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The Golf Course

When John Geale Dickson first laid out a few golf holes in 1875 on the Fort George common, which was just across the road from the family home on John Street, little did he know that it was just the beginning of part of North America’s golf history.

More than 140 years later, the NOTL golf course survives in terrific condition, and much of it in its original state. In fact, the #8 green has not been changed since it was first built more than a century ago.

If you prefer to play 18 holes, rest assured our course does offer variation. With different tees and varying lengths, you will find the second nine as challenging as the first.

We sincerely hope you come and enjoy our course with all of its history, and we look forward to seeing you on your next visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake.

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Overview

Tee Shot distances on Par 4’s and Par 5’s are indicated by a numbered box that lists distances from various points on tees (usually the in-ground tee markers or the back cut of a tee) to visual points ahead (i.e. hazards, bunkers).

Tee Markers

■ Black
□ White
■ Gold

Fairway Yard Markers

● 100
◦ 150
● 200

Green Depth

Paces

23

Yardage

Gold

326

White

320

Black

326

Handicap

Men

Hole 1 – HCP 9
Hole 10 – HCP 14

Ladies

Hole 1 – HCP 7
Hole 10 – HCP 8

Straightaway

Hole 1 / 10 • Par 4

One of the most intimidating shots in the area: Front Street to your left, Lake Ontario to your right, constant gallery of people behind you, and a fairway that appears very narrow; but up the left side is your play. The fairway rolls right and a drive up the left side leaves you a great angle to a tough right to left green. The green does have a little back slope, but if you are too aggressive you will find the back moat (yes an actual moat from the War of 1812), a lateral hazard.

In the year 1896 this hole was named ‘Straightaway’ due to the design of the hole. Visually a straightforward hole, but the fairway undulation is deceptive from the tee. At the end of the hole you will see Fort Mississauga. This Fort, surrounded by a moat, used to be in play as the second hole, played as a blind shot par 3.

Pro Tip

Play your approach to land on the front of the green, as balls often roll to the back portion of the green.

Green Depth

Paces

25

Yardage

Gold

247

White

323

Black

333

Handicap

Men

Hole 2 – HCP 13
Hole 11 – HCP 16

Ladies

Hole 2 – HCP 9
Hole 11 – HCP 14

Mississauga

Hole 2 / 11 • Par 4

A perfect set up for a right to left ball flight. This hole requires a precise tee shot as you hit through a very narrow gap of trees off the tee. Your optimal distance is 220 yards aiming at the 150 marker. A ball hit too far will be blocked out by the large overhanging trees. Lots of room left once you are passed the trees off the tee. Any approach landing on this small green will give you a good shot at birdie.

In the year 1896 this hole was named ‘Mississauga’ due to its proximity to Fort Mississauga and the original layout of the hole. Fort Mississauga is surrounded by a moat, and originally, golfers were to hit a blind tee shot into the moat to a hidden green directly beside the Fort. The current hole played as #3, with tee boxes on top of the moat.

Pro Tip

Just make sure your tee shot is in the fairway and you will have a straight forward approach.

Green Depth

Paces

25

Yardage

Gold

420

White

482

Black

490

Handicap

Men

Hole 3 – HCP 3
Hole 12 – HCP 4

Ladies

Hole 3 – HCP 3
Hole 12 – HCP 4

Little Misery

Hole 3 / 12 • Par 5

The first of our two Par 5’s, this hole rewards a good tee shot. With Out of Bounds left and trees right, it is very important to get the ball in the fairway. Long hitters can reach or even carry the fairway trap on the right off the tee. As you approach this well guarded green, the play is to hit the ball at the open side of the green and take your chances from there, as any ball in one of the 4 traps could prove costly.

In the year 1896 this hole was named ‘Little Misery’ with a small measure of irony. The hole actually used to play to the current number 4 hole green, making it measure over 600 yards. As such, par would have been a solid number under any conditions.

Pro Tip

Off the tee, favour the right side. On your lay-up, favour the left side. Long is better than short into this green.

Green Depth

Paces

24

Yardage

Gold

110

White

122

Black

140

Handicap

Men

Hole 4 – HCP 17
Hole 13 – HCP 18

Ladies

Hole 4 – HCP 17
Hole 13 – HCP 16

Unnamed

Hole 4 / 13 • Par 3

One of the toughest 120 yard holes you will ever play. With Lake Ontario as the backdrop, this very well guarded, two tiered green will reward a good tee shot, however if you do not hit the green, you will more than likely be in a bunker or have a very difficult up and down. Situated near a viewing area of scenic Lake Ontario, don’t be surprised if you have a small gallery watching your tee shot.

This hole was not part of the original design and was only added when changes to the original long number 4 hole (currently the number 3 hole) were made. Near the green you will see a small monument made in memory of the battles that took place on this land during the War of 1812.

Pro Tip

Play to the middle of the green and take your chances from there. This green has subtle undulation and often breaks toward the lake.

