Nature’s Gift To Golfers
A decade after opening to the public in June of 1997, when many people questioned whether another golf course could survive in the Renfrew area, Joy and Rob Lanyon certainly have the answer. Not only did their nine-hole golf course endure – it has simply flourished, growing to eighteen holes in July of 2000 and improving with each passing season.
The Dragonfly Golf Links was built on historically significant land that held three homesteads dating back to the 1800’s. The Irish and Scottish immigrants working the property provided hay to feed the horses that worked the huge logging operations in the Ottawa Valley. Logs were sent down the Ottawa River for processing, with the tallest timber being used for the British sailing ship industry. Running through the property was the Opeongo Trail, an old stagecoach road made of corduroy logs, which ran from Quebec City to Sault Ste.-Marie in Michigan.
The layout at Dragonfly features a blend of design styles guided by the varied topography of the golf course property. “We worked with the land and what it provided,” says Rob Lanyon. The result is a natural looking golf course with two nines that blend nicely but are slightly varied in look. “The back nine has much more elevation and is a lot tighter than the front nine,” says CPGA Head Professional Kevin Brown. “The back nine holes are more like target golf where the front nine is a links style course,” he adds.
The fully irrigated fairways ramble beautifully through a hundred and seventy acres of diverse and dramatic rolling terrain that includes dense forest, turquoise ponds, and exposed rock faces. Playable by golfers with varying levels of skill, Dragonfly Golf Links features three sets of tee decks starting from the forward blocks with a total length of 5256 yards, all the way to the back blocks that stretch the course to almost 6700 yards and a slope rating of 129. “Special consideration for ladies was given when the tees were built,” according to Joy and Rob.
The shear ruggedness and natural beauty of the Dragonfly Golf Links is on full display on the back nine. The hole that exemplifies this is definitely “The Dragon”, the fifteenth hole. It is a test of golf worthy of its’ name at 565 yards in length and featuring large trees, a waste area, a pond, and a green that measures 11,300 square feet. It’s a real heart, and game, breaker, but is fun to play even if you take a few extra strokes then you would have liked.
A close look from each tee deck reveals a golf course where the surroundings are spectacular and the views are equally so. Especially memorable is the view from the elevated tee on the eighteenth hole – a downhill par-three of one hundred and sixty three yards framed by water, which is in play for errant tee shots and provides a perfect finish to a round with your playing partners. A close match can take a big swing here with just one poor shot.
Just as outstanding at this course is the conditioning, especially considering the relatively young age of the course and the number of greens staff. It is a hands-on operation where you will find Rob on the course most days tending to cutting and other maintenance. “We only have four full time maintenance workers as well as a number of part-time staff,” he says, “but I would stack this course up against any other for the price,” he says proudly. Plans for 2007 include drainage improvement and construction of a 3300 square foot maintenance building.
An expansive driving range and a substantial sized putting green, adjacent to the newly expanded clubhouse, are available for warm-up purposes. The rustic, licensed clubhouse extension to the pro-shop was created using vintage timbers recycled from a barn that used to rest off the 8th fairway and finished with a steel roof. Also newly added is a 600 square foot deck where you can enjoy a snack and a drink while watching the action on holes 1, 2, 8 and 9. The deck was built around a very mature oak tree, which provides shade as well as a unique accent to the setting.
“The reaction to the clubhouse expansion has been really good,” says the club’s head professional Kevin Brown. “It certainly allows us to do much more for our golfers.” “It has made a huge difference and opened up the course for the hosting of more tournaments, “ adds Rob.
Dragonfly Golf Links actually occupies just part of the four hundred and fifty acre parcel of land that the Lanyons own. They plan to create a housing development on the non-golf course land in coming years. Fortunately the homes will enjoy the same splendid landscape that the course does, but will not infringe on its layout.
The word is out about Dragonfly Golf Links and Mr. Lanyon says they are getting traffic from all over the region. “I think it’s worth the drive,” says ‘The Captain’, a nickname legacy from his days as an airline pilot. “The response has been extremely positive. After they play the back nine, golfers are stunned for a little bit and then they want a rematch.”
Keeping with their promise of “quality, affordable public golf,” Dragonfly Golf Links offers limited membership to assure public access and offers specials for seniors on Wednesdays and on Thursdays for ladies.
The spectacular canvas for the Dragonfly Golf Links came to be by more powerful forces, but it took the Lanyons to be prudent enough to spot and develop that potential. The payoff is a venue where golf can be played in the most indigenous of settings.
As you stroll their fairways on a sunny upper Ottawa Valley day, it is hard to imagine a more glorious way to enjoy nature’s gifts.
Joy & Rob Lanyon
Kevin Brown, C.P.G.A.
Front – Bill Dolgos & Associates
Back – Rob Lanyon
Tees / Yardage / Rating / Slope / Par
Back / 6695 / 71.9 / 129 / 72
Middle / 6067 / 69.9 / 123 / 72
Forward / 5321 / 66.0 / 111 / 72
Average Hole Lengths
Back Tee: 179 Yards
Middle Tee: 151 Yards
Forward Tee: 128 Yards
Back Tee: 390 Yards
Middle Tee: 356 Yards
Forward Tee: 313 Yards
Back Tee: 520 Yards
Middle Tee: 478 Yards
Forward Tee: 420 Yards
Dragonfly Golf Links
Opeongo Rd./Admaston Rd. 7
Renfrew, Ontario, Canada
Tel: 888-275-3838 OR
Tel: (613) 432-3838