Demanding par 3s highlight Oak Bay Golf & Country Club in the southern tip of Muskoka, Ontario



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.

Oct 03, 2012



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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.