Redtail is an exclusive course in Port Stanley, south of London, Ontario. Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie designed it at the behest of two London businessmen, Chris Goodwin and John Drake, who commissioned the construction of their own, private golfing playground. They send invitations annually to a select group of around 100 golfers - Sean Connery is one - to become "Members of the Round Table" at Redtail.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II stayed in one of the cottages on the property during a Canadian visit so that too is an indication of the Redtail exclusivity.
The conditioning at Redtail is exceptional and the club strives to enhance the course all the time, with more than twenty major improvements made since it opened in 1992, including the lengthening of “Bruiser”, the par four 3rd hole that has now been stretched to 470 yards.
Redtail’s golfing ambience is first class; an elegantly simple club with a fitting golf course to match – it is laid out on a demanding piece of land with the front nine routed around ravines which yield some great holes like the third. The back nine is a lot stronger, particularly with the par fives at the 12th and 18th as well as the formidable par three 14th hole.
This course features wandering creeks, ponds which are in play at several holes, and narrow, rolling fairways that demand accuracy from the tee. Putting surfaces are as smooth as a snooker table though relatively small and contoured. Avoid the rough at all costs amidst the maple, oak and birch trees where thick native grasses await wayward shots.
Redtail, like most exclusive courses, is well hidden from the golfing masses who can only dream of playing there. However, it did open its gates to top amateurs when it hosted the Ontario Amateur golf tournament in the summer of 2005 so maybe more ordinary golfers will get the opportunity to grace the green grass at Redtail in the future.