The Most Challenging Course to Play on a Toronto, Ontario Golf Vacation

In the first round of the 2007 Canadian Open, Hunter Mahan shot a nine-under-par 62...and that included two bogeys.

You can bet that wouldn't have happened if the tournament was being played at nearby Lionhead Golf Club, as it is home to one of the toughest courses in North America, and certainly the toughest one you can play on a Toronto, Ontario golf vacation. 

There are two golf courses at Lionhead, Legends and Masters. Legends stretches to 7,198 yards and plays to a brutal slope rating of 153. The USGA's scale only goes up to 155.

It begins majestically from an elevated tee on a mammoth, 458-yard par four. But don't let the serene scene lull you to sleep. After your drive floats down to the fairway, you then have to hit across the Credit River to a severely elevated green, and there are dire consequences for any shots that wind up short.

This is just the start of what becomes an unrelenting test with numerous forced carries, deep rough, and huge greens.

It's no surprise, then, that many people taking a Toronto, Ontario golf vacation prefer the Masters Course at Lionhead.

This one passes through gentler, rolling terrain and, at times, resembles a Florida layout with its large sand traps and water hazards. Still, many holes are exposed to the wind, making for tricky approach shots, and the greens are fast and true.

Those of us living down here in the United States might never have ever considered taking a Toronto, Ontario golf vacation, but it's not as far away as it might seem. In fact, Toronto is less than five hours by car from Detroit, Mich., Cleveland, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Pa., and only two hours from parts of western New York.

With golf courses like these, a vibrant city center, and a favorable exchange rate, you've got every reason to start planning your Toronto, Ontario golf vacation right away.

Craig Better is one of the founding editors of Golf Vacation Insider. In addition to traveling to 15 foreign countries, he has twice traveled across America to play golf courses in all 50 United States. Prior to joining Golf Vacation Insider, Craig was a freelance writer who contributed to GOLF Magazine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Maxim Magazine,, and co-authored Zagat Survey’s book, America’s Top Golf Courses.
Commented on

Very true, the Legends course is extremely difficult from the tips, however, play it from shorter tees and it is a very enjoyable parkland course on beautiful rolling land. In fact, I think it's the best pure parkland course in Ontario that I've played. Try to play it on a weekend afternoon to get a reasonable price though.

More from the author
3 Min Read
August 15, 2017
We recently spent a couple days at the historic Omni Bedford Springs in central Pennsylvania. Here's what we thought of this grande-dame resort.
2 Min Read
August 3, 2017
How does Ship Sticks compare to other services claiming to help you ship your golf clubs to your vacation destination? Here's the breakdown.
1 Min Read
July 25, 2017
Bandon Dunes is world-famous as one of golf's great destinations. But it's arguably the "little things" that take the experience to the highest level.
1 Min Read
July 10, 2017
We just came back from Bandon Dunes, but not without a pre-trip horror story of sorts. Share yours with us and we can commiserate.
1 Min Read
April 3, 2017
Want to know the real cost of shipping golf clubs vs. traveling with them? Check out this side-by-side comparison so you can make the right choice.
1 Min Read
February 14, 2017
Happy Valentines Day! Check out these 20 wonderful golf resorts for all you romantics out there.
18 Images
November 28, 2022
These photos from our reviewers will inspire you to keep playing golf this winter, wherever you live.
10 Min Read
November 28, 2022
Modern golf dominates the Sunshine State, but there are plenty of antiques - both polished and unvarnished - waiting to be unearthed by adventurous visitors.
2 Min Read
November 20, 2022
New innovation brings unique products to improve the life of golfers.
7 Min Read
November 18, 2022
We cover every price point to make sure your favorite golfers get the gift they want this holiday season.
Load More
Now Reading
The Most Challenging Course to Play on a Toronto, Ontario Golf Vacation