Heron Point Golf Links

Heron Point Golf Links
Alberton, Ontario, CANADA

6841 YARDS (PAR 71)
COURSE RATING/SLOPE: 72.8/135
COURSE ARCHITECT: Thomas McBroom (1992)
ACCESSIBILITY: Private
COURSE WEBSITE: http://heronpoint.clublink.ca/
ROUNDS PLAYED: 1
LAST PLAYED: May 21, 2005.
LOW SCORE: 82 (+11)

ACCOLADES –
– ScoreGolf Top 110 in Canada 2018: #99

Harris’ buddy Preston is a member of Clublink, Canada’s largest owner, operator and developer of golf courses, who currently have 28 clubs under their massive umbrella. Preston’s home course is Heron Point in Ancaster, just outside of Hamilton, so we made the 35 minute trip to play on Saturday afternoon.

What a solid course and what a fantastic day! It was about 22 degrees under partly cloudy skies and I was able to pull the shorts out of the moth balls for the first time this year.

Heron Point was one of architect Thomas McBroom’s earliest designs and sits on a wonderful piece of land, with rolling topography and natural wetlands used to maximum effect. Like much of McBroom’s early work, including places like Deerhurst Highlands and Beacon Hall, there is a bit of a hybrid style, with a mixture of parkland and heathland holes.

The green complexes out here are something else – if you look up “target golf” in the dictionary and find a photo of Heron Point beside the description, I wouldn’t be surprised. There are very few opportunities to run the ball up to the green, with most of the complexes elevated from the fairway.

There were a few noteworthy holes: the 6th is a 582 yard par five that plays downhill from the second shot to the green. The putting surface is located about 50 feet below the fairway and almost plays like a chute, as the edges of the fairway roll up towards the rough, making the hole resemble a half pipe. Perhaps not the best description but you must see it to fully understand it.

The 8th is a pretty 171 yard par 3 off an elevated tee with a multi-tiered green, as were most of the other greens at Heron Point.

Then you move to the 9th, a 433 yard par 4 that requires a 208 yard carry over water on your drive.

That’s not even the longest forced carry on the course, with the tee shot on the final hole making that look like a simple pitch. The finisher is 408 yards off an elevated tee and it demands a whopping 238 yard carry over water to reach the fairway! I’d hate to have a great round going only to knock a couple in the drink here! Needless to say, this course is the poster child for picking the proper set of tees to maximize the enjoyment of your round.

My game was not sharp enough to tame this 6841 yard course, rated at 72.8 from the Gold Tees and with a slope of 135. I shot an 82 with no birdies and just couldn’t get the putter going. Harris played exceptionally well, shooting a 76. Our host Preston came in at an even 80 while Toast struggled early on in his round but fought back with a 39 on the back for an 87 overall.

We ended up having a couple pints of Stella Artois on the patio post-round and then ventured to the Keg for some fine steaks.

Heron Point is one of the strongest courses under the Clublink umbrella and certainly among the toughest as well. It usually sits somewhere near the bottom of most Canadian top 100 lists but I’m guessing it will eventually fall off in future years.

Still, this is a very solid golf course on a lovely property and I can say I definitely enjoyed my round at Heron Point.

CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO OPEN HERON POINT GOLF LINKS GALLERY

EDIT: MARCH 11, 2019
I was just cleaning up this profile today and wanted to add that Clublink now owns and operates over 50 golf courses on 41 different properties throughout Canada and the United States, pretty much doubling the 28 courses they owned when I originally wrote this piece 14 years ago.

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