Parry Sound, the RBC Canadian Open, Ontario Juniors and more

Majestic Parry Sound

This week’s stop on my new (to me) golf course tour was Parry Sound Golf & Country Club, a stunning northern course courtesy of Tom McBroom (1982). What a beautiful spot!

I’ve been a fan of McBroom’s work in Muskoka since I first saw it and now sorry that I didn’t visit Parry Sound before. The date makes this one of Tom’s earlier designs and it definitely defines the themes that you see at his other Muskoka projects like Deerhurst, Ridge at Manitou and Rocky Crest – lots of exposed rock, dramatic elevation changes and excellent use of ponds and wetlands to guide or amplify the routing.

Parry Sound is in exceptional condition. The greens are the fastest I’ve played yet this year and a somewhat treacherous speed given the slope on certain holes. The routing takes you into and out of dense woods where narrow corridors require all the accuracy you can muster. On other holes the course opens into what at one time was farmland where you skirt water hazards (sorry, I can’t call them penalty areas) and waste bunkers and rock. There are several blind shots too.

My stated goal when I planned this tour was to play each course around 6,000 yards. That’s plenty of distance for me and most other seniors. It’s also where Parry Sound tops out. Not that it requires any more yardage to be a strong test for most skill levels.

If like me, you enjoy a beverage after your round, the patio overlooking the finishing holes on each nine is a wonderful place to relax and swap lies. You couldn’t ask for a nicer setting.

For more information about Parry Sound G&CC, click HERE.

The RBC Canadian Open is shaping up

It’s no secret that the PGA Tour schedule has our national open in a difficult spot, sandwiched between a ‘must play elevated designated big money event’ (The Memorial) and the U.S. Open and then another must-play tournament. When players are looking for a break, not going to Canada seems like the default response.

This week’s announcement that Justin Rose (World Rank #29), Tyrrell Hatton (18) and Cameron Champ will be teeing it up at the RBC Canadian Open next month is very encouraging. They join defending champion Rory McIlroy (3), U.S. Open champion Matthew Fitzpatrick (9), Shane Lowry (26) and Tommy Fleetwood (23) as well as RBC Ambassadors Sam Burns (14), Cameron Young (16), Sahith Theegala (27) and Corey Conners (28).

That makes 10 of the Top 50 in the world. Not great but not bad either. I can recall years when we were only getting a handful of Top 50 players, so this is an improvement. And we may yet see a few more that like to play the week before a major.

The RBC Canadian Open will be played at Oakdale Golf Club in Toronto from June 8-11. Tickets are available HERE.

Ontario Juniors

Congratulations to Isaiah Ibit from Camelot Golf & Country Club and Shauna Lieu of Station Creek who won the Ontario Junior Boys and Junior Girls Spring Classic. The boy’s event was hosted by Wooden Sticks in Uxbridge, while the girl’s tournament was at Firerock GC in London. Almost 120 kids participated in the two events, which is great to see. Competitive golf at a young age may or may not lead to a future pro career or another job in the golf industry but regardless of where it leads, the experiences, life lessons and friendships are invaluable. Congratulations to all the participants and thanks to the golf courses that host them and encourage their development.

They Said It

Club pro Michael Block, who finished T15 at the PGA Championship and became an instant media sensation after his ace on Oak Hill’s 15th hole, was asked to explain how his game differs from Rory McIlroy’s, who Block played with in the final round of the PGA on Sunday.

“He’s a lot longer than I am, that’s what it is,” Block said. “Oh my god, what I would shoot from where Rory hits it would be stupid. I think I’d be one of the best players in the world. Hands down. If I had that stupid length? All day. My iron game, wedge game, around the greens and my putting is world class.”

Block’s comments were not well received on social media and his “world class” game earned him an 81 and last in the field after the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas.

Instant media sensations should be required to take some instant media training before they say something stupid.


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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