Driving into the parking lot, you cannot help but hear the laughter coming from the outdoor pavilion area. Plenty of happy golfers are wrapping up another evening at the Mapleview Golf & Country Club and it seems that the golf course has once again met the expectations of the customers. They are leaving happy and that is just what the golf course owners like to see.
A sociable atmosphere, quality course conditions, and constant attention to the little details. It seems a short list but when Bill Rodger, Jolie Rodger, and Jay Morrison bought the Mapleview Golf & Country Club they knew those items would be important to their success. Five years later, the rookie golf course owners have stuck to their plan and in doing so, have excelled.
Located on the Old Scotch Line just south of Perth, Ontario the popularity of Mapleview is certainly strengthened by its location. As Jay Morrison relates, they have a strong following with local golfers but being almost equidistant from Ottawa and Kingston, they get their share of golfers travelling from those cities as well. “We see a wide range golf players, and we have a fair number of regulars who travel quite a distance to play here,” he told us on an afternoon where the bright sunshine accentuated the lush green 185 acres of their property.
Mapleview is a bit of an anomaly of sorts. With a more rural locale often golfers make the assumption that is just another “country” course with little to offer the refined golfer. When those players do get a chance to visit they are usually surprised by what they find. “Yes, a lot of first timers get back to the clubhouse and tell us how they didn’t expect what they found,” says Morrison. “We really like to pay attention to the little things and I think it shows.”
Those small details aside for a moment, Morrison is being somewhat modest. Likely the golfers are impressed not only by the unexpected polish but by the bare bones of the design itself. While driving by you might spot the parallel fairways of the opening and closing holes, but let it be known that beyond those tests there lies many a golf hole that varies is shape and direction. Once you get away from the clubhouse you really get to see the true Mapleview layout that keeps golfers coming back.
The first impression of the holes near the clubhouse is certainly deceiving. The 6,600 plus yard golf course wanders fitfully about the entire property, resulting in holes wide-ranging in overall look and features. There are stern tests blended with holes that offer up birdie opportunities. There are straightaways and doglegs, open holes and those guarded by dense tree stands, and flat holes interspersed with those with delicate yet noticeable elevation changes. And water, it is to be found – not so much to instil great fear in the golfer at every turn but enough to keep your attention on more than a few shots. Short of an island green, Mapleview has pretty much got it covered.
With that all said, here is room to play golf at Mapleview, where a slightly errant shot will not hurt you too badly, except on a couple holes where things might get a little “interesting” if you don’t follow a defined line. “Yes, there are a couple tight holes,” Morrison mentions with a laugh as my eyes catch sight of the tenth hole. #10 is among the favourite for Jay who handles the Superintendent duties at the course. The par five is the longest on the course, playing some 581 yards from the golf tees (one of four sets of decks) and requiring the golfer to squeeze their way down the fairway. Morrison calls it “challenging” but that might be an understatement as the balance between accuracy and distance certainly favours the latter. The result is normally a long approach into the putting surface to reach in regulation. From the back tees, not many players will ever have a chance to reach the green in two shots. And did I mention the creek and out of bounds within firing range? Now you get the whole picture.
While some holes may be tougher none of the eighteen gets more comments than the 17th, easily the most radiant hole at course. Golfers start with a drive across a river with a red-roofed covered bridge in plain and dramatic sight. The golfer than must cross water again to a green fronted by a pond and a stone wall that supports the face of the green.
If that has not left enough of an impression as you finish up your day the final trial is a burly par four that measures some 461 yards from the gold tees. It joins holes one and two as the three par fours measuring more than 450 yards from the tips. What a way to start and finish!
As a semi-private golf club, there are just over two hundred members at the course and those golfers, along with the many who come for green free, league and tournament play would have been hard pressed to not see the improvements at Mapleview in the last half decade.
Morrison says they have really focussed on the course, improving irrigation, reshaping bunkers and sprucing up hazards with accoutrements like stone walls and such. The tees are constantly being enhanced to make them more level and the staff is even hard at work on a short 19th hole. This par three will be used to help settle playoffs and for fun contests during tournaments.
Mirroring the reputation of its Perth locale, Mapleview really emphasizes the social aspect of golf. Men’s and ladies leagues are popular and the junior program is strong and growing. There is a strong family atmosphere.
Asked about the strengths of Mapleview, Jay does not hesitate that to mention that the course is a big component but that the staff and tone around the club is what really makes it work. “You’ll always get a friendly welcome.”
The clubhouse, although not overly large, is finished nicely and even boasts a fireplace on the north end of the main room. It’s all part of an underlying “home theme.” The building also has a roomy deck and the timber-framed pavilion, which provides a great spot for larger groups…and a lot of fun!
Additional amenities include a driving range and practice facility and a rapidly expanding fleet of 55 power carts. The clubhouse is fully licensed with a complete menu.
“We try to do more each year,” says Morrison. “It’s always a work in progress but I think we already have a pretty good course.”
Pretty good; yes. And beyond what most people would imagine it to be – most certainly.
It just a short time, the “new” owners have taken Mapleview G&CC to new heights and created a cherished place for many people to enjoy the game.
Isn’t that what it’s all about in the end?
Bill & Jolie Rodger, Jay Morrison
Tees / Yardage / Rating / Slope / Par
Gold / 6616 / 71.3 / 119 / 72
Blue / 6183 / 69.1 / 113 / 72
White / 5744 / 67.1 / 108 / 72
Red / 4991/ N/A/ N/A/ N/A
Average Hole Lengths
Gold Tee: 172 Yards
Blue Tee: 153 Yards
White Tee: 138 Yards
Red Tee: 124 Yards
Gold Tee: 384 Yards
Blue Tee: 355 Yards
White Tee: 328 Yards
Red Tee: 279 Yards
Gold Tee: 521 Yards
Blue Tee: 505 Yards
White Tee: 480 Yards
Red Tee: 427 Yards
Mapleview Golf & Country Club
Perth, Ontario, Canada
Tel: (613) 264-1235