It’s hard to argue that the Falcon Ridge Golf Course could have a better location. Found directly across from the Rideau Carleton Raceway and the popular casino, a twenty minute drive in any direction from their property can get you a lot of places.
“I think it is only getting better,” says General Manager and Co-Owner Steve Spratt. “With housing developments like Findlay Creek (Village) putting the population closer and projects like the Strandherd (Armstrong) Bridge across the Rideau it is even easier for more people to get to us.”
The result for Spratt and his partner and cousin Greg, is that their club is doing something some other clubs in North America are not doing so well, growing their business with each passing year.
In 1989, when the cousins and their families took possession of 3500 acres of hay in pasture in the south end of Ottawa, few people could have imagined that a golfing oasis was about to be born. Today the Falcon Ridge Golf Course is home to 27 holes (18-hole Falcon Ridge and 9-hole Raceview courses) of captivating golf on 321 acres of that land, and plenty of people have come to make it their regular golfing home.
Since the beginning Falcon Ridge has been developed to cater to the golfing public and the needs they so often profess. It has shaped the facility from its origins as a small nine hole course into one that also incorporates a championship level eighteen hole layout, a comprehensive practice facility, golf school, and programs and amenities serviced by a staff who treat you like family. And just a couple years ago they made one of the biggest transitions for the club to date – construction a new clubhouse that has drawn rave reviews from the minute it opened.
Falcon Ridge originally used a perfectly functional trailer setup for their clubhouse but that set-up was upgraded significantly in 2009 with the arrival of a modern, 7,000 square-foot clubhouse that is receiving a lot of admiration. “The new clubhouse was built for a few reasons,” Steve says from the comfort of one of the two outdoor patios the building features. “It encourages tournaments and also helps us get more year-round business with only a few months missing. The Christmas (party) market was important to us and we have been booked solid for the last two years.” Spratt adds that is also helped them to build their membership base which is happening slowly but steadily with some room still for new members. The other benefit is that there is a more convenient place now where golfers can enjoy pre and post-game meals, snacks, or beverages. “The old clubhouse, a lot of people liked it but it wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea. This one has been received very positively by everyone.”
The new building cannot be called anything short of spectacular yet still intimate in size. It features modern washrooms, a large pro shop, a well-lit bar/lounge area, a large room for events, and the aforementioned outdoor patios. All in a style that still fits the property quite well. It provides an ideal setting for meetings, weddings, and other group outings.
The “Out of Bounds Restaurant” is even more pleasing for those who have yet to make a visit. “We tried to make sure we had the best food possible,” says Spratt. For example, their clubhouse sandwich is made with all fresh ingredients – no processed meats, and the platter is accompanied by both fresh fries and a salad of equal quality.
While the clubhouse is really adding to the whole Falcon Ridge Golf Club experiences, the golf courses themselves have also evolved over recent years.
Raceview, a par 35 – 2563 yard, nine-hole course, which opened in 1998, incorporates a scenic and challenging layout for golfers of all abilities and should not be confused with other par three (there are just two of them) or executive courses. You will need to use every club in your bag and accuracy off the tees will be a necessity. The signature 2nd hole features an elevated tee from which you face a tee shot that must be played to a fairway set between strips of water. Form here you must play a shot to the green where water is also the prominent guardian. Lower handicap golfers will test their discipline and skill as the temptation can be to try and drive many of the greens on the shorter holes, but unless perfect shots are played, disaster can ensue. The player decides the amount of risk they want to take, for which the reward can be great.
Debuting in 2002, Falcon Ridge is a par 72 – 6945 yard (4 sets of tee start at 5383 yards) , eighteen-hole championship course, providing a mix of pastoral fairways – many lined with mature growths of trees, some elevated tee and greens and ever-present streams and ponds to collect errant shots. The 8th hole, measuring 642 yards from the Yellow tees may be the longest hole in the area. The signature 18th hole on Falcon Ridge course puts a stirring exclamation on your round. Driving from an elevated deck, your tee shot requires a drive into a fairway that dodges hard to the right and set deep in a valley. You then must execute a strong second shot to reach the comfort of a large elevated green.
The natural evolution for the Falcon Ridge Course has meant some softening in a few areas. Brush on the dense back nine has been gradually reduced to make for wider lanes of play. Additional bunkering is also in the works for the course – not to cause more grief but to catch errant balls before they have a chance of disappearing in the tree line and deeper rough areas. The result is that the course is being enjoyed by players of a wider range of skills level.
Being a full service operation, Falcon Ridge offers many interesting opportunities for their members and guests. Various membership opportunities are available and members can participate in Men and Ladies’ tournaments as well as in club events. In addition to course memberships, driving range packages are also available, allowing golfers to access a range that features both natural and artificial teeing areas, a large putting/chipping green and a bunker area. This is all part of a practice facility where the Ottawa Athletic Club, under the eye of CPGA pro Colin Orr, conducts their award-winning golf schools and whose instructors are available for lessons for everyone.
Falcon Ridge also offers a Loyalty Points Rewards program to their customers that helps them earn free perks and they are also a part of Golfers Links, a cooperative of local courses that offers a discount to members of the program.
It’s been quite a ride so far for the Falcon Ridge Golf Course and things don’t seem to be slowing down for the Spratt family’s pride and joy… They have made quite a commitment to their business and that effort shows every time you walk in their golf club. That’s the way they like it and as the Flagstick Golf Magazine Reader’s Choice award winner in 2010 for most underrated golf course, it seems the customers do as well.
Steve & Greg Spratt
Golf Course Superintendent
Falcon Ridge Course (Par 72)
Tees / Yardage
Yellow – 6945 Yards
Blue – 6739 Yards
White – 6288 Yards
Red – 5383 Yards
Average Hole Lengths (Yellow Tees)
Par 3’s: 184 Yards
Par 4’s: 389 Yards
Par 5’s: 583 Yards
Raceview Course (Par 35)
Tees / Yardage
White – 2563 Yards
Red – 2158 Yards
Average Hole Lengths (White Tees)
Par 3’s: 123 Yards
Par 4’s: 302 Yards
Par 5’s: 505 Yards
Falcon Ridge Golf Club
4740 High Road
Gloucester (Ottawa), Ontario
Tel: (613) 822-6742