Fox Meadow – The Islands Best Golfing Secret
When I made my before and after list, ranking PEI Island courses before even playing them, I placed Fox Meadow low on my list. I had not heard of it and did not get any sense of any significant wow factor. Well, having played 10 of the top courses on PEI, this course was the greatest surprise and moved up my rankings afterward more than any other on the Island. Wow factor? You won’t even get to the first tee before seeing the quality of this course. Pro Shop? Clubhouse? Yes, all superb. Convenient too given it is so close to Charlottetown. Add what is likely the best practice facilities on the Island and the impressions for a first time player are extremely high. What about the course? Well, it follows suit and provides a stern and very enjoyable test of golf within an excellent layout.
The course is mere minutes east of Charlottetown and for business travelers seeking to squeeze in a round, I would highly recommend it. As was the case with most of the courses we played on PEI, the late season conditions were sensational. It was a cool, breezy but sunny morning when we teed off in October and the starter was fantastic, offering us a chance to play ahead of two other groups. The staff are all friendly and professional which only adds to the appeal.
The course enjoys some subtle elevation change which is used very well to create vistas off the tee. The course has good diversity in that some holes are quite open but others require a premium on accuracy. The designer uses doglegs very effectively to create diversity amongst the holes. The par 3’s are exceptionally strong, I especially liked the 7th hole, the signature hole at Fox Meadow, which is a short par 3 guarded to the left by a pond. We found a crew of divers gathering balls (fortunately the four of us did not make any contributions to their multiple bags full of balls).
The course enjoys an exceptional strong stretch of closing holes which only builds on the positive experience at Fox Meadow. The tee markers did not always align to the centre of the fairway; a clever move to have us thinking throughout the round. I liked that actually. Truth is players really need to think their way around Fox Meadow. It is a fair test of golf and all four of us left stating we’d be honoured to be members at that course.
Aura – 6.5 out of 10 – I had not heard much about this course and learning about it – and in typical PEI fashion – it was a humble, understated write up which undersells the strengths of this course. Added to this the quality of the course and its staff and it truly over delivered…and that is not a bad thing!
Value (cost / experience) – 8 out of 10 – Consistent with other courses on the Island, the real value is in membership ($1350 is exceptional). For anyone traveling to the Island, peak fees are $79 but if you’re able to coordinate a few rounds throughout the Island take advantage of the card program of Golf PEI. Even at $79, the experience of playing Fox Meadow would be worthwhile.
Course Condition (fairways/greens, layout) – 8.5 out of 10 – I really appreciated the diversity of this layout. There was nothing mundane about this course. As mentioned, the par 3’s are exceptional and the closing three holes were strong. My only critique was a few of the tee boxes were uneven but it was nothing that detracted from the round. Greens were generous in size and rolled at a consistent speed all morning. Add the fall colours we were able to experience and it only added to the beauty of this course. The opening hole, the beautiful dog leg, downhill par 4, reflects the challenge and beauty of this course.
Overall Experience (how did the round make me feel; would I return) – 8 out of 10 – The experience was an enjoyable and pleasant surprise and not is meant to be disparaging. Simply put, I did not know what to expect and from dropping off the clubs to post-round purchases at the pro shop, the golfing experience at Fox Meadow was first class. With an abundance of quality golf on PEI, Fox Meadow holds a rightful place as one of the better courses on the Island.
Highlight (what is great about the course) – The one aspect we utilized but that I’d enjoy more as a member are the practice facilities. They are outstanding and allow players the space to work on all aspects of their game. As for the course, the layout was natural and followed the contours of the land. The course meandered well throughout the property with no holes that felt forced, cramped or out of place. Add the fact that staff were professional and courteous and Fox Meadow is a course people should add to their must play list on the Island.
Best Shot – Fox Meadow our last of a 10 course trip in fall 2015. And while I struggled to score well the entire trip, I saved my best for last. My approach on 17 hit the flag and dropped to about 2 feet. Then, on 18, my third shot was all over the pin and left me 4 feet for back to back birdies. It salvaged my score and capped off a memorable round and one of the greatest golf trips I will ever experience. Finishing strong had two meanings – the quality of course, and closing birdies on holes 179 and 180!