PORT SEVERN, Ontario -- Golfers playing Oak Bay Golf & Country Club shouldn't be hoping for a hole-in-one miracle.
They should just be happy about hitting the green on any of the tough -- but gorgeous -- set of par 3s on the 6,503-yard course.
Architect Shawn Watters transformed the nine-hole Sunnylea Golf Course into a dramatic test of golf on the southern tip of Muskoka. An extra season of grow-in allowed the course to open in 2011 in prime condition with greens that hold shots and roll fast and true. Wetlands and forced carries dominate the design.
Playing the 6,055-yard white tees is recommended for first-timers or high-handicappers. All of the par 3s play long and demanding, even from the whites. The 191-yard second hole (white tees) rises uphill over colorful wild brush. Wetland fronts the 174-yard fourth hole. Wind off the water greatly affects club selection on the 173-yard 17th hole. Its green sits exposed near an inlet of the Georgian Bay.
None of the three, however, can compare to Oak Bay Golf & Country Club's 165-yard 15th hole, where an elevated green sits on this gigantic granite outcropping. It's an imposing scene. Take at least one extra club to avoid sinking a shot in the marshy lake cove.
A 10,000-square-foot, two-story clubhouse will open in 2013 to complete this up-and-coming club.