrest. “The East Wing – especially on the front nine – has more hills, which adds some extra challenge.”
Cardinal also has two sister courses: RedCrest – the higher-end course accessed off Keele Street, and Kettle Creek – the short, executive course located off Jane Street, behind the Holland Marsh.
All four courses offer their share of memorable holes. On the East Wing, be mindful of the changes in elevation. “Take an extra club on the uphill approaches to holes 1, 3 and 6,” advises Rob Brandon, Director of Operations at Cardinal Golf Club. And with water often guarding one side of the hole on the West Wing, it’s helpful to “challenge the other side,” he says.
If you’re near King City and looking to join a members course, King Valley Golf Club is one of only three prestige level clubs from Clublink. The course is “an incredible test of golf, defined by its relentless design,” says Tim Green, executive director of sales and marketing for Clublink. “Golfers discover early that once you tee off from the first tee, the challenge of this layout never lets up.”
No matter which local course you choose to spend your time at this season, we hope your summer is full of birdies and that you find a way to stay out of the rough.
by Charlotte Ottaway
St. Andrew’s Valley, Aurora
Cardinal Golf Club, Newmarket
King Valley Golf Club
Shawneeki Golf Club, Sharon
Silver Lakes Golf Club,