Amazing Golf Weekend

ridge-2This past weekend my mother organized a bridal shower to celebrate a family engagement.  The men decided it was a good opportunity to take a trip north for some bonding.  I was able to pull together an itinerary in the region of Explorers’ Edge, an area encompassing Muskoka, Parry Sound, Algonquin Park, Almaguin Highlands, and Loring-Restoule – the weekend was unforgettable and the trip home was filled with discussion of making a visit to the region an annual event.

I have been fortunate enough to play many of the championship golf courses in the region, and I wanted the main event for the weekend to be crossing another course of my bucket list.  The Ridge at Manitou in McKellar has always been a course I’ve wanted to play and this was the perfect opportunity, now I just had to worry about filling in the rest of the weekend.

Saturday morning my dad, and two uncles loaded up and headed to Gravenhurst.  We checked in to the Residence Inn Gravenhurst Muskoka Wharf and got organized.  We walked next door to the Muskoka Discovery Centre.  What a great way to spend an afternoon; we spent a couple of hours here looking at North America’s only in water exhibit of working antique boats.  Our group was avid boaters, so this is what had us awestruck, but there were also plenty of other interesting exhibits detailing Muskoka’s boat heritage.

We stayed at the Wharf for dinner at Dock of the Bay, where we ate overlooking the water on Lake Muskoka.  There was plenty of selection and the food was amazing, but the highlight was definitely the view.  After dinner we headed to downtown Gravenhurst to Sawdust City Brewery, where I had heard nothing but good things.  We opted to order some tasters, so we were able to try a variety of their large beer menu.  While we were there, we were happy to find that they offer live music every Saturday night.  It was a great atmosphere and a place I will defiantly be sure to revisit.  After the music wrapped up, we headed back to the hotel where we got a good night’s sleep in preparation for a busy Sunday.

bobbyWe woke up early Sunday and headed for McKellar and The Ridge at Manitou.  On the way we made a stop in Parry Sound.  We headed over to the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame as one of the places we decided we wanted to visit.  This was great for me – I was never fortunate enough to see Bobby play, but I was still able to appreciate the huge collection of memorabilia.  What was even better was watching my Dad and Uncles, being huge Bobby Orr fans, they were like kids in a candy shop – yelling across the museum at each other – “hey, come look at this.”  Any hockey fan would love this museum, just be sure to leave yourself lots of time, we were amazed how fast the time flew while we were there.

Before leaving Parry Sound, we ate at the Brunswick Sports Grill, in Parry Sound.  More great food and friendly staff and then it was finally time to make our way to The Ridge at Manitou.

Teeing up on the first hole into the fall colour backdrop, I knew this would be a memorable ridge-3round.  The course was in great shape and I felt like the view from every tee deck belonged in a magazine.  None more so than the finishing 18th – the hole is a big dog leg left and after you hit you drive into the landing area you drive your cart up the fairway.  As you approach your ball the course’s signature view comes into sight.  I’m sure you have seen this picture before – and to play it was a very fulfilling experience and the picture really doesn’t do it justice.  We enjoyed lunch in the spectacular clubhouse looking out over Manitouwabing Lake and then we loaded up and started on our way home.  This was a very busy fun filled two day trip, but one that I won’t soon f orget.  This area has so much to offer and I can’t wait to get back to scratch another course off my bucket list and experience more cuisine and adventure that this region has to offer.

Best Holes in Muskoka – We Ask The Pros

With all of the great courses in Muskoka and Parry Sound it is tough to choose a favorite.  An even tougher challenge – picking a favorite hole!  We asked the pros:


Hole 15 at Oak Bay Golf Club

Jason Bennett, Director of Golf at Oak Bay Golf and Country Club

Hole number 15 is the signature Par 3 at Oak Bay Golf Club. Shortly after the course opened for play this hole was ranked as one of the 9 must play holes in all of Canada in a Globe & Mail article. It has everything the course has to offer in one hole, water, wind, Canadian Shield and the scenic beauty of views out towards Georgian Bay.

