Non believers can’t understand the appeal. Why would anybody want to spend half a day whacking a little white ball up and down hills, through forests, rocks, rivers and lakes. There is no easy answer – but it’s fun and addictive. In fact, five million Canadians hit the links at least once a year, making us per capita, the most golf mad nation in the world. The golf course is also the place where deals get done and relationships made. (Among the golfing faithful are Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. It’s even crossed the line into rock and roll where golfers range from Alice Cooper to Justin Timberlake.)
The rolling hills and lakesides north of Toronto are dotted with golf resorts that not only offer serene getaways from the bustle of the city but that are also equipped to host corporate golf days and meetings. Among the top of the list are Nottawasaga Inn Resort & Conference Centre which sports 45 holes of golf and 64,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.
In Muskoka, there is another batch of high quality resorts that boast the perfect combination of golf and meeting space. The Deerhurst Resort outside of Huntsville, has two terrific tracks. The Highlands course, which was cottage country’s first premium layout, zig-zags through the forests and the rocks. Watch for the deer wandering across the fairways in early morning rounds. Its Lakeside layout, which was designed by Tom McBroom bends around the edge of the water and is little friendlier to high handicappers. (Deerhurst's sister resort, Horseshoe, is perched in the high ground just outside of Barrie, and is also home to two very good courses.)
The Taboo Resort outside of Gravenhurst is famous for its good golf and meeting space. The course is full of swooping elevation changes, marshland, thick stands of pine and great slashes of granite. Watch for the 7 hole, a monstrous par 3 that cuts through a craggy chute of rock. Miss the green and the ball bounces into the stratosphere.