Swing Into Autumn Across Canada

Silver Creek Golf Course, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

The hills are ablaze at Sault Ste. Marie’s Silver Creek Golf Course. (Image: Silver Creek GC)

Canada’s golf courses are at their most spectacular during the fall. From Newfoundland to British Columbia, Canadian Golf Traveller explores five top fairway destinations perfect for savouring the sights, tastes and other opportunities of the season.

(Last updated September 2018.)

Newfoundland
Twin Rivers Golf Course, Terra Nova National Park, Newfoundland

(Image: Twin Rivers GC)

Though gorgeous at any time of year, the wild and woolly setting of Newfoundland’s Twin Rivers Golf Course is unmatched in autumn.

Situated at the southern end of Terra Nova National Park, 223 kilometres west of St. John’s, the 6,546-yard layout by Doug Carrick and the late Robbie Robinson skirts the Atlantic Ocean before twisting through a boreal forest ablaze with colour and teeming with moose and bald eagles. Especially unforgettable is the 18th, a 175-yard par three played through the mist rising above a waterfall to a small green nestled in the forest.

Humber Valley Golf Course, Newfoundland

(Image: Humber Valley GC)

Carrick is also the designer of the province’s other marquee layout, Humber Valley Resort’s River Course, blessed with an almost equally rugged setting near the town of Deer Lake. Several holes play alongside the meandering Humber River and the shores of Deer Lake, with others skirting ponds and streams.

Just as at Twin Rivers, Carrick’s course ends with a wallop on the 18th, a par five where the clubhouse looms high on a hillside above the distant green.

 

Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

Sheltered from the icy winds off the Bay of Fundy by the South Mountain, Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley enjoys a longer autumn than almost anywhere else in the Maritimes.

Paragon Golf and Country Club, Nova Scotia

(Image: Paragon Golf and Country Club)

Earthy harvest smells perfume the air as visitors journey past apple orchards and dairy farms to the Avon Valley Golf and Country Club, about an hour’s drive west from Halifax. The tiny greens of this hilly course, near the town of Falmouth, demand surgically precise approach shots.

Found still deeper into the bucolic valley known as Nova Scotia’s “bread basket” is the Paragon Golf and Country Club, a picturesque 6,259-yard track in the town of Kingston that often remains open deep into November.

But the pride of the region is the Pines Resort Golf Course, an iconic Stanley Thompson-designed layout in the town of Digby opened in 1931 as an adornment to the stately Pines Golf Resort and Spa. Built in the classic style, with small, subtly undulating greens open at the front, the Pines is looking better than ever following an extensive $3-million restoration completed in the past few years.

 

Charlevoix, Quebec
Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec

Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu (Image: Fairmont Hotels)

Spectacularly situated on cliffs overlooking the mighty St. Lawrence River, the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu Golf Club is one of the jewels of Quebec’s popular Charlevoix tourist region, east of Quebec City.

Canadian Shield outcroppings, pristine lakes, verdant Laurentian valleys and evergreen forests define Charlevoix’s astonishingly diverse landscape, which is at its most beautiful in autumn. The region is also a renowned culinary destination, with farms, restaurants and hotels focused on serving local food.

Opened in 1925, the original 18-hole Le Manoir Richelieu Golf Club course has been extensively restored in recent years. Nine superb new holes were added, several of them affording commanding views of the St. Lawrence, and a cliff-top clubhouse, from which diners may catch a glimpse of whales swimming in the water far below.

Nearby is the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, a chateau-style grand hotel offering 405 guest rooms and a lively casino.

 

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Autumn colour buffs annually flock to Sault Ste. Marie for the Agawa Canyon Train Tour, an unforgettable journey past foaming rivers and spring-fed lakes deep into a northern wilderness turned crimson and yellow.

Crimson Ridge Golf Course in autumn

(Image: Crimson Ridge GC)

But golfers can enjoy similar scenery right in the city of 75,000 at the aptly named Crimson Ridge Golf Club. Designed by local son Kevin Holmes, the 10-year-old layout includes mature forests, a waterfall and numerous elevation changes. Most memorable of all is the par-five ninth hole (formerly the 18th), a dogleg offering a breathtaking view from the elevated tee of the city’s downtown, the North Shipping Channel and northern Michigan.

Just as gorgeous is Silver Creek Golf Course, a demanding Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates design opened two years ago by the Garden River First Nation on land just east of the city. Bear and deer are frequent visitors to a layout where many holes were carved through a dense forest of hardwoods and conifers.

And close to the downtown of this emerging golf destination is Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club, a classic George Cumming and Stanley Thompson parkland design dating from 1919.

 

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

From a desert of sagebrush and cactus to lushly forested mountain valleys and terraced orchards and vineyards, the Okanagan Valley offers an autumn golf season of striking visual contrasts.

The valley’s top draw is Predator Ridge Resort, which sprawls across a 1,200-acre landscape of clear lakes, fast-rushing mountain streams and wheatgrass meadows. There are two championship courses, including The Ridge, a Doug Carrick design that launched to rave reviews in 2010.

Harvest Golf Club, Kelowna, British Columbia

With its on-site orchard, Harvest Golf Club encourages golfers to pick as they play. (Image: Harvest GC)

Another essential late-season stop is the Harvest Golf Club, where golfers are invited to pick and eat five varieties of apples and four types of grapes while playing a course routed through working orchards and vineyards overlooking the city of Kelowna and Okanagan Lake.

In the valley’s southern reaches, where the northern tip of the Sonoran Desert snakes between the mountains into British Columbia, the landscape becomes starker, though no less lovely. Sculpted into a desert mountainside, the two courses at the Osoyoos Golf and Country Club afford panoramic views of Lake Osoyoos and hillsides blanketed by vineyards and ripening fruit trees.

Comments

  1. John DeMings says:

    just a geographic note: The Annapolis Valley is sheltered by the North, not South, Mountain (although this past winter saw shelter hard to find)

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