Mark DeActis, General Manager and Director of Golf at South Muskoka Golf and Curling Club

My favourite hole is the Par 3, 14th.  It measures 152 from the black tees and plays over water to a green protected by bunkers on the left and right hand side.  A challenging hole, but I love it!

Drew Rachar, General Manager and Course Superintendent at The Ridge at Manitou


Hole 6 at The Ridge at Manitou

My favourite hole at The Ridge at Manitou is #6.  To me it has a great flow and feel; everything is laid out in front of you so there are no blind areas.  The fairway is fairly generous but if you spray it left you run the risk of being in the bunker for you second shot.  For most people though, Hole #18 is their favorite hole and I think it is one of the best finish holes around.

Spencer Morland, Associate Golf Professional at The Rock Golf Club

My favorite hole at the rock is the 10th.  Not only is it a picturesque hole that can been seen from the clubhouse, but it is also a sound designed hole. Incorporating rock cropping, great bunkering, and an undulating green, this hole sums up Muskoka Golf in 389 yards.

Bruce Rogerson, Head Professional at North Granite Ridge Golf Club

Hole #18 is a feature hole here at North Granite Ridge playing at 426 yards back towards the picturesque clubhouse. It demands a straight drive and accurate approach into a well-protected green. A par 4 here is always a great score. Number 18 always leaves you wanting more!


Hole 16 at Rocky Crest Golf Club

Chris Near, Head Professional at Rocky Crest Golf Club

My favorite hole here at Rocky Crest is #16. In my opinion, #16 exudes all that golf in Muskoka has to offer. From an elevated tee golfers are treated to a fantastic looking tee shot with a rock outcroppings in the middle of the fairway, a large bunker to the left and a marsh area that spans the entire right side of the hole. This hole is the ultimate balance between aesthetic beauty and playability!

Courses of Georgian Bay and Parry Sound

Within the Golf Muskoka are the courses around Georgian Bay and Parry Sound.  This area is filled with great courses offering unique golf experiences.  These courses are kept in pristine condition which makes an interesting contrast to the natural and rugged landscapes that surround them.

Ridge at Manitou

18th green and clubhouse, The Ridge at ManitouThe Ridge at Manitou is hewn out of the Canadian Shield and flows through rock, forest, and meadowland. No matter what your playing ability, you’ll have a memorable experience in this breathtaking golf sanctuary.  The Ridge is a special place, where the concepts of discretion and excellence would comfortably coexist with unpretentiousness and relaxation.  The golf course itself comprises less than half of the 300 acres of land, the remaining 150 acres is dedicated to preserving the rugged landscape that is home to deer, moose, black bears, wolves, great-horned owls and myriad other forms of wildlife.  Book your Ridge at Manitou tee time online – click here.




Oak Bay Golf Club 

Oak Bay Golf Course is the newest 18-hole Muskoka golf course on the eastern shore of breathtaking Georgian Bay.  The golf course is carved into the natural woodland setting, creating a challenging and enjoyable golf experience. Rock outcroppings, water features and plenty of other natural challenges await novice to experienced golfers alike. Superbly designed fairways and well-manicured greens make playing at Oak Bay Golf & Country Club a truly satisfying experience.  This 6,503, Par 72 championship course offers something exciting for all golfers.  Book your Oak Bay tee time online – click here.

Courses of North Muskoka

Muskoka has some of the best courses in Canada and is a world class golf destination.  If you find yourself in North Muskoka, make sure you check out some of the great courses that the area has to offer.

North Granite Ridge

hole10-pic1North Granite Ridge Golf Club offers a variety of holes that are truly inspiring.  The variety of golf holes that play through these boulders and trees or utilize the elevations provided by the granite ridges is second to none.  A number of tee decks are perched on the top of the granite ridges, providing long-range vistas over forest, without a road to be seen or heard.  This course will have any golfer smiling and is one of Muskoka’s best kept secrets.  Book your North Granite Ridge tee time online – click here.

