I made the drive up to Owen Sound with RT a couple of weeks ago. He has raved about the course and I was excited to get the invite to go see it for myself.
The views over Georgian Bay are spectacular and you can see the water from pretty much every hole. The two best holes for playability and views are the rolling par 5 5th and the par 3 17th that plays down to a faux lighthouse by the shore. Part of the appeal of the resort is it’s ten guest rooms perched over the clubhouse. The attention to detail is incredible and with loft bedrooms and bay views, it’s bound to be a constant sell out.
I’ve long been a fan of Doug Carrick courses but aprt from what I saw earlier this year at Muskoka Bay, they are getting a bit samey. Cobble beach falls into the samey catagory. You’ve seen many of these holes before – especially the long par fours and fives that wrap around irrigation ponds. Contrary to many of his other designs though, the fairways aren’t quite as generous and an accurate tee shot is needed on most holes.
There is no doubt that the property that the course is built on is prime but with large tracts of land already razed for upcoming development, there is a certain ugliness to the landscape. In particular, there are shrubs that frame many of the holes looking out over the water. Give then vistas it would have been nice to have these replaced (filled in) by fecue covered dunes. It would soften the view and would complete the links look it seems they are going for.
I walked the course and although it can get pretty hilly it was a comfortable stroll. RT was in a cart (not a dig 🙂 and was put off by the automated voice constantly telling him to slow down. There seems to be two differnet grasses used all the way around. And the starter bragged that the greens usually run at 11. The layout ain’t easy and with fast greens one wonders how they expect resort guests to get around in under 5 hours.
Owen Sound is a long drive from Toronto. It’s hard to imagine more than one or two trips to Cobble Beach Resort.