Posted : June 9, 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.
One of my neighbours has been bugging me for ages to get my butt, and pen, over to the Maples of Ballantrae and write about the course. “Best value in the area,” he claimed in his best ‘please take me golfing’ sales pitch voice, “and it’s a shot makers delight. You’ll love it.” I was coming off a really busy week and was not really looking forward to driving across town to play a course that I knew nothing about, however, more to get him to stop pestering me I relinquished and agreed to the road trip to Stouffville. In the end I was glad he pestered me because the course more than lived up to his billing and well worth the cross town trek.
My first glimpse of the layout as we approach the course while travelling north on Hwy 48 (just north of Bloomington Rd on the west side) was an intimidating looking par 3 with a forced carry over reeds and a pond to a postage stamp sized green complex. My interest was puqued.
This 5259 – 6625 yard course has a surprising amount of elevation change and is playable for all levels of ability with plenty of bite to challenge low handicappers. The layout is routed though stands of hardwoods and northern pines and the terrain is gently rolling for the most part with the odd hill here and there adding to the variety. Attention must be paid to the numerous well placed ponds on the property for a little carelessness here will have you reaching for the ball scoop on more than one occasion. Although, the course is build in a subdivision most of the holes are very secluded and you don’t feel crowded by the encroachment of civilization.
You will need to have your thinking cap on right out of the gate for the very first hole may only measure 323 yards the landing area is extremely narrow and a tee ball found anywhere but the middle of the fairway will have trees to contend with on the approach. The 2nd hole may be the best hole on the course giving you several options on how the tackle this tricky risk/reward par 5. Large trees pinch the flight path requiring precise accuracy off the tee with ponds short right, long left and an adjoining creek that crosses the fairway diagonally right in the middle of the landing area will test the meddle of any golfer. The big knockers can attempt to take it deep down the right side and carry the creek giving them a chance to go at the elevated green in two. The prudent player will lay off the big stick on both of these opening holes or a double bogey/double bogey start may set the tone for the day.
The back nine opens and closes with wonderful par 3’s that require that you have the right weapon in your hands for coming up short on either hole will result in your ball finding a watery grave. The elevated teeing ground for the 10th hole is perched on the edge of a rise with the green site located down across a pond some 93 to 168 yards away. The elevation and prevailing wind blowing in to your face makes club selection a tricky decision. The closing par three measures from 115 to 185 yards and is all carry over a fronting pond to a long narrow sloppy green. Anything short is wet and left will find a bunker. If you want to finish with a smile on your face take an extra club in your hands and take dead aim for the middle right portion of the green.
With pleasant scenery, quality golf holes and reasonable rates the Maples of Ballentrea’s offers a lot of value for your golfing dollar and it will easily measure up to expectation. If time permits the facility is also home to a sweet little 9-hole executive course you may want to loop. All in all I’m glad my neighbour was persistent in his nagging to get me to play the course for it was well worth the time.
Red: 5259 yards, rating 69.5, slope 118
White: 6073 yards, rating 68.8, slope 121
Blue: 6625 yards, rating 72.0, slope 128
Maples of Ballantrae Golf Club
14248 Highway 48
Stouffville, Ontario L4A 7Z4
Written by Alistair Orr
Editor/Publisher of On The Tee magazine and Director of Golf for the BAGS Junior Golf Tour.
www.ontheteemagazine.com : www.bags.on.ca