Winter Golf in Canada

Winter Golf in Canada

First tee on the Old Course

First tee on the Old Course

December 21 ushered in the first day of winter. Not a day most Canadians consider golfing unless you’re a snowbird in Florida or Arizona, or are fortunate enough in live on Vancouver Island with a 12 month season. However, the fall of 2014 in Southern Ontario was one which saw little sunshine and just as little snowfall. Bare grass and milder conditions (I’ll call 2c mild for the first day of winter) invited golfers to explore courses which remain open and I was one of the hearty few.

Hidden Lake in Burlington, ON is a two-course operation which has recently been acquired by ClubLink, a larger multi-course conglomerate which owns and operates many high-end courses like Glen Abbey and Rocky Crest (also a public course), as well as Glencairn and King Valley (only open to ClubLink members). The new management has not changed the courses’ philosophy around access to public golf and with little to no snowfall; Hidden Lake remains open for public play. With recommended forward tees and mandatory temp greens the courses continue to allow golfers a chance to keep the swing loose and enjoy a refreshing walk.

Temporary greens meant the putter stayed in the bag

Temporary greens meant the putter stayed in the bag

I ventured out and played their old course. According to my iPhone camera I was able to play 18 in 2 hours 8 minutes. The putter never came out of the bag as the temp greens provided me a chance to hone my chipping skills. Winter golf is not a time to talk about scores; it is a chance to talk about being able to get out to play. Preferred lies, a two-shot limit on the greens and a mental note to put the yellow balls are in the bag are the important items to share.

I love winter golf. It is the golf equivalent of being able to tell fishing tales. At the 19th hole or at the water cooler the temperature gets a little colder, the roll of tee shots a little longer and the fingers felt a little warmer. It was days like yesterday where I can ensure my number one goal from golf is met: have fun.

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season. Keep it in the short grass and I hope 2015 is a golf-filled year for you all.

18th green.  Full round in just over 2 hours.

18th green. Full round in just over 2 hours.


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