Preview: Muskoka Bay Golf Club
Designer: Doug Carrick with associate Ian Andrew
Opens: Summer, 2006
The last buzz course to open in the Toronto area, The Club at Bond Head, was more of an artistic success than a commercial one. Given that factor, it will be fascinating to see what happens to Doug Carrick’s new Muskoka Bay project, which will open later next summer. Already tipped as one of Carrick’s best designs, the course will be semi-private. Memberships are trading hands at $50,000, according to the course’s website, but the real factor that will determine the club’s success will be its green fee. Courses like Taboo, which is relatively nearby and has struggled to attract golfers over the last few years, are proving that you can build a great course and still not find people willing to fork out $150 to play.
To find out more about Muskoka Bay, go here and you can take a look at the score card. (though the website has the most annoying jazz music playing in the background. Ugh). Apparently both Carrick and Andrew contend Muskoka Bay will be one of the firm’s tougher courses, surprising when you consider the company’s last big design was the uber-difficult Eagles Nest.
Word has it that Muskoka Bay’s fairways are much tighter than anything Carrick has attentive in recent designs.
It is hard to determine the course’s flavour from these two photos, or a handful of others that are posted on the Carrick website. According to discussion I’ve had with Ian and Doug, the course features far more rock than Bigwin Island, with much of it in play. It’ll be interesting to see how this contrasts with the use of rock that Tom McBroom pioneered in the area.
So there’s no verdict on Muskoka Bay — yet. But this could well be the course everyone is talking about next summer.