Simoro, a roll back, local champions and more

A visit to Simoro Golf Links

I would love to say I eagled the first hole at Simoro, and it was all easy sailing from there. Aided by a very strong wind, I did manage to reach the 450-yard par-5 in two shots but had to settle for a birdie. And it was anything but easy sailing after that.

Simoro, which is located about 10 minutes north of Barrie, is not a long course, measuring just over 6,000 yards from the back tees, but don’t let the yardage fool you. It might be one of the more challenging 6,000-yard courses you’ll ever play.

The front nine climbs into the hills and has a Scottish links feel to it with plenty of wide-open landing areas, dramatic elevation changes and wonderful scenic views. The back is much tighter and wends its way around ponds and deep into the forest. The combination forces you to change gears rather abruptly, as driver off the tee is fairly obvious on the front, while the inward nine demands more precision off the tee to keep your ball in play and have any chance at a decent approach.

Both nines feature slick greens in great condition, some with false fronts and some with wicked slopes that make it almost impossible to stop your putt anywhere near the hole if you’re putting from above. The par-3 7th and par-4 8th had particularly treacherous slopes, much to my three-putting chagrin.

I really appreciate courses where each hole stands out and you can often remember them for weeks and months afterwards. At Simoro, no two holes are alike, and many are quite memorable. There’s a nice stretch of holes from 12 to 14 that takes you deep into the woods and higher in elevation before the approach on the par-5 14th drops you back to earth.

Then it’s on to the short (156 yards) 15th, surrounded by water, with a false front to the green and a pretty severe back to front slope. Not sure if it’s my favourite hole but sometimes a hole just fits your eye.

Simoro is a family affair. Owners David and Angela Sherlock have managed the course since 1998 and daughter Stephanie Sherlock is the Director of Golf.

Steph is a former LPGA player and Team Canada member. In 2007, she won the Canadian Women’s Amateur; the following year she finished second in the national amateur, won a CN Canadian Women’s Tour event and helped Team Canada to a 4th place showing at the World Amateur Team Championship in Australia. As a member of the University of Denver Pioneers, Stephanie won seven NCAA tournaments before launching her LPGA career, where she spent three years on the pro circuit before returning to Simoro.

Very nice we could catch up with both David and Stephanie after our round.

With several tee decks on each hole, Simoro is appropriate for any skill level. Even long bombers will be challenged by the short-game requirements and tricky greens.

As we were leaving Simoro, we passed by a very long line of carts filled with Tuesday Men’s League players ready to go. A very friendly chatty group. That seemed pretty typical of what we had observed at Simoro – a friendly spot where you’d really enjoy spending some time, both on and off the course.

For more information about Simoro, click HERE.

To Roll the Golf Ball Back … or Not

As most of you know, the USGA and R&A have asked for feedback on their proposal to create a local rule that could mandate that elite competitors play a ball that travels less distance than current balls. This past week, the Golf Journalists Association of Canada held a virtual summit to discuss the issue which can be viewed HERE.

Among the panelists was Dr. Sasho Mackenzie of St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, who is a biomechanist. Mackenzie argued that physical restrictions on the ball could have unintended consequences that could see elite golfers work to increase their swing speed to counteract those limitations. Current swing speed on the PGA Tour is in a range from 110 to 125 mph but through training, that could increase to 140 mph, likely maxing out at 160. Imagine a whole bunch of Bryson DeChambeaus bulking up and swinging out of their boots for even more distance. Mike Stachura of Golf Digest has a really good perspective on how a ball roll back might backfire HERE.


Congratulations to six Ontario Champion of Champions. This Golf Ontario event pits club champions against other club champions to determine the best in the province. The tournament last Monday saw six winners crowned in various categories: Rob Gibson (Cedar Brae GC) – Senior Men; Nancy Vamvakas (Beacon Hall) – Senior Women; Bradley Greenside (Tangle Creek) – Men’s Championship; Julia Champion (Cedar Brae) – Women’s Championship; Nathan Freure (Sawmill Creek) – Junior Boys; and Julia Alexander-Carew (Credit Valley) – Junior Girls. For the full story with scores and images, click HERE.

Also, congratulations to Daniel Kim and Sebastian Szirmak, both of Toronto, who each qualified for the 2023 RBC Canadian Open at Oakdale in June. Story and scores from the qualifying events HERE (Kim) and HERE (Szirmak).

Sad to hear about the passing of Bob Rose of Dundas, Ontario. Bob was the Head Professional at Beverly Golf and Country Club for 20 plus years, a “Class A” member of the PGA of Canada for over 50 years, a three-time Canadian Seniors’ Champion, winner of more than 140 tournaments and he held 11 course records. One of these was a spectacular 57 on his home course. Full obituary and details on a celebration of Bob’s life can be found HERE.

They Said It

The PGA Tour – LIV Golf feud has vociferous backers on both sides but perhaps none more so than Eamon Lynch of Golfweek, who rarely misses a chance to take a shot at the upstart league, especially its Saudi backers.

LIV Golf has no audience traction, particularly in the only region that can confer commercial viability, the U.S. One possible explanation is that LIV is an execrable product, with odious financing, a nefarious objective, inept leadership, and unlikable competitors playing for ludicrously named teams on cow pasture coursesEamon Lynch

Ouch! Over to you Greg Norman.


Doyle Brunson, legendary poker player and Poker Hall of Fame inductee, died earlier this week at the age of 89. In addition to his poker prowess, Brunson was a prolific golfer who loved a wager on his game. According to one of his frequent playing partners, Brunson was alleged to have made more money on the golf course than Tiger Woods by playing weekly million-dollar games for over 50 years.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming Wow, what a ride!” Doyle Brunson

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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