Windermere Golf Club

Windermere Golf & Country Club is nestled amongst towering tall pines and magnificent granite outcroppings. This 18-Hole championship course is player friendly to all levels of ability yet is a challenge for the most experienced golfer.  This course has changed little from the original vision of its designers. A challenge for all levels of golfer, its enjoyment as a historic traditional Muskoka golf experience can expect to be enjoyed within a 4 hour period.  Book your Windermere tee time online – click here.

Rocky Crest 

Amidst the beauty of the surrounding giant forests of pine, white birch and hemlock, the rolling fairways of Rocky Crest Golf Club will captivate you as the granite outcroppings challenge your skills.  This premier Ontario golf course is presided over by an imposing pine-log lodge-style clubhouse and incorporates all the spine-tingling qualities of the Muskoka golf experience. With tees stretching from 6,936 yards down to 5,131, Rocky Crest is a delight for golfers of all abilities.  Contact Rocky Crest to book your tee time – click here.


The Mark O’Meara Course at Grandview opened in 2001. The course is aptly named as it exudes grandness from the moment you arrive.  Winding its way through the granite, forest and wetlands of the incomparable Muskoka region, and with tees ranging from 7,065 yards to 4,750, Grandview is a delight to play.  This is a classic risk/reward course that will challenge golfers of all skill levels.  Contact Grandview to book your tee time – click here.

Lake Joeseph Golf Club

When The Lake Joseph Club opened in 1997, it caused jaws to drop around the golf world.  The course utilizes the granite crags, towering trees and heaving topography to provide an incomparable Muskoka golf experience.  The signature 8th hole is one of the most spectacular par 3’s in the region.  The hole features a significantly elevated teeing area to a green set at the bottom of a valley that captures the topography of the property, as well as the rocky face to reflect upon where you are in Muskoka.  Contact Lake Joe to book your tee time – click here.

The Rock

Hole-10The Rock Golf Club, designed by legendary golfer Nick Faldo, has been artfully sculpted on the shores of one of Muskoka’s premier lakes, Lake Rosseau. Utilizing the site’s dynamic topography, the 6649-yard course is carved tight with narrow tree-lined fairways and sloping greens that wind through rock outcroppings, hardwood trees and rolling hills.  The Rock boasts natural hazards and challenges that reward accuracy and the course has been crafted in such a way to inspire golfers of all levels with an emphasis on strategy and playability.  Book your tee time at The Rock online – click here.

Deerhurst Highlands

Deerhurst Highlands takes full advantage of the dramatic landscape while capitalizing on elevation changes, rugged granite outcroppings and dense forests. The course is a genuine representation of the region, while maintaining a highly playable, well-balanced course that has stood the test of time.   Despite its pro-level challenges, this 7,011 yard course is rewarding for a variety of playing levels. With 6 different tee deck levels including ladies, juniors and seniors, Deerhurst Highlands provides a golfing experience that is inclusive to a wide range of golfers.  Book your Deerhurst Highlands tee time online – click here.

Bigwin Island Golf Club

The Bigwin Island Golf Club has been designed to capture & reflect the spirit and elegance of the original grand resort known as the “Bigwin Inn”. The sweeping fairways drape naturally over the rugged Muskoka terrain, exposing glorious lake vistas at every turn and creating a sense of timeless beauty & tranquility.  Every hole is surrounded by mature hardwoods, creating a sense of maturity and character typically found on the great classic courses built during the early 1900’s. The holes are routed in a variety of directions over the undulating island terrain, creating constantly changing shot values, wind directions and challenges.  Although Bigwin Island is private in the summer months, a Spring or Fall round provides an outstanding golf experience.  Contact Bigwin Island to inquire about tee times – click here.

Courses of Southern Muskoka

Heading North? Bring you clubs!  About two hours north of Toronto there is a hot spot of fantastic golf courses that will provide you with a unique golf experience that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.  Gravenhurst and Bracebridge are the southern towns of Muskoka and offer a full slate of great courses.

