THE REBEL GOLFER RATING:
WORTH A VISIT IF DRIVING BY

All I hear from golf media nowadays is how they all want to “grow the game.” But every time they talk about a golf course they’re always talking about some sort of swanky destination golf course or private club golf writers get to play for free and want everyone to be jealous of them for playing.

That’s fine by me, because I’ll just give them the one finger salute, hike up my jeans, put on my untucked shirt and make my way to a local mom and pop golf course over those places any day of the week.

Mom and pop golf courses are the courses that grow the game and the future of golf is jeopardized because nobody talks about them anymore. These golf courses can’t afford to give away a thousand free rounds to golf media or pay for the same old golf media coverage that helps nobody.

They’re better off, though. Because this isn’t the type of golf mainstream golf media would give two seconds about, but it’s the type of golf that’s sustained the game in North America for decades.

I was driving around my home region of Southern Ontario when I came across a half empty parking lot and a very green looking golf course called Pines of Georgina in Pefferlaw. It looked empty and I had my shovels with me, so I decided to stop and see if I could get on for a zippy round.

I made my way into the pro shop that looked like it was from the mid-70s, paid my $29 green fee to walk, and off I went solo with nothing but an open golf course ahead of me.

THE STATS

  • Type: Public
  • Season: May – October
  • Architect: Who knows
  • Location: Pefferlaw, Ontario, Canada
  • Year opened: 1945
  • Holes: 18 | Par 70 | Length: 6007 yards | Slope: 120 | Rating: 68.7

THE COURSE

The great thing about mom and pop golf courses is that most of the time they’re no frills golf. Some are better than others, but this bearded golfer is mostly ever looking for a tee box, a fairway and a half decent maintained green — Pines of Georgina gave me that and more.

It’s a shorter course, but I was there to hit balls with my stick and try to find a hole to put my balls in to not concern myself with yardage. When I visit a new golf course I never look at the scorecard. I never look at a scorecard. I’ll look for hole signage if they have it and go from there. So while I was playing, I had no clue the course measured just 6000 yards…and I didn’t care…and I don’t care.

The conditions were fine. What I mean by that is they were neither bad nor great…I’d say good enough…though the greens rolled smooth and decently speedy.

The course would fit in well somewhere in the south; I expected a gator to pop out of one of those marshy ponds. It’s a low lying course and essentially plays through marshlands the whole way. That means some fairways, or most fairways, are soft. I didn’t mind because it made this claustrophobically tight course play wider and longer. It probably hasn’t helped that Southern Ontario has had an abnormally wet spring, but still the course was in playable condition in the vast majority of places.

There are no stellar holes here, the property is easily walked and the holes are crammed together in spots with the namesake pine providing the only protection to the golfer from stray balls…something mine have been known to do with regularity.

A unique feature, and maybe something I’ve never seen before, is that Pines of Georgina is a full length golf course that not only starts with a par-3 but ends with one too. They are also probably the two best par-3s on the golf course.

19TH HOLE THOUGHTS

All in all I had way too much fun with essentially the entire course to myself. Supposedly this isn’t uncommon here, sadly. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t have media, writers, bloggers, floggers and raters getting comped rounds on a daily basis.

I was playing solo and finished in just over 2 hours playing through two groups that waived me up. The atmosphere here is super laid back. I’d never get waived up on a golf course anywhere near where I live. The course is essentially in cottage country and it seemed nobody had a problem letting me through.

Over the course of my two hours at Pines of Georgina I lost a couple balls on the tight holes, moved my ball out of a couple of plugged lies, got bitten by three mosquitoes, grounded my club in the bunker twice, never pulled the pin, almost got hit by a drive, played one par-4 with nothing but my 7-iron and got in my daily minimum 10,000 steps to work off the beer for just $29 walking.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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