Located in Ancaster, fifty miles southwest of Toronto, Ontario, the 6,841-yard Heron Point Golf Links course was designed by Thomas McBroom and opened for play in 1991.
Heron Point is a wonderful combination of landform and design that provides a golfing experience of superior quality. It merges the rolling terrain of southern Ontario and wetland features normally found in Carolina with styling inspired by the great Scottish and Irish links courses to produce a challenging 18-hole golf course.
Heron Point is one of more than thirty golf facilities that come under the ownership of the ClubLink golf company who have a reciprocal membership policy that allows its members to play at any of these courses throughout Canada. ClubLink is a fast growing company in the golfing sector, with assets in excess of $500m dollars and a workforce of more than 4,000 to take care of its membership of nearly 15,000 golfers. Some commentators have blamed the company for overpricing what was once affordable public golf and harming private clubs by enticing members away, so the jury’s still out on whether ClubLink will have a beneficial long term effect on Canadian golf!
The closing hole at Heron Point is one of architect Thomas McBroom's finest and it follows hard on the heels of the very demanding 17th, a 597-yard three-shotter, where a par five on the card is an excellent score. The 18th measures a little more than 400 yards from the back tees and has an intimidating tee shot – a long carry over a lake with little margin for error. An extra club or two for the uphill approach will also be required as it's nearly impossible to reach the steeply elevated, blind green which is protected by cascading bunkers and trees on the right. These closing two holes can be demoralising and sometimes card destroying, but what an incredibly strong finish to a round of golf.
Heron Point Golf Links, located just outside of Ancaster, Ontario, is part of Clublink, Canada's largest owner, operator and developer of golf courses. Clublink continues to grow, with over 50 courses in 41 different locations currently under its umbrella.
Heron Point was one of architect Thomas McBroom’s earliest designs and sits on a wonderful piece of land, with rolling topography and natural wetlands used to maximum effect. Like much of McBroom’s early work, including places like Deerhurst Highlands and Beacon Hall, there is a bit of a hybrid style, with a mixture of parkland and heathland holes.
The green complexes out here are something else - if you look up "target golf" in the dictionary and find a photo of Heron Point beside the description, I wouldn’t be surprised. There are very few opportunities to run the ball up to the green, with most of the complexes elevated from the fairway.
There were a few noteworthy holes: the 6th is a 582 yard par five that plays downhill from the second shot to the green. The putting surface is located about 50 feet below the fairway and almost plays like a chute, as the edges of the fairway roll up towards the rough, making the hole resemble a half pipe. Perhaps not the best description but you must see it to fully understand it.
The 8th is a pretty 171 yard par 3 off an elevated tee with a multi-tiered green, as were most of the other greens at Heron Point.
Then you move to the 9th, a 433 yard par 4 that requires a 208 yard carry over water on your drive.
That’s not even the longest forced carry on the course, with the tee shot on the final hole making that look like a simple pitch. The finisher is 408 yards off an elevated tee and it demands a whopping 238 yard carry over water to reach the fairway! I'd hate to have a great round going only to knock a couple in the drink here! Needless to say, this course is the poster child for picking the proper set of tees to maximize the enjoyment of your round.
Heron Point is one of the strongest courses under the Clublink umbrella and certainly among the toughest as well. It usually sits somewhere near the bottom of most Canadian top 100 lists but I’m guessing it will eventually fall off in future years.
Still, this is a very solid golf course on a lovely property and I can say I definitely enjoyed my round at Heron Point.
My full Heron Point course profile and pictorial can be found here at Now on the Tee: http://nowonthetee.blogspot.com/2005/05/day-at-her...
The "jewel" in the Clublink chain and amongst members recogized as the best layout and challenge. The course has a mixture of parkland and links style holes with very small greens requiring pinpoint approach shots. The 9th is arguably one of the most difficult par 4 in golf and the 18th one of the most famous. Both require a long and accurate drive across a lake with no margin for error. Bogie is a good result. The par 5's are all long - 4, 6 & 17 play to almost 600 yards from the tips - with tight greens well protected on all sides. The par 3 11th would challenge any par 3 anywhere for beauty and toughness.