I feel like Iíve joined the Marines as itís a beach landing on the Zodiacs today and we disembark right next to the golf course and a quick buggy shuttle sees us arrive outside the clubhouse, I have to admit it was a great way to arrive at a golf course. I head off to warm up and the practice ground is just long enough for you to hit up to a 5-iron, but they also have a chipping green and of course a practice putting green.
The shotgun start results in me starting on the 13th hole, but I will start this review from the first so you donít get too confused. The course opens with a 409-yard par 4 played from an elevated tee and depending on which of the 5 teeing options you choose from, you could be playing over water. Itís not a huge carry from the back tees, but it does add to the aesthetic look of the hole, I aim at the two bunkers on the left of the fairway playing for the fade into the maker post that sits in the middle of the fairway and hit it straight where I am aiming!
Fortunately, I leave myself a 6-iron shot into the green from the semi rough. The green has several undulations so you need to be in the right position if you want to score well, but I make a chip and putt par.
As I make my way round you can see the course has been beautifully looked after so all credit to the green keeping staff. I love the way Canadian architect Tom McBroom has used mounding throughout the course to complement the mounding on the holes near the ocean. For those who ask is this a true links course my answer would be no. Yes, you are next to the ocean on several of the holes and the wind will play a big part in how the course plays, but the actual turf is not the expected sandy tight knitted grass, but more a mix of parkland and heathland grass. Would that affect how I feel about the course? No, it certainly wouldnít it is a beautifully designed course that will test your ability and nearly every club in your bag will be used. The greens are small, protected by mounding and have many complexes and they are very fast.
My first par 3 arrives at the 6th hole and plays 191-yards from the black tees and is played over reeds, but itís when I reach the green, my eyes light up with delight, the green has a backdrop of the wooden bridge that takes you to the fairway on the 7th hole over a small lake, yet it is the ocean as it engulfs the horizon that really makes this a stunning hole.
The 7th green sits in the dunes with only the ocean as its backdrop, the sun is out today and the sky is blue and it really does look magnificent. The 8th is a tough hole from the back tees today being all carry over another water hazard this time measuring 219-yards, but with a 3-club wind.
Even if you are not playing from the back tees, I would suggest you at least go and take a look from the 11th back tee, itís an elevated tee and the view to the hole below is great, but itís the view of the ocean and beach behind you that offer some fantastic vistas so I suggest you take your phone or camera up there to capture the moment.
The 14th brings you back to the club house with the 15th taking you back down to the ocean, the bunker down the right is in the landing area so I suggest you try and keep to the left side of the fairway.
There are more great views of the ocean when you get to the 16th green and then again on the par 3, 17th green, which is a very narrow green so you really need to stop the ball quickly. As I reach the 18th tee I have to smile, itís a fitting finally to a to a great course played uphill towards the clubhouse and at 464-yards itís also a tough finishing hole and I just make the front of the green with my 4-iron.
Now I did say the greens are small but the 18th is a large green in comparison to the rest, unfortunately I manage to 3-putt, but as you know I am still carrying on from this point as I started on the 13th hole, but sitting in the clubhouse reflecting with my playing partners over a nice local Canadian beer we all agree it has been yet another great day on yet another must play golf course.
Top Looking down the 7th. Above, 8th, 11th and 15th holes
Above and Below: Aerial views of the 6th and 17th greens