Taboo Muskoka

Taboo Muskoka Signature HoleRenowned for its panoramic beauty and innovative use of the dramatic Canadian Shield landscape, the Taboo golf course is a captivating and challenging layout set at the gateway to Muskoka.  Taboo Muskoka offers 300 acres of memorable terrain that are embraced by dense forests of tall white pines and mature red oaks. Taboo’s golf holes are shaped by distinctive pink granite outcroppings. Each hole sits in isolation from the rest, with 15-minute tee time intervals helping to preserve that feeling that you’re golfing a private course.  Book your Taboo tee online – click here

Muskoka Bay

Muskoka Bay Club’s natural features – mammoth rock ridges, wetlands and beaver ponds all hemmed in by forest deliver a stunning golf course with dramatic elevation changes, breathtaking vistas and a rare combination of playability and challenge.  To compliment your round, enjoy five-star dining in the spectacular clubhouse that offers amazing views of its own.  Book your Muskoka Bay tee time online – click here.

Muskoka Highlands

Muskoka Highlands Golf Links maintains the true Scottish links feel on an 18-hole course that now spans more than 6,000 yards.  The course design is very under-stated. It is wide open from the tee – but narrows at virtually every green. For the golfer looking for the risk-reward situation, they exist on every hole. But it can be penal if you miss.  The course motto is “A Wee Touch of Scotland.” You will appreciate the way our course stays true to the traditional links style.  Book your Muskoka Highlands tee time online – click here.

South Muskoka

South Muskoka is a classic Muskoka course with rolling tree-lined fairways, elevated tees and greens, swirling winds, lots of granite and beautiful scenery. Located in downtown Bracebridge, the course is challenging but fair. It measures 6,340 yards from the tips, but its tree-lined, rolling fairways, challenging rough, and frequent elevation changes provide a great test of golf for even the longest hitters. Over a forty year history the course has firmly established its reputation as one of the best golf values in Muskoka.  Book your South Muskoka tee time online – click here.

Fall Golf in Muskoka

Written by Ron Webb, PGA of Canada Life Member

FALL GOLF IN MUSKOKA… WOW… once you have played golf in the fall season, you will return many times.  Fall golf in Muskoka is… phenomenal colours, comfortable temperatures,  prime golf course conditions, abundant tee times, your own pace of play, special fall greens fee rates and NO MUSKOKA  BUGS!!!


Options for your golf vacation in Muskoka range from Golf Trails, Stay and Play Packages or NorthGraniteRidge4book your own customized plan. One thing for sure, you are guaranteed to play some of the finest courses in Canada. There are close to thirty courses awaiting you in Muskoka.


For those looking for a quick round there are several nine hole courses ranging from the classic Bracebridge Golf Club to the ae
sthetically pleasing Diamond in the Ruff (don’t fall asleep in the comfy Muskoka chairs).  There is the campers choice – Eagle Lake, or the superbly conditioned Fairways at Kirrie GlenThe Sands is a challenging nine holes on Taboo’s property and the Almaguin Highlands Golf and Country Club or Muskoka Woodlands are great options if you are looking for a quick nine!


Spectacular scenery awaits you at many of the courses featuring Muskoka granite. You will be in awe as you stand on the 6th tee at Bigwin Island, hit through the narrow opening in the rock walls at Muskoka Bay or gaze out at the vista on the first tee at Deerhurst Highlands (don’t pass up Deerhurst Lakeside if you have time). Several of the more recently constructed  courses in the area  such as  Rocky Crest, Oak Bay, Lake Joseph, Taboo, Grandview, The Rock, and The Ridge at Manitou (just wait until you turn the corner on # 18 !) have made use of the natural Muskoka / Canadian shield features in their design and you will be faced with shot making not found anywhere else.


Several of the established courses in Muskoka have undergone major renovations and projects. Sequin ValleySequinValley1-710x375 (play the floating bridge!!) has completed a spectacular clubhouse and the course is always in top condition with several unique Muskoka – type holes and includes their own family of resident bears (friendly and love to watch you hit the ball). Deer Run has added a second, very different, nine holes.  North Granite Ridge has also added a new clubhouse to complement their outstanding layout with many challenges. The “ grandaddies “ of Muskoka Golf, Windermere, South Muskoka, Parry Sound GC and Muskoka Lakes are through their busy time of the year and provide classic Muskoka courses.  South Muskoka has added several new tees and greens rebuilds as has Windermere.  One of the best par 3’s in Muskoka can be found at Windermere as you stand high above the green before you head into the valley for a series of holes. For a change of pace, try the links style course just outside of Bracebridge, Muskoka Highlands. The fescue will be down a bit in the fall and you will play some of the finest greens in the area.


