Muskokas Lake Joseph Golf Club Spectacular
by Scott A. Sumner
Each year as a golf writer I get to play many fine golf courses in Canada and beyond. It is a real treat (what a job!), and I always am on the lookout for my favourite course. I think I may have found it when we got to play the Lake Joseph Club, a Clublink course located in the Muskoka region of Ontario at Port Carling. Muskoka has long been known as the cottage capital of the large population Toronto area. It is a 3 hour drive from downtown Toronto and is a very beautiful area. Many of the business elite of this area have chosen to construct large cottages - some as large as 22,000 square feet. When they are there they play golf.
The Lake Joseph Club is a platinum Clublink course (see www.clublink.ca) and was a beautiful layout complete with a luxurious clubhouse. There is also a beautiful surrounding deck on which to enjoy a drink and dinner. On our golf day they it was a balmy 31 degrees celsius. I was also able to meet our former premier of Ontario, Mr Ernie Eves who was there for a meeting after what looked like a game of golf.
Jason Winters is the Asst Golf Professional at Lake Joseph which won best new golf course in Canada by Golf Digest in 1997. The course was also ranked number 8 in Canada by Score Golf Magazine in 2002. "It is a fully private membership through Clublink Corporation. We have about 400 home club members and about 11,000 members of the Clublink system wide," states Jason Winters. "Currently it is $62,500 to join Lake Joseph and there are annual fees of about $3000 as well as a bar minimum.
It is a tiered membership system at Clublink based on the level of the club. They have silver, gold, platinum and prestige. Lake Joseph is a platinum club. So if are a member of a silver course you play a fee of $60 reciprocal and are able to play Lake Joseph. You can book an unaccompanied time which is through the director of golf which is $140.00 currently.
"We get about 19,000 rounds per year. I've been here for three years and I love it. It's my favourite course. We have Grandview and Rocky up here as well," states Winters. "The average golfer thinks its beautiful, carved out of the rock. Most people haven't seen anything like it before. If they play from they appropriate tees they can have a fun day, but if they get too greedy and go the back tees, it could be too long. It is a difficult course. There are a lot of blind shoots, so there is an advantage to playing here more often. We give our members a week to book and the day of if there is an opening, and we can get them on we just call our head pro and get them out."
Lake Joseph opens mid May and we close mid October. They are the first Clublink course to close and last to open. Lake Joseph was a beautiful, superbly maintained course, with great fairways, tee boxes and greens. It is a course you have to play! For further information visit www.canadagolf.com