Batteaux Creek, Hole Zero, break dancing and more

The 2023 ‘new-to-me’ Tour continues. This week we played Batteaux Creek Golf Club in Nottawa, just a few minutes south of Collingwood.

Back in the last heyday of golf course design, around the turn of the century (2002), Stephen Young fashioned this pretty layout on 250 acres, using the Niagara Escarpment as a backdrop and the natural wetlands adjacent to Batteaux Creek to craft a very playable routing. Young also designed Grey Silo Golf Club in Waterloo.

There is water on just about every hole here, but the fairways are quite generous, and the greens are large and accessible. Wetlands, creeks and ponds are on your mind but rarely in play, except for one wickedly hooked drive on the second hole.

The course is quite flat and perfect for walking. with no long treks to the next hole and play moves along at a brisk pace. We played in less than four hours on a Tuesday afternoon with groups in front and behind but never felt pressured nor were we held up. A four hour round seems like a rarity these days but was a very nice bonus.

The course is designed to play firm and fast and that’s certainly the way it played during our round, probably helped by the scorching weather we’ve had this week. The greens were also firm but held ok and were nice to putt on – not as slick as some but fast enough. The par-3 holes in particular had some interesting contours too.

Batteaux Creek has some really strong holes, including the finishing holes on each nine and the par-5 17th which is a true risk reward. At just 457 yards (White tees), a creek cuts diagonally across the fairway just inside the 150-yard marker. The ideal play, which I’ll try to remember next time, is a drive down the centre-left for a second shot across the creek at its nearest point on the left. Longer hitters can get home in two while us bunters are left with a short pitch to the green. Playing this hole on the right side brings no end of trouble into play including wetlands, fairway traps and an approach across some deep pot bunkers. What a stupid I am!

No matter. A very pretty board and batten clubhouse awaits with a post round beverage and more of the casual relaxed vibe you often find when you get away from the city limits.

Nice views, fast play and a course that won’t beat you up. Lots to enjoy at Batteaux Creek and affordable too. Check it out HERE. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Tee it up at the RBC Canadian Open

You’ve got to hand it to the RBC Canadian Open organizers when it comes to fan-friendly innovations. From the popular music concert series to the Rink Hole to numerous interactive displays, our national Open features plenty of entertainment apart from the golf tournament. Last year at St. George’s there was a gondola that was raised about 100 feet in the air to give spectators a bird’s eye view of the action.

This year, fans will have a chance to play an actual 150-yard golf hole. Not one of the 18 in play for the Open of course but Oakdale has 27 holes, so they have a few to spare. Called Hole Zero, it will be sponsored by The Score and feature coaching, a caddie and locker room to make fans feel just like a pro for at least a few minutes.

The RBC Canadian Open kicks off next week. The Black Eyed Peas perform Friday night and Alanis Morissette on Saturday night.

I Didn’t Know That

This has nothing to do with golf but while looking for something online, I stumbled across a story about Break Dancing becoming an Olympic Sport in 2024. Say what! Also called Breaking, there was no word on who might cover the competition for NBC, but I nominate CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. He starts off almost every segment he does with the words, “Breaking News!”

They Said It

During a press conference in advance of the Memorial Tournament, host Jack Nicklaus was asked if he was sorry not to see PGA Champion Brooks Koepka and Open Champion Cam Smith competing, given that they are ineligible since joining LIV Golf.

“I don’t really consider those guys part of the game anymore; and I don’t mean that in a nasty way … or really mean it that way,” Nicklaus told a few reporters Tuesday at Muirfield Village Golf Club. “To me, this is a PGA Tour event and we’ve got the best field we can possibly have on the PGA Tour. Those who are eligible to be here. The other guys made a choice to go where they went. We don’t really talk about it.”

Peter Mumford
Peter Mumford is the Editor of Fairways Magazine. 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 Leafs fan.

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