Canada is the world’s third largest golfing nation with more than 2300 golf courses and 310,000 registered golfers, according to the R&A’s latest global golf participation report.
In awe-inspiring landscapes, spanning Rocky Mountains, prairie grasslands and remote isles off the Atlantic seaboard, you’ll discover some of the world’s best golf courses – from Cabot Cliffs and Cabot Links in Inverness, Nova Scotia to Banff Springs in Alberta.
Ontario, the second-largest province behind Quebec, is Canada’s most golf-rich region with around 600 courses ranging from affordable publics to world-class resorts.
This golf guide to Ontario explores some of the best budget and premium options for a multi-day golf trip. We’ve also curated recommendations for how to spend your time off the course, from boat tours at Niagara Falls to farmers markets and canoeing in Algonquin Provincial Park.
To experience Ontario Golf at its best, we recommend exploring its regions and staying close to clusters of quality golf courses.
The beauty of Ontario is that you need to take several trips to truly experience it, simply because of the sheer landmass and natural beauty of a province that intersects two time zones and covers more than a million square kilometres. That’s bigger than France and Spain combined.
Getting to Ontario
Flying into Toronto is the best way to access Ontario’s best golf destinations.
Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is one of the busiest airports in North America, with inbound flights from all over the world. Once you land, pick up a quality rental car, with plenty of trunk space for clubs and drive to your chosen destination.
If you’re travelling long-haul to Canada and want to experience the best golf courses in Ontario, you may want to focus on the Niagara and Muskova Lakes regions.
After all, how often can you visit one of the ‘seven wonders of the world’ in between tee-times?
Premium Ontario Golf Destinations
Niagara is not just renowned for its waterfalls; it’s also home to some of the best golf courses in Canada, including Whirlpool Golf Course, Grand Niagara, and Legends on the Niagara.
Whirlpool Golf Course is one of Canada’s most highly rated public golf courses, designed by legendary golf architect Stanley Thompson and set against the backdrop of the Niagara River whirlpool.
Grand Niagara is routed through some of the most scenic terrain in the region, with several holes that play directly along the edge of an epic gorge.
Lastly, Legends on the Niagara at Niagara Parks has two championship courses, Battlefield and Ussher’s Creek. Battlefield is inspired by links golf while Ussher’s winds through woodland, wetlands and knee-high fescue rough.
Things to see and do in Niagara, Ontario
- Visit Niagara Falls: Niagara Falls is one of the ‘Seven Natural Wonders of the World.’ Take a boat or helicopter tour to get up close to the natural might of the waterfalls
- Visit the Skylon Tower: The Skylon Tower is a 775-foot-tall observation tower that offers stunning views of Niagara Falls and the surrounding area
- Take a ride on the Niagara SkyWheel: The Niagara SkyWheel is a 175-foot-tall Ferris wheel that offers 360-degree views of Niagara Falls
- Visit the Journey Behind the Falls: Journey Behind the Falls is a guided tour that takes you behind Niagara Falls
Muskoka is a beautiful region located north of Toronto, often called Ontario’s cottage country.
The region is home to several world-class golf courses and resorts, including Bigwin Island Golf & Country Club, Highlands Golf Course at Deerhurst Resort, and Taboo Golf Club. Bigwin Island Golf & Country Club is a private course located on a private island in Lake Muskoka.
Highlands Golf Course at Deerhurst Resort is a challenging course that winds around granite outcrops and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding lakes and forests. Taboo Golf Club is known for its dramatic elevation changes and challenging green complexes.
Things to see and do in Muskoka, Ontario:
- Visit Algonquin Provincial Park: Algonquin Provincial Park is a large provincial park that is known for its wildlife, forests, and lakes. You can go hiking, camping, fishing, and canoeing in the park
- Visit the Muskoka Lakes: The Muskoka Lakes are a group of lakes that are popular for boating, swimming, and fishing
- Christmas lovers will enjoy Santa’s Village, a family-friendly amusement park that is open year-round and runsrides, attractions and shows
Kawartha Lakes region is a popular tourist destination located east of Toronto. It’s home to a number of great golf courses, including Baxter Creek, Peterborough Golf & Country Club, and Black Diamond.
