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It’s time to fall for Niagara golf


Ussher’s Creek is one of the Legends on the Niagara golf courses that has special deals for autumn — and pristine views year round. (John Cameron photo)

Story by Sherel Purcell
Vacay.ca Golf Writer


Whirlpool’s rates drop to $30 from November 1 to closing day. (John Cameron photo)

Need yet another good reason to visit the Niagara Region? Check out the work of four different golf-course designers on both sides of the border at great rates for autumn — and take advantage of the always splendid food-and-wine scene in Niagara-on-the-Lake and other nearby towns. The shorter, cooler days mean more comfortable golfing conditions in a beautiful area only one hour and a half south of Toronto, and within minutes of the three international bridges. On golfnow.com, same-day tee times can be had from $45 per person including a cart at three Niagara Parks Golf courses.

Legends on the Niagara

The Legends on the Niagara, Battlefield Course designed by Doug Carrick, commemorates the War of 1812’s Battle of Chippewa, fought on adjacent land. The signature hazard, a 19-acre manmade lake, presents problems on four holes of this tough course while the 13th hole features a good place to view Niagara Falls off in the distance.
The bunkers on the Battlefield course are tricky with steep edges and grassy walls. Extra caution is required on most approach shots. To compensate for these, Carrick’s fairways are generous off the tee.
On the south side of this 1,000-acre property sits Ussher’s Creek — a well-groomed parkland course designed by Thomas McBroom. Obstacles include wetlands, tree groves and knee-high fescue. The large parcel of land allowed McBroom to create a meandering course that feels very private as other golfers are rarely in view.
Along with two large ponds, Ussher’s Creek crosses nine holes adding to both the challenge and the beauty of the layout. Though slightly shorter than Battlefield at 7,180 yards, it is no less challenging.
After the round(s), head to The Legends on the Niagara Clubhouse — built to resemble an early 1800’s fort — for dinner and drinks overlooking the Battlefield Course and lake.
Location: 9561 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls, ON
Contact: Telephone: 1-866-GOLF-NIA (465-3642); website: www.niagaraparksgolf.com
Greens fees: For either Battlefield or Ussher’s Creek, the regular fees are $85 Monday to Friday and $100 on weekends until September 30. The rates then drop to $70 each day until October 31. Visit the Rates page for full details and prices for packages.

Whirlpool Golf Course

At the other end of Niagara Falls, near the Niagara River Whirlpool and Gorge, Stanley Thompson’s Whirlpool course dates from 1951. Two American pros defeated their Canadian counterparts here at the inaugural match.
Keeping the ball in the fairway is critical since playing from behind/amongst the trees or out of fairway bunkers means a bogey — or worse. Missing the green is equally disastrous as bunkers and short, thick rough surround most.
Whirlpool’s signature hole, the re-designed 2nd, is now fully protected by a pond. The 8th and 9th introduce elevation changes, making proper club selection essential to shoot par. The dogleg 13th and narrow 15th holes are reachable par-5s, but heavily bunkered greens favour a lay up. The 18th hole plays longer than yardage suggests thanks to an elevated green.
Location: 3351 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls, ON
Contact: Telephone: 1-866-GOLF-NIA (465-3642) or 905-356-1140; website: niagaraparksgolf.com
Greens fees: Rates are $50 Monday to Friday and $65 on the weekends until September 30. The rates drop to $45 (Monday-Friday) and $50 (weekends) through October 31, and fall again to $30 daily from November 1 to closing day for the season. Visit the Whirlpool course’s Rates page for full details and package information.

Seneca Hickory Stick

Not to be outdone, Seneca Hickory Stick — across the border in Lewiston, New York — offers a Robert Trent Jones II design with outstanding fall deals.
Named for the rare Shellbark Hickory trees found on the course, Seneca Hickory Stick is known for its scenic layout that encompasses five ponds, native plants and heather grass surrounding memorable bunkers all framed by large, mature trees. Twilight is the best time to play here as the setting sun creates some interesting light-shadow configurations across the ponds and bunkers.
Opened in July 2010, it ranked sixth on Golf Magazine’s“Best New Course in America” list. Five sets of tee boxes means the course plays from 7,026 to 5,395 yards. Bent grass is used on the greens, tees and fairways of this 18-hole, par-72 championship track.Location: 4560 Creek Road, Lewiston, NY
Contact: Telephone: 716-754-2424; website: www.senecahickorystick.com
Greens fees: Regular rates are $59 Monday to Friday and $69 on weekends (prices in US dollars). For full details, including twilight and early-morning rates, visit the Rates page on the course’s website.
Map of the Golf Courses Mentioned in the Article (Battlefield Course and Ussher’s Creek are listed as the same address)

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