Posted : August 28, 2014
Our blog is chock full of great ideas for fun things to see and do in York Durham and Headwaters. We are always adding new content and updating old posts, but sometimes you might stumble upon something from our vault. If this article has inspired you to hit the road, be sure to double-check that the featured stops in this post are still welcoming visitors.
If you have ever driven the stretch of Highway 9 between the 400 and Newmarket, you would have noticed a rather unique looking building on the north side near Keele St. Some are hard pressed to describe it. Something from a Frank Gehry vision, crossed with an Olympic ski jump hill, the clubhouse to the sprawling Cardinal Golf Club is certainly an eye catcher and the milepost to one of the largest golf complexes in Canada.
The once rolling farmland abutting the southern edge of the Holland Marsh was seen by aggregate business man Dalt Hicks as a place to build a facility that catered to the public golfer. It still lives up to that original vision from the club’s 1980’s beginnings. Boasting an expansive practise facility, superb 18 hole mini golf course an executive 18 hole layout and three full length 18 hole courses, Cardinal may be one of the largest golf facilities anywhere.
Originally opened with 27 holes, the practise area and mini golf, Cardinal has continued to add to the facility over the two plus decades since opening. The original 27 holes have become The East and West Wing courses, with an additional nine holes added to the original East West and North nines. These courses are routed over creeks, wetlands, rises and falls. Neither play overly long on the card, but the tight tree-lined fairways and menacing ponds make these courses quite a challenge.
Not everyone has the time or the ability to handle a full length course and Cardinal provides a couple opportunities for a quick golf fix whether for beginners or just for a memorable family outing. The Northern Adventure mini-putt is a terrific 18 hole challenge themed with a crashed bush plane, wilderness animals and a mining camp. A perfect activity for the kids or as a family, the course is fun and challenging. Kettle Creek is the executive 18 hole course added to the facility in 1995. Playing to a par of 58 and just over 2300 yards it is great place to learn the game, work on a few of the swing glitches, or just enjoy a round in a leisurely time-frame to let you get on with those other things in life that keep you away from the course.
Over time Hicks knew something was missing at the facility and in 2005 opened the premium Redcrest routing to his nest of courses. This Kevin Homes design is compact and a great walk through wetlands, hardwoods and around the plentiful ponds lining many of the holes. Separate from the main campus on Hwy 9, this quaint facility is just around the corner and still in the shadows of the main clubhouse’s curvy roof line. Playing to a par of 71 and over 6800 yards of challenging shot making Redcrest has become a favorite for those looking for a test of their game.
The Holland Marsh is famous for the crops that fill our dinner plate and the deep black soils in which they are planted. Dalt Hicks saw the chance to grow a different type of crop along the banks of the canal. Growing his facility and golfers for decades, Hicks and his staff have something to offer public players looking for a golfing experience suitable to their needs right in the heart of the Central Counties.
CARDINAL GOLF CLUB
2740 Davis Drive West,
On The Tee Magazine