Sandy Mountain Campsite & Golf Course – A Delightful Opportunity
The true fabric of Canadian golf is the many “community-level” golf courses among the 2400 that dot our nation. Too often they are not given much attention in favour of higher profile facilities, but if you ask many of the leading people in the Canadian golf industry where they took up the game, it would be at one of these smaller courses. Be it nine holes, a par three course, or some variant of the same, the opportunity is often more important that the stature. And often these golf courses surprise you with not only the challenge to your skills but also with their inherent serenity and beauty.
Hundreds of vehicles traveling on Highway 43 just a half hour drive south of the City of Ottawa between Winchester and Kemptville pass a sign framed by bricks set back from the south side of the highway on a daily basis.
The Sandy Mountain sign denotes a campsite – mobile home – apartment family recreation center with a friendly sense of community; owned and operated by the Durant Family since 1971.
Activities found on the property include horseshoe pits, a 30′ by 60′ swimming pool, a wading pool, a games room, volleyball and basketball courts, bingo, darts and euchre as well as a large playground and picnic area.
More importantly to golfers, the recreation area contains a 1200-yard, 9-hole public short golf course.
Yes, you read the previous line correctly. There is a golf course located near the back end of the 46-acre property containing 165 campsites, a mobile home park and 2 apartment buildings and you don’t have to be a camper or resident to play the Sandy Mountain golf course.
To understand the how a golf course came to be in this location in the early 1990’s, you’ll need an explanation from Sandy Mountain co-owner Debbie Durant. “If our father Doug Durant liked to do something, he turned it into a business. He liked to camp, so he built a campground. He liked golf, so he designed and built the Sandy Mountain short course and also the full length Nationview golf course.”
Isn’t that every golfer’s dream? To build your own golf course. Well, Doug Durant went one step better and turned his vision into a reality. And, for an amateur architect, he did a sporting job of it. It’s not surprising as anyone familiar with Doug Durant.
That said, when some people think of a “short” course they envision a Pitch & Putt where the only clubs that get any use are a wedge and putter. Sandy Mountain is anything but that.
The golf course features eight par three holes measuring between ninety and one-hundred and ninety yards in length and one par four hole measuring two hundred and ten yards.
It won’t normally take you all day to play, that is, if you keep the golf ball in play. If you are looking for a quick nine holes or a place to practice with your iron clubs, the Sandy Mountain golf course is perfect for both objectives.
The course features tight tree-lined fairways where accuracy off the tee is essential. Greens are generally sloped upwards from the front to the back and are generally small in size. If you can’t hit your irons straight, then your chipping game will get a lot of practice. If you do hit any green in regulation though, you will be rewarded with a reasonable length birdie putt.
The fifth hole measuring 100 yards requires a tee shot over water through a tight opening in the tree line and the sixth hole measuring 110 yards requires another tee shot over water. The seventh hole is the only par 4 on the course and care has to be taken with a blind tee shot to place your ball at the corner of the 90-degree dogleg hole.
The Sandy Mountain short course provides a delightful opportunity to get away for a quick round of 9 holes of golf in a secluded piece of nature, but be warned, after nine holes you are going to want to tackle the course again, whether immediately or in the near future.
With Kemptville, Ontario continuing to expand, area golfers are eventually going to hear about the Sandy Mountain golf course being open to the public, so plan to play the course before it becomes too busy.
1200 Yards, Par 28
Sandy Mountain Campsite
10152 CR 43