The Legends Course at Lionhead Golf and Country Club is a Toronto-area beast

BRAMPTON, Ontario, Canada - Lionhead Golf and Country Club isn't shy about boasting its Legends Course as Canada's most difficult golf course: 77.5/155 rating from the back tees.

The championship tees aren't even listed on the scorecard, however. Daily golfers are strongly encouraged to play the golds or blues, both still a formidable test. Course architect Ted Baker simply says he intended to design the golf course where "par is elusive."

Located just west of Toronto in Brampton, Lionhead is also home to the Masters Course, and the two deliver the most upscale of six Kaneff Golf properties, founded by Bulgarian Ignat Kaneff, a Toronto-area business mogul. He decided to build his own golf clubs after being denied membership at an area private club.

"He wanted to build a golf course that is every bit as good as the best clubs in town but would be open to the public," said John Dickie, director of marketing and sales and former head golf professional here for 10 years. And while Lionhead's price point is the highest of the bunch, properties like Carlisle Golf & Country Club and Century Pines Golf Club are in the $40-$60 range.

Lionhead Golf and Country Club: The courses

The two Lionhead golf courses are set on 520 acres of rolling hills and wetlands, and the Legends plays over the Credit River numerous times. This is no wee burn, either, with a carry of about 60-80 yards across. The back nine is especially wetlands heavy, built in environmentally protected areas, requiring some very tight shots and carries over the river.

The front nine is the more straightforward of the two nines with one exception: the 425-yard, par-4 first, which plays over the Credit River on the second shot to an elevated green protected in front by four bunkers.

Considered the course's signature hole, even Arnold Palmer remarked it was one of the most difficult openers he's ever seen. It has the look of a back nine hole here at the Legends. In fact, that was originally the case.

"We flipped the first and 10th hole a few years back," said Dickie. "We were noticing a lot of backups starting on the 10th tee, so we made the decision to start with the original 10th."

Once you play the 10th, a 378-yard par 4 with a wide fairway and where the Credit River is in play only for those who duff a tee shot, you'll realize the stark difference in difficulty.

The birdie opportunities are out there, though, especially if you're wise enough to select the right set of five tees for your game. Do so, and the course won't completely shred you up. No. 15 is a prime example. It plays just 489 yards from the championship tees but is a stiff dogleg right, so only those who can hit a power fade will want to hit driver. Place it right, however, and you've got about 200 yards into a green that is protected by a pond short and left.

With two of the remaining three holes on the course being long par 4s, it'll probably be your last shot at a red number.

Lionhead Golf and Country Club: The verdict

Lionhead gets a lot of corporate play, though the groups tend to prefer the slightly tamer Masters Course over the Legends. The Masters is still plenty challenging with a 75.3 rating from the back tees (and is actually longer than the harder Legends), but the wide Credit River isn't in play, and you won't find any long carries over it.

Facilities are suited to corporate outings, with large function space and dining facilities. A full pro shop is also on site, as well as driving range and practice area.

Green fees peak out at $175 CAN, but by booking online, you can play as low as $99, and there's a special going on now that includes free breakfast for golfers who book morning times.

Stay and play in Toronto: The Le Germain Boutique Hotel

For luxury, chic accommodations in the heart of downtown Toronto's entertainment district, check out the Le Germain, a new boutique hotel that is certainly a city standout.

It's located right off King Street next to Second City comedy club and Wayne Gretzky's restaurant, not to mention a few clubs where lines are formed outside all night in the summertime.

The 11-story, 122-room building is a bold red, and inside, it doesn't get much less showy. The lobby is comfortable and stylish, and guest rooms are even more so. And if your putter wasn't cooperating at Lionhead that afternoon, you can head up to the rooftop putting green and stroke a few putts with a cocktail overlooking the city skyline.

Amenities include all the latest guest room fixtures, including an exceptional overhead showerhead, free WiFi, 24-hour fitness center and a nifty cappuccino station in the lobby that offers everything from mocha lattes to a selection of coffee beans.

Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.
0 Comments
Related Links
Wooden Sticks Golf Club in the greater Toronto area features a collection of holes inspired by the most famous holes in golf, as well as some original designs by architect Ron Garl. The golf course is in an upscale property that receives a lot of corporate play during the week and features five sets of tees, a large clubhouse and superb conditioning.
8 Images
More from the author
4 Min Read
December 3, 2021
It's never been easier to design custom hats, golf balls, clubs, headcovers and more.
2 Min Read
November 30, 2021
It's possible this little ditty finds you scooping up the last bit of cranberry pie crumbs out of the tray. Thanksgiving may have passed but the effects of celebratory eating around the table, and also possibly social imbibing during all the various football games throughout the weekend, are sticking with us. To our bellies and elsewhere.
4 Min Read
November 23, 2021
We scoured the web of golf and found holiday savings up to 50% off.
12 Min Read
November 18, 2021
Golfers can choose from a wide variety of portable launch monitor price points and user experiences. Here is what's new and the best ones to consider to improve your golf.
7 Min Read
November 9, 2021
Our community loves the value and experience at these popular and affordable military facilities and even book online.
5 Min Read
November 2, 2021
Some U.S. cities have frighteningly few public-access courses for its residents. If you like variety, you may not want to live in these metros.
Popular
16 Images
November 30, 2021
Thanks to our users, GolfPass has exceeded 300,000 reviews in a single year for the first time.
4 Min Read
November 30, 2021
The Jamaica Invitational Pro-Am "Annie's Revenge", one of the Caribbean's best pro-ams, introduces the fun and the sun of Rose Hall near Montego Bay.
4 Min Read
November 22, 2021
Anyone can play Tom Fazio's Wynn Golf Club, which sits in the heart of the Las Vegas strip.
7 Min Read
November 11, 2021
More than 115 golf resorts can be booked using your Bonvoy rewards. We break down where you can go and our favorite properties to use your points.
Load More
Now Reading
The Legends Course at Lionhead Golf and Country Club is a Toronto-area beast