One of the most respected and revered private golf clubs in central Ontario is opening its gates from July 24-27, to host the 2023 Canadian Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, presented by BDO.
Mad River Golf Club, located less than ten minutes northeast of Creemore, and twenty minutes southeast of Collingwood, is a sterling test of golf that challenges any level of player. With a membership roster that numbers only 350 members and their families, the steady but moderate course traffic flow virtually assures prime conditioning throughout the golf season, and this year’s early Spring has delivered a pristine layout that even Augusta National would envy.
“I think the Mid-Am players are going to be knocked out when they see the course… most of them, for the first time,” said Liz Hoffman, a past President of Golf Canada, and former provincial amateur champion herself. “But let me be clear, the awe will quickly turn to ‘okay, let’s get focused and buckle down now’ once their drives hit the first fairway.”
Mad River was designed by the late, internationally renowned architect Robert Cupp, and opened to members in 1991. Currently ranked 38th in the Top 100 Courses in Canada, the hilly layout is one of three Cupp designs on the list. Like the others, Beacon Hall in Aurora, ON and Big Sky in Pemberton, BC, Mad River is considered tough but fair, and somewhat quirky, but in the end, a course that visiting players almost universally want to play again. And again.
“You have to think your way around this golf course, right off the first tee” according to Head Professional Carl Penfold. “There are a lot of holes where you have to plan where to put your drive, to be in the best position to come into the green. Longer hitters don’t necessarily have a big advantage here. Accuracy is the real key, and I think the better Mid-Am women are really going to have to put their strategic skills to the test.
“It should be a great tournament – for the players and the spectators.”
Club President David Seville echoes that thought. “Our members are very excited to see how some of the best women in Canadian and international amateur golf are going to manage their way around Mad River. One thing many of us find here is you can have a terrific round one day, and then wonder ‘what the heck happened?’ when you putt out the next day! It’s a constantly challenging layout. But so much fun to play.”
The experience will begin at Mad River with a practice round on Monday, July 24. Up to 156 players are expected to compete in the 54-hole competition, with the field cut down to the low 70 (and ties) for the final round on Thursday, July 27. There will be two age divisions competing: Mid-Am players, age 25 and over, and Mid-Master players, age 40 and over.
The golf course will measure roughly between 5,600-5,900 yards, with a par of 72 and a course rating/slope of 73.0 and 131.
Non-member spectators are welcome to attend the event, although capacity will be limited due to limited parking space on site. The Club is located on the west side of Airport Road, just under 4km. north of the Cashtown Corners intersection. More information about the competition, including registration for players, can be found on the Golf Canada website at HERE.