From Toronto, give yourself a healthy two-hour head start on your tee time and head north along Highway 400 in search of Taboo, the sumptuous cottage-country golf resort and spa.
If you can tear yourself away from the well-appointed accommodations and five-star cuisine, 7,200 yards of golf architect Ron Garl’s finest work await, carved out of the Canadian Shield and nestled in the dense woodlands of central Ontario.
Tread softly along the 411-yard par-4 6th, the length of which is guarded by water and needs only a three-wood or long iron off the tee, then a precise approach to a small, narrow green.
Save some energy for the brutish 449-yard par-4 not to the mention that the 16th is arguably the course’s most demanding par-4 at 484 yards from the black tees, this sweeping dogleg left forces players to navigate treacherous pot bunkers in search of an expansive but dramatically sloping green.
If your swing is out of synch by the time you reach the rock outcrops of the gorgeous 563-yard double-dogleg 18th, consider a visit to the Taboo Golf Academy, a world-class practice facility complete with Canada’s only Dynamic Balance System—a NASA-engineered swing analysis gizmo to help you locate your long-lost centre of gravity.
TOTAL YARDS: 7,200
NUMBER OF HOLES: 18
LONGEST HOLE: 18th, par 5, 563 yards
APRÉS-GOLF: Nestle into the cushy confines of Taboo’s well-appointed suites, chalets and full-service spa. The Element’s Spa’s “culinary theatre” features menu items as unconventional as oyster custard, caribou and Quebec hare (800-461-0236).
Green fees are $115 to $145 from May to October, and $155 to $195 from June to September.
Aberdeen Glen Golf Course and Estates
Bargains are often found off the beaten track, and Aberdeen Glen Golf Course is no different. This manicured, 7,100-yard par-73 meanders over rolling, rugged terrain through narrow stands of dense B.C. forest—a stern test for the better player, and a gentler route from the forward tees. Jeans are allowed, too!
Jägare Ridge Golf Club
Carved out of fertile farmland in the Whitemud Creek Valley in Edmonton, Jägare Ridge Golf Club boasts a narrow, target-oriented front nine, with a more windswept, links-style back.
$90 (includes power cart); $78 seniors (power cart, range, Mon. – Thu.); juniors, $43 (includes range). Twilight rate after 4 p.m. (and early-bird before 9 a.m. Mon. – Thu.), $73.
Doon Valley & Rockway Golf Course
Doon Valley is freshly renovated with 10 brand-new holes, while the tree-lined fairways of Rockway are the perfect places for youngsters to shape their game.