Fall golf in Muskoka — try it… be ready for the best golf of the year in Muskoka.



Golf Muskoka Industry Tournament

Now is your chance to meet the regions to golf course pro’s while celebrating Deerhurst Highlands 25th Anniversary.   Get tips, advice and network with some of the top courses in our region.

Please come out and support the growth of golf in Muskoka by entering a foursome into the ‘Golf Muskoka’ tournament being held on Thursday, October 1st at Deerhurst Highlands Golf Course.  The Highlands Course is celebrating it’s 25th Anniversary, and has continually been a destination of choice by many avid golfers.

The funds raised from this tournament will go directly towards marketing initiatives that will continue to build on our success.

Please register here!



If you have any questions, please contact Head Professional, Ryan Barry at 705-789-7113 ext. 4494 or

Golf Muskoka Tournament - Poster - 2015aaaa

Deerhurst Higlands

Deerhurst Highlands Course Rewind: Guess The Hole

See a Masterpiece in the Making And Play a Little Guessing Game to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Deerhurst Highlands

Take the Masterpiece in the Making Challenge and you could win a Deerhurst Highlands 25th anniversary hat… plus some bragging rights!
Click the button below and simply fill out the boxes with your guess of each hole.

How many holes on the Deerhurst Highlands Golf Course can you identify from their construction photos taken back in 1989?



Deerhurst highlands


Happy 25th Anniversary To Deerhurst Highlands Course!

Rocky Crest Golf Club

Question Time With Muskoka Golf Pros

Golf Tips From Muskoka Golf Professionals

Muskoka offers many fantastic experiences and the golf courses are just one of the main features of this wonderful region. There are dozens of excellent golf courses for you to enjoy, but how do you know which one to play?

Well, we went around several of the golf clubs and resorts in Muskoka and asked the professionals a few questions to show you a little more on the golf course, and also their best golf tips to help you improve your game.

The questions were:

1) Why someone should come and visit your Muskoka golf course?
2) What is the biggest mistake you see that golfers make?
3) What is the very best, simple golf tip you would give?
4) What is your favorite hole and how to play it from tee to green?

It was interesting seeing the golf professionals in action and sharing their insights of their golf course and sharing some great golf tips to help you play better!

So which Muskoka Golf Courses did we go and see?

  • Rocky Crest Golf Resort
  • South Muskoka Curling and Golf Club
  • Taboo Muskoka Resort
  • The Rock Golf Club
  • North Granite Ridge Golf Club
  • Windermere Golf & Country Club
  • Diamond in The Ruff Golf Club

Below are the golf tips and course review videos of the Muskoka Golf Professionals we put together below.


Rocky Crest Golf Resort With Chris Near

Learn more about Rocky Crest Golf Resort here.


South Muskoka Curling & Golf Club With Bruce Rogerson

Learn more about South Muskoka Golf Club here.



Taboo Muskoka Resort With Director of Golf Greg Downer 

Learn more about Taboo Muskoka Resort here.


The Rock Golf Club With Director of Instruction, Spencer Morland

Learn more about The Rock Golf Club here.


North Granite Ridge Golf Club With Head Professional John Wellar

Learn more about North Granite Ridge Golf Club here.


Windermere Golf & Country Club With Director of Golf Mark DeActis

Learn more about Windermere Golf & Country Club here.

The Diamond in The Ruff Golf Club With Head Professional, William Pugilese

Learn more about The Diamond in The Ruff Golf Club here.


Well there you have it… some great golf tips! Plus, we hope you learned a bit more about each club so that you are enticed to go and visit one of these fantastic venues for your next round of golf or getaway.

We do have some exclusive offers for many of the above courses and they can be found on either the Facebook page or for you to be registered in our Insiders club (it’s free)…

We look forward to seeing you soon and hearing all about your experience!