Baxter Creek Golf Course is a picturesque and challenging public course known for its rolling fairways, well-maintained greens, and scenic views of the surrounding countryside. Peterborough Golf and Country Club is a members-only club, but is accessible through leading golf tour operators. Black Diamond Golf Club is set within the deep woods and foothills of the Oakridge Moraine.
Things to see and do in the Kawartha Lakes, Ontario
- Visit the Trent-Severn Waterway: The Trent-Severn Waterway is a system of canals and locks that connects Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay. You can take a boat cruise on the waterway to see some of the beautiful scenery in the Kawartha Lakes region
- Visit the Canadian Canoe Museum: The Canadian Canoe Museum is a museum that is dedicated to the history and culture of canoeing in Canada. The museum has a collection of over 600 canoes from all over the world
For golf groups looking for value for money on their Ontario golf trip, there are many outstanding public courses and lesser-known layouts in the London, Barrie and Belleville regions that are worth a visit.
Affordable Ontario Golf Destinations
London is home to a number of great public golf courses, including Fanshawe Golf Course, Highland Country Club, and Thames Valley Golf Course.
Fanshawe Golf Course is a challenging course with stunning views of the Thames River.
Highland Country Club is a more traditional course design with mature trees that the region is well known for and rolling hills. Thames Valley Golf Course is another great option for golfers of all skill levels, with wide fairways and forgiving greens.
Things to see and do in London, Ontario:
- Visit the Budweiser Gardens: The Budweiser Gardens is a state-of-the-art arena that is home to the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. Catch a game to see some of the best young hockey players in the world
- Explore the Covent Garden Market: The Covent Garden Market is an indoor/outdoor market featuring over 200 vendors that sell fresh produce, meats, cheeses, prepared foods, and artisan crafts
- Visit the Museum of Archaeology: The Museum of Archaeology houses a collection of over 1 million artefacts from around the world
Barrie is a hidden gem and another great option for affordable golf in Ontario. Some of the best courses in Barrie include Barrie Golf & Country Club, Bond Head, and Settlers Ghost.
Bond Head features two magnificently designed golf courses, the links-style South Course and the parkland-style North Course, both ranked among the best in Canada. Settlers Ghost is another must-play, set on rolling farmland with views of the Niagara Escarpment.
Things to see and do in Barrie, Ontario:
- Visit the Barrie Farmers’ Market: The Barrie Farmers’ Market is a weekly market that features over 100 vendors selling fresh produce, meats, cheeses, prepared foods, and artisan crafts
- Take a walk or bike ride along the waterfront: Barrie has a beautiful waterfront trail that is perfect for walking, running, or biking
- Visit the MacLaren Art Centre: The MacLaren Art Centre is a regional art gallery that features a collection of over 10,000 works of art
Belleville is a charming little city located on the shores of Lake Ontario. The city is home to several great golf courses, including Black Bear Ridge Golf Course, Loyalist Golf & Country Club, and Quinte Hills Golf Club. Black Bear Ridge Golf Course is a challenging course with stunning views of the lake.
It’s the most popular golf course in Belleville, and put the area on the map. Loyalist Golf & Country Club is a well-maintained course with a variety of tee boxes to suit all skill levels, and Quinte Hills Golf Club is a popular choice for both locals and visitors alike.
Things to see and do in Belleville, Ontario:
- Take a boat tour of the Thousand Islands: The Thousand Islands is a region of over 1,800 islands located on the St. Lawrence River. Take a boat tour to see some of the most beautiful scenery in Ontario
- Visit the Loyalist College Waterfront Campus: The Loyalist College Waterfront Campus is a beautiful campus located on the shores of Lake Ontario. Take a walk around the campus to enjoy the views and the architecture
How to organise a golf trip to Ontario
One of the easiest ways to take the stress and hassle out of a self-drive golf break is to book with a quality golf tour operator.
Best Golf Trips specialise in Canadian golf holidays and have developed insider connections with the top courses in Ontario and established long-standing partnerships with hotels, accommodations, restaurants and attractions.
Ontario is a destination that caters for golfers of all skill levels, whether you’re looking to play at a Canadian Open venue or a gentle resort course with big greens and wide fairways.
Ontario is a world-class golf destination serviced by a busy international airport with access to Toronto and its gleaming high-rise buildings, especially the CN Tower – the largest free-standing structure outside of Asia.
Bookend a golf trip with time in Toronto and enjoy its niche museums, festivals, film scene and many celebrated restaurants.
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