According to James A. Barclay’s book, The Toronto Terror, “Stanley Thompson was contracted from time to time by Canada’s National Park Bureau to visit one or more of the parks’ golf courses and to report on their condition. In 1938 he was contracted to lay out new courses in two of those parks and at the same time there was talk of a longer term contract under which he would make regular visits to all park courses and report on their state and on any changes he deemed necessary.”
A decade later, Thompson was engaged by The Niagara Parks Commission to set out an 18-hole course close to the swirling waters of Niagara River Whirlpool and Gorge, and this layout opened on 2nd July 1951 with an exhibition match between Stan Leonard and Bob Gray from Canada versus Cary Middlecoff and Jimmy Demaret from the United States. Who would have thought on the opening day that the new golf facility would eventually have one million rounds played on it by the mid-1980s?
Today’s course measures 7,019 yards from the back markers and plays to a par of 72. The front nine features back to back par fives at the 509-yard 4th and 536-yard 5th whilst the back nine is somewhat unconventionally configured with three par threes, three par fours and three par fives. As you might imagine with a Thompson course, the five short holes at 3, 6, 12, 14 and 17 are all excellent par threes, each of them suitably bunkered in the old master’s inimitable style.