Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 4
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Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 4
The fourth hole (called "Shorty") is a signature moment at the Muskoka Bay Club in Gravenhurst, Ontario. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 2
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Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 2
The par-3 second hole at the Muskoka Bay Club can be tricky to par. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 3
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Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 3
Cliffside" -- a strong par 5 -- is the name of the third hole at the Muskoka Bay Club in Gravenhurst, Ontario. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 8
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Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 8
Trouble lurks up the left side of the par-5 eighth hole at the Muskoka Bay Club in Gravenhurst, Ontario. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 9
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Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 9
The ninth hole at the Muskoka Bay Club is beautiful but controversial. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 12
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Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 12
The 12th hole at the Muskoka Bay Club is called "Alps" -- but it's water you need to worry about near the green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 16
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Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 16
This rock outcropping frames the elevated 16th green at the Muskoka Bay Club in Gravenhurst, Ontario. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 17
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Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 17
The 17th hole is the most scenic par 3 at the Muskoka Bay Club in Gravenhurst, Ontario. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 18
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Muskoka Bay Club golf course - hole 18
The 18th green finishes near the gorgeous clubhouse at the Muskoka Bay Club in Gravenhurst, Ontario. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
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Muskoka Bay Club in Gravenhurst, Ontario rises to become one of Canada's best

GRAVENHURST, Ontario, Canada -- Doug Carrick was thrown a curveball while designing the Muskoka Bay Club golf course.

He was told to route the 7,367-yard course through the more rugged, rockier piece of land near the back of the property, leaving the more gentle terrain for the planned real estate.

Carrick knocked that curve out of the park with a scenic layout that weaves through Muskoka rock without losing much in the way of playability. Muskoka Bay, which opened in 2007, ranks as one of the top 10 golf courses in Canada by ScoreGolf.

The Clifftop Clubhouse, perched on a rocky outcropping, overlooks the first tee and 18th green. The round flows seamlessly from start to finish thanks to pristine conditioning and slick greens. Avoiding the rocks on the par-4 third, the controversial par-4 ninth and the par-5 14th hole is paramount to scoring well. The elevated fourth tee shows off a short par 4 that can produce birdie or double bogey. Muskoka Bay Club's signature par 3 comes at No. 17, a lovely setting around a pond decorated with dead trees.

Exquisite villas are available for stay-and-play golf vacations.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 1,000 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfadvisor and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Muskoka Bay Club in Gravenhurst, Ontario rises to become one of Canada's best