Standing behind my ball looking down the line on the first tee at Lora Bay I can feel the stiff breeze blowing off Georgian Bay. It’s a fantastic looking golf hole and to me like Black Bear Ridge, I think any course that gets the pulse racing and that feeling of anticipation is always a great way to start a round of golf as you know you’re in for a special treat.
I smash my drive down the 409-yard first from its elevated tee and I am off. As I get deeper in to my round I can see what Tom Lehman and Thomas McBroom are looking to achieve with the design here as I really do get a feeling of a Surrey heathland course, the way the fescue grows around the fairway bunkering and believe me you really want to stay clear of the bunkers.
Lora Bay is a very strategic course and you will need to plot your way around. This is my first time so I am just aiming to miss the bunkers and aim for the middle of the green, which seems to be working out. There are four teeing options here ranging from 7,034 from the blacks to 5,644 from the whites, so you can choose which suits your game the best or just mix and match as you reach each hole.
The obvious highlight of the course comes from the 192-yard, par 3, 15th hole that is played from a very high-elevated tee and is also a great place for a group photo. But although the 15th is probably seen as the “signature” hole I think the other par 3s are just as good and for the lower handicapped player probably better, measuring between 237-yards – 198-yards and with five par 3s on the course this is where your score or match will be won or lost.
I am not going to pick out any other holes as I loved them all and feel it’s another course from this week that is a must play. A special mention must go to the infinity type green on the 9th as it just sits there with Georgian Bay as its backdrop, if it were me I would swap the nines and have that as the 18th, maybe you can persuade the professional to play the back nine first, but no matter how you play the course, you have to play this course.
Top: Looking back down the 6th hole. Above: Plenty of bunkers at the 484-yard Par 4, 11th
Bunkering at the 2nd "Signature" hole the 15th The tough par 5, 16th hole