Kitchen Creek Golf Course
This is a great course set up with a length of 6424 yards from the blue tees and Par 72 with a 68.9 rating. At Kitchen Creek, don’t expect the rock outcrops that you see at most of the golf courses in Sunset Country. Most holes, particularly the front nine resemble a prairie course with flat fairways and wide open spaces. The creek comes into play on 12 out of the 18 holes and with a good selection of sand bunkers you will encounter a variety of tactical challenges during your round of golf.
The 18-holes at Kitchen Creek are spread over a vast acreage of land out in the Township of Alberton, about 8 kilometres east of Fort Frances with access to the clubhouse right off Highway 11. A golf cart is recommend as there are some long walks to some holes.
The greens were groomed and fast and fairways for the most part are wide open especially on the front nine. The back nine is a little more challenging in a more wooded area with some tight tree lined holes like this par 3 on where you definitely need to have control of your drive from the tee.
There are some unique holes like #14, the par 4 that runs along the train tracks. You will hear the train approaching in the distance, so there are no surprises. And the tracks do separate a few holes, with one level crossing and underpass taking you under the tracks. The trains and track add to the character, of course.
The Fort Frances course at Kitchen Creek is a very mature layout built back in 1976. You are sure to enjoy your round with lounge, banquet facilities and pro shop for all your golfing needs. And yes, sunsets even on an overcast evening, all in this beautiful setting of Ontario’s Sunset Country.
Heron Landing Golf Course
The Heron Landing Golf Course is located just minutes from downtown Fort Frances. It is located on the east end of Fort Frances on Couchiching First Nation 3.1 kilometers down Frog Creek Road on beautiful Rainy Lake. The sixth hole is a tough par 3 that requires an accurate tee shot over a finger of Frog Creek to an angled green protected by a large bunker to the left and a severely slope grassy swale to the right. The eleventh hole is probably the most scenic hole on the course as it overlooks Rainy Lake. Long-iron tee shots must be played to a large green that has deep bunkers on 3 sides. The green crowned in the middle makes the back right tee position hard to find.
Heron Landing has to rank among the top golf courses in northwest Ontario. The championship 18-hole layout located on Couchiching First Nation minutes east of Fort Frances is carved in and around the water of Frog Creek that connects with its wetlands to Rainy Lake.
Most tee-offs present picturesque views like #12 here where you drive over Canadian Shield rock into a backdrop of the forest changing colours. However, water is ever present through out the course providing the challenge low handicap golfers are looking for, while for the higher handicap player, it tests your skills to make good shots.
Heron Landing, like most courses courses in northwest Ontario are created in a wilderness setting. That means wildlife like deer and yes, bears, like this one we encountered by the sand trap on #10, are present. Treat wildlife with respect and be aware of your surroundings when approaching your next shot. However, also take time to enjoy the moment. You are also sure to see eagles and hawks soaring above.
Heron Landing, aside from its challenging, scenic layout also has a full service pro shop and lounge to enhance your golfing experience. It is one of those courses you will want to play more than once.
Article excerpt and photos courtesy John Cameron, Thunder Bay Tourism (CEDC), via northernontario.travel