Top 10 Links Courses in S. Ontario

The great links courses of the U.K. are built on the sandy soil that “links” the farmland with the sea. Some of their common characteristics include broad rumpled fairways, massive dunes, pot bunkers, large sloping greens, lots of fescue and stunning views of the water. Other than a handful of ocean-side courses in North America, such as Cabot Links and Bandon Dunes, most of what we call links course are inland but they can still exhibit a “links” style.

Absent an ocean and the ever present wind, inland links courses can provide a glimpse of Scotland and Ireland if the design is appropriate and the course is maintained to play firm and fast. A good links design will include many of the same characteristics as their U.K. cousins and firm fast fairways will allow the ball to trundle an extra 30-50 yards after a well hit drive and encourage players to hit shots along the ground, such as bump and run approaches to greens.

Lots of local courses grow fescue but that doesn’t automatically make them a “links” style golf course. However, there are a number of local courses that deliver the feeling and flavour of a true links experience.

In honour of the Open Championship, we present the Top 10 Links Courses in Southern Ontario:

Peter Mumford
Peter Mumford is the Editor of Fairways Magazine and host of The Fairways Show. He's played over 500 different courses in 21 countries and met some fascinating people along the way. He's also a long-suffering Toronto Maple Leaf fan.

8 thoughts on “Top 10 Links Courses in S. Ontario

  1. Peter……I always knew you had excellent taste !!!!! Well done…..shall we get a game there when it cools down ?

  2. I have played eight of ten and biasedly, The Paintbrush is my favourite. The Heathlands is where I go after they close the Brush at the end of October. Bob McClure is a great host. All of the courses in your list deserve to be there.

  3. Good selection of Ontario courses. I’ve missed some in the past few years, maybe catch up in order. Enjoying Cabot !

    1. Since we go back to your Toronto days Gary, I won’t try to recall all the terrific spots you’ve lived and worked but including Jamaica, St. Andrews. Bahamas and Cabot, I don’t imagine anybody has a better resume.

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