A great thing happened about a year ago, my brother (@ColinBruce86) got a job at Taboo Resort in Muskoka as the Manager of Recreation. It was just as much good news for me as it was for him (maybe not quite), but none the less, his good fortune (and hard work I suppose) provided me with a window of opportunity to play a top 100 golf in Canada without having to dig too deep in my pockets.
After a few failed attempts, my wife Mary and I finally made it up for a visit this past August long weekend.
Upon arrival my first impression of the resort, as I passed through the security check point, was not one of modesty. The lobby made a grand statement with high ceilings, “modern” design and a great view out over Lake Muskoka. After checking into our room (that was nice, but lacked the grandeur of the lobby) I headed over to the course. Across the street from the main resort, the clubhouse for the golf course was more or less the complete opposite of the lobby. I would even go as far as to call it humble.
Unfortunately Mary wasn’t feeling great, so our foursome turned into a threesome with my brother and one of his coworkers. Even though we were running a little late for our tee time, no one seemed overly concerned, except me. When we pulled up to the driving range and leisurely warmed up I assumed they had moved our tee time to a bit later, but just went with the flow. It was to bad Mary didn’t join us, because we were greeted on the driving range with a little treat.
It was only after a couple of holes that I realized that the reason no one was concerned that we were late was because we were basically the only people on the course. While it wasn’t prime time, I still expected a somewhat full tee sheet for a mid afternoon weekday.
The course itself is well deserving of the top 100 ranking. Conditions are top notch and the the layout is unique, integrating lots of the natural features, especially rock, into the design. I found it a very fun course to play, much different the courses I play on a regular basis in Ottawa.
The greens rolled true and contained lots of undulation, but weren’t the fastest I played on this year. The one individual we played with commented that earlier in the year they were the quickest he had ever seen.
The fairways are wide (on most holes), but there isn’t a whole lot of room between fairway and trouble, whether it be trees or water. Hitting fairways is a must here, rough almost always meant trouble of some sort.
The course really put an emphasis on hitting your targets, whether it be tee shots or approaches. A number of holes require you to find the left or right side of the fairway if you want a decent approach shot and fairways bunkers are well placed to catch shots slightly off line. On the par 3 3rd I hit a nice 5 iron to the right hand side of the green, as soon as it landed I watched it catch a ridge and roll off the back and down into a collection area to the right of the green. When I got to the green I realized that few balls hit right of center could hold the green unless you could muscle a high short iron into it.
In terms of signature holes, they have a handful to select from. Almost every tee shot provides you some sort of interesting view as well as a challenging shot and the same can be said for a lot of the approach shots. My favorite holes were the par 5 4th and its rock wall, the par 3 7th which required me to hit the nicest 4 iron I have likely ever hit in my life and the par 4 13 which has a really interesting tee shot over a large waste bunker. The 18th is also an impressive hole that features a very large two tier green.
My round didn’t go great as I ran into some trouble off the tee on a couple of holes, but an 85 wasn’t too bad for a course I had never played before that required excellent shot making. I am hoping to make it back up there once more before the end of the season to see if I can post a more respective number.
See you at the turn,