“Wildfire abounds with a varied collection of interesting, natrural features, including undulating meadowlands, centuries old pine and maple forest, spectacular limestone and granite outcroppings and many little meandering brooks and streams.”
Thomas McBroom, Course Architect
The evolution of cottage golf in Ontario has truly been stunning. In the last 5 years alone cottagers in places like Huntsville, Port Carling and Bracebridge have been treated to a bevy of great new championship golf courses. Visitors to Muskoka can now play some world class golf while they’re up north, rather than simply spending their days fishing or boating or lounging on the deck.
Now, with launch of the exciting new Wildfire Golf Club, just outside of Peterborough, ON, the Kawartha tourist region is now beginning to make a name for itself when it comes to great cottage golf in Ontario as well. Course design legend Thomas McBroom has created a challenging, yet eye-catching design that has already been nominated by Golf Digest for its ‘Best New Golf Course in Canada’ award for 2004.
Wildfire Golf Club is located on the venerable Stoney Lake, one of Ontario’s most popular cottage retreats, about 15-20 minutes north of Peterborough and winds itself through an impressive 210-acre tract of pristine forest, meadows and wetlands. A design true to the natural characteristics of the site, it features a myriad of rock outcropping, massive boulders and undisturbed nature areas. The course measures 7,020 yds and plays to a par-72. And, interestingly enough, features 5 par-5s and 5 par-3s over its 18 holes.
One of the more impressive holes at Wildfire is the dogleg-right, par-4 9th hole (photo above). McBroom incorporated a large number of granite boulders that were found on the site, to give this hole a truly unique look. Combine that with a beautiful, marshy pond and you have one of the prettiest holes on the course.
Another impressive hole is the par-5, 562-yds 11th. This hole features an elevated set of tees that overlook a stunning, natural wetland/lake. The fairway hugs the right side of this marshy lake and provides a picturesque landing area for your tee shots. Even the longest hitters will have a tough time reaching the island green in two on this hole, most golfers are forced to lay up and play a challenging short-iron third shot to this large, undulating green. Great hole.
All in all we found Wildfire to be a well-laid out, challenging course. A course that is fairly easy to walk and didn’t have large distances between holes. Thomas McBroom’s signature fairway bunkers were prevalent on many holes and really put a premium on accuracy off the tee. While the routing of the holes on the course was quite good, we were a little disappointed that Wildfire had not produced a course guide or map to help us navigate our way along. One would assume that, along with a new clubhouse, this will be upcoming in the next few years.
If presented with the opportunity, we would definitely recommend a visit to Wildfire during your next visit to the Peterborough / Stoney lake area. For more information on Wildfire Golf Club, call 705-877-9453 or visit www.GolfWildfire.com.