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Ontario Golf Course Review

Seven Lakes Championship Golf in Lasalle just 15 minutes from the Ambassador Bridge, is a Bruce Matthews design that features significant water hazards set in a serene golf environment, with a nice mix of wooded and open links style holes. Nominated as one of America's best new golf courses by Golf Digest in 2004, this 6800 yard track has a definite Scottish feel, as tall heather and fescue line the fairways that are often defined by mounding, as well as the "seven lakes". The route opens in a section that features the only heavily wooded area of the layout, and opens up to wide fairways with ample landing that are dotted with numerous bunkers. From holes one through five, the course is dry from tee to green, but water comes into play on 8 of the final 13 holes. Though forced carries are few, the lakes - particularly on the back side, intrude into the landing areas, and demand accurate shot-making skills both off the tee and on approaches. The par three 11th seems simple enough with an obvious lake situated to the right side, but water hazards are also in play short left and immediately behind the putting complex. Another par three at 17 demands a carry over water to a well bunkered green. - from the two back tees. From the 2 forward sets - the hazard is less intimidating. This is generally a rule throughout the layout - which seems to be quite user friendly for women and seniors.

The four sets of tee boxes at Seven Lakes play to 6802 yards/132 slope, 6128 syards/130 slope for men and 137 for women, 5648 yards/122 slope for men and 130 for women and 4830 yards with a slope of 108 for men and 118 for women. Yardages are measured to the center of the green from color coded flags in the center of the fairways, and pin placements are also indicated by this color system with red flags positioned in the front of the green, white in the middle and blue in the back. Black stakes are also posted at 250 yards on the par fives and tee boxes on all par threes also have measurements. Each cart provides ball and club washers as well.

The practice facilities include a full 300-yard driving range with natural grass tee decks, hitting mats, practice bunkers, chipping greens, putting greens and target greens.  It is a good idea to hit a few putts before playing, as these greens are large, quick and sloping.

The initial holes afford an opportunity to get off to a good start. The par three second plays long from the black and blues (237 and 201 yards), looks tight off the tee, but actually provides significant room greenside if you can avoid the tree along the left. The par four third is also tree lined, but the layout opens up from there. Natural areas, bunkers and rolling mounds come into play on four and five, and water hazards affect the tee shots and approaches on 6 and 7. On six a lake means trouble for anything hit left of the fairway bunker on that side, and the hazard also squeezes the approach. The fairway on seven is dotted with sand traps, and another lake to the right runs the length of the hole. The landing area narrows near the 200 yard stake then opens up again with the green situated immediately behind the hazard to the right.

The back side plays a few hundred yards shorter, but demands more accuracy. Not only is there an abundance of water in play, but fairway and greenside bunkers total 56 in number. Besides the challenging par threes on 11 and 17, two holes stand out. Number 14 is a long par five with a natural area to the left, a row of sand traps along the right, and 3 more bunkers that surround the green. Like many of the green complexes at Seven Lakes, these traps are situated on the perimeter, leaving ample room to approach the putting surface from the center. Number 16 is featured below in photos taken from the tee area and fairway. The water hazard on the right juts in towards the fairway just past the initial bunker, and also is in play before the green. Another pond situated to the left and fescue mounding behind creates the need for an extremely accurate second shot. The round finishes like it began. With a tree lined dogleg par four - this one bending right to left.

Currently, the clubhouse at Seven Lakes provides simple amenities, including a snack bar with hot and cold sandwiches and beverages available.  A canopied patio area affords beautiful golf course views. An expanded clubhouse which will feature a pro shop, restaurant, seating area and covered patio is under construction and will open in 2021.

The 18th hole layout is complemented by the 9-hole Old Course - which includes an island green par three - featured in the opening photograph of this review. The setting is rustic at Seven Lakes, with tall grasses sprouting all about the course. Golfers will find a good variety of shot selections, and will most likely utilize every club in their bag at the reasonable price course. For more info, visit our page with direct link to the Seven Lakes website by clicking here.

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