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.
Lake Simcoe has drawn visitors to its shores for decades. With miles of shoreline and beautiful adjacent landscapes it is no surprise to find a collection of golf courses some dating back to the early beginnings of the game in Canada along its southern reaches. Stretching from Beaverton in the east to Keswick in the west there are no fewer than eight courses awaiting you. Half of these layouts boast a connection to the infamous Stanley Thompson, legendary Canadian architect and some might say father of golf in our nation. One of these Thompson designs is Cedarhurst in Brock Township.
With the emphasis in golf on bigger and flashier, it is a welcome change when you get to experience a place like the Cedarhurst Golf Club. Located just south of Beaverton on the south shores of Lake Simcoe, this layout dates back to 1926 and Stanley Thompson’s original nine holes. It is hard to imagine that $200, the fee paid to Canada’s most famed architect for his design and supervision of the build at Cedarhurst, might not even be enough to cover the green fee at many of the area’s most elite layouts in 2013.
Arriving, you will notice that the historic roots of the club are very much valued here. The modest clubhouse and pro-shop facilities provide you with all that you need combined with a huge dose of quaint and charm. A walk through the clubhouse gives you a warm, cottage-lodge feel, with the massive stone fireplace adorned with all the club trophies and plaques. Cedarhurst’s own “Claret Jug” and its 90 years of history are proudly displayed. If only the walls could talk, just imagine the stories of nearly a century of golf and the personalities of this vintage club.
The course is laid out so the original Thompson nine is the front. It is relatively short by today’s standards, but tree-lined with small tricky greens characteristic of that era. The Cedarhurst experience wastes no time in familiarizing you with Thompson’s philosophy of nature being the guide for his design. Steps from the clubhouse you are presented with the opening shot, a mid length par four with a crossing creek at 240 yards. There’s nothing like a tough decision out of the gate. The second hole is a wickedly tight dogleg right Par 4, while the third hole is a Par 3 beast, playing 243 yards to a well protected green. Par here feels like a birdie for sure. These are followed by a couple risk-reward holes giving you plenty of chance to score if your game is on. This routing finishes with a cute par four with a tricky green, surrounded by what else, huge overhanging cedars.
The back nine, added to Thompson’s original holes plays longer with most holes playing as a dogleg off the tee, some more severe than others. Designed by Bert Turcotte and opened in 1967 it begins with a brute of a Par 4 playing 433 with a crossing creek at 250 and tightly- packed cedars on both sides of the fairway. After this the holes open up and get a bit more forgiving for those with a loose swing off the tee. A pair of back-to-back, lengthy Par 5’s, one heading out of a chute of cedars and the other a severe bender dogleg left back into the cedars add some drama to the round. Most holes force you to shape the ball or lay-up to the reachable bends of the doglegs to stay in play. Don’t short-side yourself on these corners or forget about the crossing creeks or par will be a tough accomplishment.
For those looking to work on your game, Cedarhurst boasts a superb practice facility, with full-sized range, greens and even a practice hole to work out the kinks before or after the round. Best enjoyed by foot this is a very walker friendly course, but for those enjoying the ride, carts are available.
Cedarhurst is a step back in time. The membership is active in celebrating and preserving the rich history associated with club. This semi-private course has a tremendous pride in the club and guests are treated like part of the family. You will be treated to a piece of history and charmed by the experience.
Cedarhurst Golf Club
825 Thorah Concession Rd 4,
Written by Rick Parnham
Associate Editor of On The Tee magazine and Tour Supervisor BAGS Junior Golf Tour