Recently, I had the opportunity to play golf with an old friend at the Keystone Links Gold and Country Club near Peterbourgh, ON. We found this course on the internet and because it was about halfway between our locations, we thought it would be a good place to play. There was a special going on and the price was right; only 30$ plus tax. We registered on-line and it all went over without a hitch.
Arriving early, we had the opportunity to hit a small bucket, putt, and basically get ready for our round. The range was reasonable, but the putting green was small and crowed. Chipping also occurred on the only
practice green, so it only increased the traffic in this area. Overall, the practice facility was on par with many of the public courses in the area; I would rate it a 6 out of 10 because both were in good shape and the speed of the green was similar to the greens on the course.
The first tee started out over water to a wide landing area. This type of shot was typical from most of the tee boxes on the course. Most of the landing areas were large and posed little challenges for the low to mid handicapper.
To counter the wide open landing areas, approximately 6 of the holes were blind tee shots. At first, these shots became less of a concern as the round went on because of the large landing area. The designer attempted to make the course harder by adding a degree of uncertainty; however, given the overall layout of the course, it really was not required.
Most of the greens were long and narrow. They were challenging to putt on because off the elevation changes and the subtle nature of the breaks. The greens were in excellent shape and showed little signs of wear. The speed was reasonable and overall they were worth the price of admission.
One of the several features I enjoyed about Keystone was the amount of water in play. The position of the water off the tee was perfect and often protected the green. It presented many challenges that actually force me to take more thought with my course management. Playing the course for the first time, the water posed more challenges than first expected. However, after some thought, the water enhanced the course fun.
Several of the approach shots were over the water; it completely covered the front of the greens. To add to the challenge, the greens were generally elevated. In most cases, it was important to play my approach shot past the pin to ensure my ball did not end up in the water. On the 18th green, I committed the mistake of going for the pin and came up shot; the results was that I ended up in the water. This was a rookie mistake because I lost my focus and forgot to play safe. It was a worth a try, but I was a full club short.
The last aspect of Keystone that I enjoyed was the variety of hole lengths. This course had a variety of short and long holes that did challenge my entire game. Several of the par 4s left a long approach shot into the green. The challenge posed by the bunkering made these long shots more difficult than other courses I have played.
The only draw back was the some of the tee boxes. They were a bit uneven and not well manicured. As we played early in the morning on a Saturday, these tee boxes may not have made the cut for that day (Sorry I could not resist!). This was definitely not a show stopper and would not prevent me from playing this course again.
The Keystone Links Gold and Country Club was fun to play. It offers many challenges to the low to mid handicap player. At 6200 yards, it is the right mix of difficult shots and opportunities to score. Overall, the course was in great shape and well worth the value. If you get the chance to play this course, I recommend you play from the blues to experience the entire ambience.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!