Joe McLean of the Flagstick team recently visited the Calabogie Highlands Golf Resort to get an update on changes taking place there. He provided this report.
The Calabogie Highlands Golf Resort (Barryvale, ON) is not just about great golf; it’s about the total package. It is a place to take advantage of the stay and play packages, relax and enjoy a quiet week or weekend away on the shores of Calabogie Lake. It’s also close enough to the City of Ottawa and Valley Towns for a day excursion to play golf on an 18-hole golf course designed by man but defined by nature.
A number of changes have been made over the past couple of years to the Calabogie Highlands golf course. In 2015 they scaled back their 3rd nine and re-positioned the course to return to the clubhouse after each nine holes. As times have changed so did the need for an extra nine holes and they say this has freed up staff and funds to make many more improvements to the resort for years to come.
The driving range has been re-positioned in closer proximity to the first tee and the practice green. As mentioned, the inner nine-hole course is gone and many of the holes have been incorporated into the new front nine located on the Lake Calabogie side of Barryvale Road.
The island green on the third hole is now connected to the mainland but it still provides a challenge to golfers who, if they are short with their tee shots, are more than likely to find a man-made pond that is hidden from view from the tee accepting their golf balls. As always, many tee shots on the par-3 hole also find their way into Calabogie Lake. The view from the tee is spectacular but the downhill tee shot measuring between 133 and 147 yards is diabolical.
Holes six through nine work their way back to the pro-shop, where golfers who have walked the front nine can opt to pick up a golf cart for the more challenging back nine and its multitude of elevation changes. That is definitely a nice option to have.
Massive New 6th Green
The largest green on the golf course and one of the largest in the Ottawa Valley can be found on the new sixth hole. The green measures 63 yards from front to back and 26 yards across at its widest point for a total of close to 1638 square yards or 14,742 square feet. The green also features a dramatic elevation change from front to back. The hole itself measures only 382 yards from the back tees, but tee shots have to be accurate or golfers will find themselves in the trees as their golf balls will kick towards the lake.
It will be interesting to hear the comments from golfers after they experience the many pin placements that will be available to them on the new green.
Golfers finish the front nine on a new downhill, dog-leg par 4 measuring between 276 and 413 yards; a new uphill par 3 that requires an uphill tee shot measuring between 117 and 177 yards and the finishing hole from the old inner nine that has been lengthened and now measures between 242 and 348 yards.
Overall, the new front nine is a solid test of golf.
The Back Nine
The new back nine starts off with two new par fives running beside Barryvale Road with lengths from the back tees of 528 and 541 yards. Both holes offer elevation changes and interesting challenges.
The new par 3, 12th hole measures between 120 and 223 yards and requires an accurate tee shot to a green surface hidden from view from the tee. The 13th hole has been shortened from a par 5 to a par 4 and now measures 437 from the back tees.
The closing five holes on the Calabogie course have not been changed and they will be remembered by golfers for their elevation changes and the need for precision shots off the tee.
All in all, the new 18-hole golf course at the Calabogie Highlands Resort still offers golfers a variety of golfing challenges as well as omnipresent picturesque views and is well worth a visit.
Apart from golf, the food and beverages as well as the service in the Fiddlers Green Restaurant and Pub has not changed and well worth a visit after or before a round of golf at the Calabogie Highlands Resort.
/ Joe McLean @FlagstickJoe