On Friday, 06 Jul 14, I had the privilege of celebrating the retirement of a friend who dedicated 35 loyal years of service to the Canadian Armed Forces. As part of the celebration, about 30 of us congregated for a round of golf and to swap stories at the Loyalist Country Club in Bath, Ontario, Canada.
This jewel of a course has played host to many prominent Ontario amateur championships that include the Ontario Senior Men’s Amateur (August 2011), the Ontario Women’s Mid-Amateur (August 2010), the Ontario Men’s Mid-Amateur (June 2009), the GAO Senior Women’s Amateur (July 2008), and the Women’s Amateur (2012) championships.
This 6584 yard track provided all amenities expected from a top-tier course. The staff was outstanding and portrayed a positive customer-service attitude that was very refreshing. My dealings with Jordan Babcock in the Pro Shop, Geoff James (CPGA Head Professional) and the staff in the lounge would warrant a trip back to the Loyalist Golf and Country Club. All the prices were reasonable, the food was fantastic and the ambiance was great. Overall, before even playing, I was very happy with my experience.
The practice facility was good. The driving range was very large and provided plenty of room for at least 20 players to hit balls. The practice green was a bit small and there was no place to pitch; only chip. However, the green rolled exactly the same as those on the course and this feature alone made up for the smaller putting/chipping green. Another bonus was the practice facility was located right beside the first tee. Personally, this is a great feature because a player can continue to practice until called forward by the starter. Overall, the practice facility was well suited for the Loyalist Country Club.
The course played like two different courses. The front nine provided a rolling, meandering layout that was challenging and yet playable. Most of the greens were elevated and had many hidden breaks that provided a level of difficulty that I appreciated. As we made our way around the first nine holes, the water hazards, sand traps, and dog-legs were well placed so course management was an important factor to score low.
The back-nine was less adventurous as it weaved through a subdivision of expensive homes. It was level and the greens were less interesting, but still posed a decent challenge. The fairways were flatter and good lies could be found everywhere. To score low, each player still needed to manage their shots and stay focused on their yardage to set up the next shot. Overall, the back-nine was still fun to play.
The condition of the course was outstanding. The fairways were plush and well maintained. The greens rolled true. The hazards were well-marked and the grass was mowed in all areas. There was a washroom facility after the 13th hole. There was plenty of dirt to replace divots on the par 3 tee boxes (more of an issue on most courses than one would think) and there were many yardage markers on the sprinkler heads. Additionally, there were a couple of table and chair sets located throughout the clubhouse area which greatly enhanced my experience.
We arrived early to have lunch and sat in the lounge. The service was outstanding, the food delicious and the atmosphere perfect. The price of my meal, and the other selections on the menu, were very reasonable and worthy of another visit.
Overall, I would rate this course a 4.0 out of 5. My entire golfing experience was excellent and I would highly recommend this course to anyone in the Bath, Ontario, area looking for a game. Thanks to the entire Loyalist Country Club team for my outstanding golf outing.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!