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Executive golf courses in Canada


A water hazard increases the challenge at Mystic Ridge Golf Course, Oakville, Ontario
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Increasingly, golf course planners are hiring brand-name architects to design executive courses to lend their experience and cachet to help attract multi-standard players to the game. Club-quality turf and classic designs are helping convince the old guard of the validity of short courses.


Mission Hills, China - the world’s largest golf club with 12 courses - has a par 3, executive course designed by Schmidt-Curley Design Inc. Executive courses are shorter courses, usually nine holes, and often each hole is a par 3 hole, meaning the whole course could potentially be played in 27 shots.  It is an 18-hole course and, according to Brian Curley, it has helped in counteracting antagonism towards shorter courses in the area. “One of the battles in Asia is that there is a stigma associated with anything less than a par 72 course,” he says.


For the past decade Curley has encouraged golf course planners to build courses commensurate with their clientele: “If a course is too long or too tough, there can be a backlash. In Asia people are beginning to understand that shorter, easier courses can be a success without having to create a behemoth every time,” he explains.


Mystic Ridge Golf Course at Oakville, near Toronto, Canada, is an executive length, 18-hole course. Designed by Rene Muylaert, one of Canada’s leading golf course architects, it opened in 1989. Another regulation-length, par-36, 9-hole course (Angel’s View) was subsequently added and these two Oakville courses have been consistently ranked as one of the area’s premier public golf facilities. Co-owner Alexandra D’Cunha says her family intended to corner the executive golfing market in the Toronto area from the outset: “On the outskirts of Toronto there is a large population of time-pressed individuals, all juggling commuting, family and work, so we felt strongly that a shorter course would do well.” As well as businessmen, the four-hour 18-hole course and two-hour 9-holer attract a high percentage of women and juniors. D’Cunha thinks that players get less frustrated with shorter driving, less challenging holes and quicker rounds. Oakville is also home to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum.


With short courses starting to lose their second-class stigma in Canada, the following golf courses and developments have embraced the concept:


- Meadowbrook Golf & Country Club, Gormley, Ontario 

- Bushwood Golf Club, Markham, Toronto, Ontario

- Pine View Municipal Golf Course, Ottawa

- Maples of Ballantrae Golf Club, Stouffville, Ontario
- Newlands Golf & Country Club, Langley, BC

- Meadows Executive Par 3 Golf Course, Brooks, AB

- Rundle Executive Par Three Golf Course, Edmonton, AB

- Black Bull Golf Resort, Ma-Me-O Beach, AB

- Club de Golf Metropolitain Anjou, Quebec

- Holiday Park Golf Course, Saskatoon