The PGA Tour goes north of the border this week, to Hamilton, Ontario. If you're in town, here are the four courses you should play.
LIONHEAD GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB-LEGENDS COURSE: If you’re looking for a challenge, The Legends Course at Lionhead will take you down into a valley of rolling fairways and wooded ravines that will simultaneously frustrate and delight. Lionhead is always well kept, and navigating around the Credit River on multiple holes provides a challenge for even low handicappers. It’s $10 more expensive than Lionhead’s Masters course, but the challenge makes it worth the extra bucks. ($142, 45 minutes from Hamilton)
ANGUS GLEN-SOUTH COURSE: Once a cattle farm, the South Course at Angus Glen opened in 1997. Canadian designer Doug Carrick constructed two courses on the property, which retains an open feel that harkens back the property’s past and makes Angus Glen unique. In 2002, the South Course hosted the Canadian Open, where John Rollins went 13-under par on the weekend to go from barely making the cut to ending up in a playoff for the title with Neal Lancaster and Justin Leonard. He birdied the first playoff hole for his first career victory. ($135-$180, 1 hr., 15 min. from Hamilton)
OSPREY VALLEY-HEATHLANDS COURSE: Perhaps the most walkable course in the Toronto area, Osprey Valley is an effort by Doug Carrick to bring seaside links to the rugged terrain of Ontario. Fescue-lined fairways demand smart and accurate golf. Osprey Valley is a 54-hole facility, with the Hoot and Toot courses, but Heathlands is in a league of its own as a terrific overall experience. ($70-$105, 1 hr. 15 min. from Hamilton)
GLEN ABBEY GOLF CLUB: Of the 25 Canadian Opens hosted at this course, which is also home to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, none is more famous than Tiger Woods’ victory in 2000. Holding a one-stroke lead, Tiger miraculously hit a 6-iron 218 yards out of the sand, over the lake and safely just off the back of the narrow, well-bunkered, 18th green. It remains one of the best shots of his career. Glen Abbey is also Jack Nicklaus’ first solo design and is highly regarded for “The Valley Holes” on the back side that crisscross 16 Mile Creek. ($120-$230, 30 min. from Hamilton)