PENINSULA LAKES GOLF CLUB (905-892-8844)
Ontario Golf Course Review
Peninsula Lakes in Fonthill is a Rene Muylaert 27-hole design that has been sculpted from the remains of an old sand and gravel quarry. Consistently ranked as one of the best
conditioned courses in Ontario and with a 41/2 star ranking for Golf Digest Places to Play, this course is a "must play" when visiting in the Niagara region. As sister course to
Copper Creek (voted as the Best New Course in Ontario in 2003 by Ontario Golf Magazine), Peninsula Lakes affords service and amenities worthy of a top notch golf facility, and
caters to tournament and corporate events that number from 20 to 200.
On property is a full service clubhouse with a beautiful pro shop, spacious locker rooms with showers and complimentary toiletries, a restaurant/lounge that serves breakfast,
lunch and dinner, and outstanding banquet/outing facilities that will soon expand. The adjacent outdoor patio features additional seating downstairs and up, as well as wonderful
views of the golf course. A grass range (pictured below) in a reverse angle with the clubhouse in the background) and two practice greens are also part of the complex. Weather
covers are standard equipment on all carts, providing a safe haven for golf clubs during rainy periods. In 2004, Green fees with cart topped out at $90 weekdays and $100 on
weekends, with 18 holes twilight rates at $58 beginning five hours prior to sunset. At these rates and with the quality of course conditions and service, it is no wonder that
peninsula Lakes was recognized by Score Magazine as one of the most underrated golf facilities in Canada. Canadian Golf Magazine recently rated the course as one of the Top
60 in Canada, and one of Ontario's Top Ten.
The golf course is also well marked, making it easy for players to choose the correct club. While the terrain atop the Niagara escarpment is rolling, the topography here is not
severe enough to warrant much of a change in club selection due to elevation changes. Golfers will find 150 yards stakes visible in the fairways on all par fours and fives, and
yardage blocks at 100, 150 and 200 yards are measured to the center of the green. The tee boxes have color coded blocks to indicate yardage, and the flags on the greens are
color coded as well to indicate front, middle and back hole locations. Significant water hazards and mature trees shape the shots on many holes, and provide a good deal of the
difficulty. The greens are deceptively challenging. On first look, they seem to be flat and easy to putt on. With experience, golfers will notice the subtle breaks that often occur
making a seemingly automatic putt a little less comfortable. Four sets of tees among the 27 holes provide distances ranging from to 5238 to 6545 yards, with the toughest slope
rating awarded to the Quarry/Hillside routing at 127. The white tees top out with a 120 slope and the ladies tees rate 121. The course is certainly playable, and with the top notch
facilities is a perfect place for golf outings.
The Quarry is the more challenging of the three nines, as it includes 43 sand bunkers plus 4 holes with water hazards. The two opening holes give golfers a chance to get
acquainted with the water hazards, as number one bananas around a pond with the approach demanding an accurate carry. The second is a pretty par three with water short left
and bunkers right and behind. The terrain on most of these holes is quite flat, with many bump and run opportunities available greenside. Numbers seven and eight are back to
back five pars with the latter being reachable in two. Catch the downslope of the hill off the tee and a great roll will most likely be the result. Numbers four and nine present raised
putting surfaces that demand accuracy on the approach.
The Hillside nine begins as it implies - atop the hillside, and ends in the valley below leading to the clubhouse. There are 31 sand traps and 5 holes with water in play on this
layout. There is a nice mix of open and tight holes, and flat and raised putting surfaces. Number two is a pretty par three with an open area in front of the green flanked by long
bunkers on either side. The par 5 fourth is the most interesting and challenging hole of the layout. The tee shot must be placed left of center to avoid the tree line along the right,
but cannot go so far as to reach the water hazard on that side that comes into play about 230 yards from the green. Golfers can then choose to attempt a long carry over the pond
that fronts the green, or lay up prior to the 145 yard area. The willow tree situated right of the green complex is one of many that adds character to the course. The 7th is also an
interesting par five, and with another hazard situated on the left side is best played as a three shot hole. This same pond provides a challenging carry on the par three eighth.
The Orchards begins from an elevated tee and is a dogleg left four par, with pines tress situated in the cutoff of the turn. Flying the trees or laying up to the 150
right center of the fairway are the options, and the approach plays 1 club uphill. This layout is amply tree lined as it meanders along a pear orchard, with 39
bunkers but only two water hazards in play. Number six is a gorgeous par three with rock walled ponds on both sides of the putting surface and stately willows
situated behind. There also is a carry over water on the par three eighth, with a huge bunker saving some balls that are hit short from a watery grave. The finishing
hole provides a good opportunity to end the day on a good note, as the fairway is relatively open. Avoid the mounding and good scores can be had on this short four par.
Peninsula Lakes gets our high recommendation. It is a beautiful course in a stunning setting. Everything is here - great conditioning and landscaping, variety in design, beautiful
facilities, attentive service…It is the type of place that I imagine "home players' would live to show off. For more info, visit our page for Peninsula Lakes with link to their website by clicking here.
To view an informational page with web link for their sister course Copper Creek, click here.