Not everyone who goes on vacation is doing so in hopes of lazing about, sleeping in, hitting the spa, and in general, exhibiting only horizontal behavior. For some people, taking a vacation is actually a grand excuse to play as hard as they do at home — just in a different location. If you’re a vacationer of the latter variety, and you happen to love the game of golf, the Niagara Falls area is a veritable paradise for hitting the links. Here are three of the best places to experience 18 holes, the next time you book your stay in Niagara.
1. John Daly’s Thundering Waters Golf Club
Winner of the “Niagara’s Best Golf Course” award three years in a row, John Daly’s first Canadian signature course sits just 1500 yards from the roaring Falls for an experience that can truly only be had in Niagara. Suited for players of all skill levels, this stunning course boasts far-reaching fairways, luscious greens, well-shaped bunkers, and towering dunes. Green fees at the height of the season will set you back $80 to $100 depending on what day of the week you’re playing, although early and late tee times are cheaper. From April through May, however, you’ll only pay $65 to $70 for the prime spots. No matter when you play, however, the dress code is always in effect, which is one more reason to enjoy this unique and beautiful course.
2. Whirlpool Golf Course
Set against a stunning view of the Niagara River’s whirlpool and gorge, this Stanley Thompson-designed, par-72 championship golf course has been granted Golf Digest’s 4-Star rating, and it also enjoys a ranking of 47th best golf course in the country according to Score Magazine. With a few long straightaway holes and massive fairways, golfers of varying skills can work at improving their game. There are only a few water hazards to speak of, but they can be significant — like the second hole, which is one of Whirlpool’s signature holes and is completely surrounded by a pond. The green fees here can be as inexpensive as $25 if you’re willing to walk and don’t mind teeing off after 5:30, but in general, prices range from $50 to $95, depending on whether or not you use a cart.
3. The Links of Niagara at Willodell
This Niagara Falls golf course has won a Best Greens award, a Niagara Top 10 award, and a “Hidden Gem” award from Teeing it Up, and while it isn’t as popular as some of the better known golf courses in the area, it’s one of the most enjoyable courses to play and not just because they have all-you-can-eat fish and chips in the clubhouse — which they do.
Designed by Nicol Thompson, this affordable course was awarded 3.5 out of 4 stars by Golf Digest, and each hole will satisfy both novice and expert players thanks to its lovely fairways, tricky bunkers, and well-placed water hazards. Green fees are low for a course of this quality, too. On weekdays, 18 holes are just $39, and on weekends and holidays, the price only goes up $10.
Come to Niagara with your clubs and your sense of adventure, and see how you measure up at these three excellent golf courses.