Green Depth

Paces

30

Yardage

Gold

440

White

500

Black

515

Handicap

Men

Hole 5 – HCP 1
Hole 14 – HCP 2

Ladies

Hole 5 – HCP 1
Hole 14 – HCP 2

Hunter

Hole 5 / 14 • Par 5

By far the most difficult hole on the course, this long Par 5 is not reachable for most. A slight dogleg right off the tee, it straightens out, but narrows at the 80 yard mark. There is a hidden trap off the tee on the left side about 220 yards out. Hitting this fairway is highly recommended as getting out of the trees can be a challenge. This long narrow green does have a dome like surface and is tough to hold at times.

In the year 1896 this hole was named ‘Hunter. Named after one of the first Presidents of the Club, Charles ‘Chas’ Hunter Esq.

Pro Tip

It is better to worry about hitting the ball straight than far here! As you approach the green, try to stay left as it allows a much easier putt or up and down attempt.

Green Depth

Paces

29

Yardage

Gold

310

White

320

Black

370

Handicap

Men

Hole 6 – HCP 11
Hole 15 – HCP 12

Ladies

Hole 6 – HCP 11
Hole 15 – HCP 12

Fairfield

Hole 6 / 15 • Par 4

At only 320 yards, this hole plays much tougher than most think. With a very tall tree line on the left side at about 220 yards, the importance of a tee shot in the fairway is crucial. Long hitters may try to hit it up the narrow fairway, but if you stay at all to the right, you will be blocked out by a large overhanging tree. With a larger back to front green, this green also has undulations. The smart play is to the centre of the green.

In the year 1896 this hole was named ‘Fairfield’.

Pro Tip

Lots of space to the right off the tee. Aim up the right edge of the fairway and hit it no longer than 220. This will give you about 100 yards in and a great angle to most pins.

Green Depth

Paces

38

Yardage

Gold

310

White

320

Black

330

Handicap

Men

Hole 7 – HCP 5
Hole 16 – HCP 10

Ladies

Hole 7 – HCP 5
Hole 16 – HCP 10

Silverton

Hole 7 / 16 • Par 4

Our signature hole, this is really a true risk/reward hole. Long hitters may try to carry the tall trees on the left, but with Lake Ontario and out of bounds all along the left side, it truly is risky. The play is to hit it about 220 yards to the corner and leave yourself 100 yards into a tough front to back green with out of bounds long.

In the year 1896 this hole was named ‘Silverton’.

Pro Tip

The pin is generally on the lower tier. If so, aim 10 feet right of the pin and land your ball on the top tier and allow the green to take your ball down the right to left slope towards the pin. If the pin is up top, all I can say is good luck!

Green Depth

Paces

26

Yardage

Gold

285

White

330

Black

375

Handicap

Men

Hole 8 – HCP 7
Hole 17 – HCP 8

Ladies

Hole 8 – HCP 13
Hole 17 – HCP 6

Cinch

Hole 8 / 17 • Par 4

A great hole that tees off by old Fort Mississauga and Lake Ontario. You want to aim your tee shot at the 150 marker, as there is lots of space out there. A ball too far right may be blocked out. As you approach the 8th green, which has not been touched or changed since 1875, you will want to land it short and let it roll back to the pin. This slight back to front green offers you a makeable putt every time.

This hole was given the name ‘Cinch’ in the year 1896. Near the green you can see a sign reading that this green remains in its original condition as designed in 1875.

Note, the black tees are located on the edges of the moat surrounding Fort Mississauga and overlooking Lake Ontario. A beautiful view, but a tricky tee shot.

Pro Tip

Aim for the middle of the green, as you do not want to be in either of the greenside traps. A right pin may entice you to go at it, but a play to the middle gives you a shot at birdie. A shot in the trap is a near impossible up and down.

Green Depth

Paces

28

Yardage

Gold

165

White

180

Black

225

Handicap

Men

Hole 9 – HCP 15
Hole 18 – HCP 6

Ladies

Hole 9 – HCP 15
Hole 18 – HCP 18

Home

Hole 9 / 18 • Par 3

Known in the Niagara Region as the hardest finishing hole and one of the toughest par 3’s in the area, this 180 yard hole (225 from the tips) is more uphill than most think and is usually into a wind. This hole plays more like 190. The 9th green is one of our larger greens and a tee shot on the green does not mean an easy two putt. Beware of hidden traps right and greenside left.

This hole was given the name ‘Home’ in the year 1896. As the finishing hole for the course, to the right of the green you will see a walking path which will bring you back Home to the Clubhouse.

Pro Tip

This hole is uphill and has a wind 90% of the time, even when you don’t think it is there. Take an extra club or even two. The play is to the middle of the green. Short right is a good miss, as you will leave yourself a chip shot up the slope.

"This course is one of the best I have ever played. 9 holes and views of the lake from most of them. Well maintained, food was delicious and service was terrific. Luckily we played with a member who gave us pointers which was helpful. Try it... you will like it!!"

– Bill, Shavertown, Pennsylvania