Brantford Golf and Country Club is a private club, located around 80 miles south west of Toronto. A curling facility was established in 1962 so members may frequent the clubhouse all year round in pursuit of their sporting entertainment; a real bonus in the winter when no golf can be played.
Brantford was established in 1879 so it is the fourth oldest club in North America, after Royal Montreal, Royal Quebec and Toronto. The club moved to its present site in 1906 when Stanley Thompson created a nine-hole course. This was extended within four years to 18 holes.
Nicol Thompson, lesser-known elder brother of the great Stanley, improved the design in 1922. The current routing has been in existence since 1962 when the curling rink was built. Doug Carrick made further renovations to the course in the last few years, opening up the course with some judicious tree removing and adding more character with bunker modifications.
The present clubhouse, the third to be built at Brantford, was constructed in 2002. It combines modern amenities with a traditional clubhouse ambience. There are many displays of historical golf memorabilia, artifacts and period pictures throughout the clubhouse which reflect the rich heritage of Brantford Golf and Country Club.
Brantford may be much admired but it is rarely loved - many golfers think it is a tougher test here than even the fearsome National. It is an unrelenting test of golf with very tough, long par fours to be played one after another.
The course routing takes the holes in and out of the Grand River valley with some marvelous changes in elevation, affording some exceptional holes, particularly the par threes – the 3rd, with a tough, hillside putting surface, the 9th, with its elevated green protected by a grassy gorge; and the 15th, with its quarry-like setting.
Slow play on the course is not just frowned upon, it is positively outlawed – groups are monitored when they set out and finish by the starter and a slow play mark is recorded against those who fail to complete a round in the stipulated maximum time of four hours and fifteen minutes. This pace of play program may result in warning letters, exclusions from playing at certain times and even a meeting with the board of the club for repeated offences!