Monday, 17 June 2013

Real Man Travels Presents: The 19th Hole - Wooden Sticks

Imagine standing on a tee block looking out onto one of the most famous holes in all of golf……. Now imagine if you could do it 12 times a round. Wooden Sticks Golf Course, located in Uxbridge Ontario, you can play twelve signature holes, taken from some of the biggest named golf courses, all in one place. St Andrews, Augusta National, Oakmont, Pine Valley, Troon, Carnoustie, and TPC Sawgrass…….this course provides an around the world golfing experience an hour’s drive from Toronto.

TPC Sawgrass' Island Green #17 with St. Andrews inspired #18 in the background

Today’s foursome:  Myself, My Dad, and 2 other local fire Chiefs
Scoring Format/Event: Tournament 4 Person Scramble, Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs Tournament
First Impressions:
Pulling up the short laneway, Wooden Sticks seems like a modest golf course, and its proximity to a residential development gives you the impression that you might be seeing homes along every hole (completely the opposite). After dropping our bags you get your first view of the first hole “Church Pews” inspired by Oakmont and you get a sense of what this golf course is really all about. Definitely a nice curb appeal, but it didn’t knock my socks off.  B-
After a quick tour of their small pro shop, we found the bar easily. One of the interesting things about Wooden Sticks is they offer their own beer, wine, and vodka, under the Wooden Sticks name. I hymned and hawed over there Blonde and Amber selection but selected a tasty Mill Street Organic Lager instead. The patio just off the bar really drives home just how special some of these holes are with a view hole 10, and 18, both inspired by the holy grail of golf, St Andrews, Scotland. B+

Any doubts I had about this place from the curb were erased as we played. Truly a 'sight to see' from some of these elevated tee blocks. The fairways and greens are in perfect condition, and some challenging pin placements made it a truly unique golfing experience, even for my dad who golfs a few times a year, he really liked the idea of playing some of the most famous holes in all of golf. Beyond the signature holes they have done a wonderful job of isolating the course from anything that might tell you how close to a town you are. Every so often you will have to stop your cart for a wild turkey passing through, or delay a tee shot for a couple of deer making their way down a fairway. GPS Carts give you an accurate distance and an on board cooler keeps all drinks cool between the 3 bar stands placed strategically around the course. A large option of tee blocks provides a varying level of difficulty for the amateur or the scratch golfer. A+

Any round of golf at Wooden sticks comes with 2 meals, and the food they served for our tournament may not be the normal menu so it’s tough for me to tell you what to get when your there. But the BBQ chicken and ribs they served for dinner we 'dynamite' and every plate I saw was clean. Lunch was the usual burger, with a chicken parmesan option as well as salads. Nothing to do flips for, but all around better than some restaurants B+

A weekend round at Wooden Sticks will run you $150+tax and will include 18 holes of golf, shared power cart, use of practise facilities, and 2 meals (one before your round, and one after). I’m not going to tell you that it is a steal of a deal, but it’s definitely worth it. You get your money’s worth here, and if you enjoy golf treat yourself once to this course.  A+

Augusta Leader Board located at hole 4 at Wooden Sticks Golf Club

Final Thoughts:
This course has been on my golf bucket list for about 5 years, and scratching it off feels great, but now I want to go back and see how I can handle it on my own. Like anything good in life, anything worth doing is worth doing twice. Wooden Sticks provides the feeling that I can only describe as that of a 4 day vacation. For the first time I can remember I didn’t look at my watch, or my cell phone for 4 and a half hours. All I wanted was to see where the next hole was taking me on my golf globetrotting tour.  When I came back to work everyone wanted to know how it was, what I saw, how I shot. Just the name Wooden Sticks will perk the eye brows of any golf enthusiast. Wooden Sticks was everything I had hoped for and more.

Final Grade : A

Allow me introduce myself to the regular readers of Real Man Travels, I’m Chris' younger brother, Sam ( @SamWEWilliams @SWrealmantravel ). I am also our mother’s favourite child. I am an NFL junkie, Golf addict, and someone who shares my brothers passion for traveling.
When Chris and I talked about me joining the Real Man team we racked our brains trying to find the right way to do it. You see Chris and I usually travel together, and most of the stories he has shared are among my favourite trips. Then it hit us, Golf!!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, I try to keep it simple . Glad you enjoyed it, we will have more golf stories to share shortly. Cheers