by Jeff Wang
1) How it became my Home Course
There are two bag tags hanging on my golf bag all year round. The round bronze tag comes from the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Course and the other maple leaf-shaped comes from my home course, The Meadows Golf and Country Club. I can’t exactly remember when I first played on the meadow, maybe in 2005 or before. I remember that was the year I broke 110. Later, I often played this course. The first birdie holed out North 7 and the first eagle occurred at South 9.
The Meadows is a public golf course with private season pass option. The season pass holders are different from the traditional members. The general members of golf clubs usually pay course membership, Canadian Golf Association membership and are required to meet certain amount of food and beverage consumption, while the Meadow only charges the pass fee. Of course, the services that members generally enjoy, such as bag storage and club cleaning are not provided, towels, shower shampoo and sunscreens are not available. I was one of the earliest pass holders when the Meadows first introduced the season passes. Later, because I still had to go to work, I changed it to a weekend warrior pass holder.
2) Overview of the Course
In 1997, this family-owned course was established in the south of city. Although it bears the name of a country club, the course is actually only 20 kilometers away from Parliament Hill and is one of the courses closest to the downtown of Ottawa.
The course was designed by the famous Canadian golf course architecture company Graham Cooke.
This golf course occupies a square area and is divided into four independent 9-hole golf courses: north, south, east and west. These four 9-holes are all standard par 36. The clubhouse randomly combines these four 9-holes to two standard 18-holes every day. If you have a chance to play two games a day, you can play all these beautiful four 9-holes.
The tee box of the first hole and the green of the 9th hole of each 9-hole course are all leading to the parking lot in the center of the course, the clubhouse building and driving range are also located there.
The connection between the green of previous hole and the tee box of the next on this course is very tight. The terrain of the course is quite flat, which is especially suitable for walking and playing with a pull cart. Of course, the course’s flat fairways are sometimes commented as too boring. In fact, except for a few holes on the north course, the fairways in the entire course have almost no ups and downs. The greens are also relatively flat. Although the greens on South 6 and South 8 are located on hill tops, they are not real elevated green.
The four 9-holes can be spliced in pairs to produce six various combinations: south-east, north-east, east-west, north-south, south-west, and north-west. If the order of the front 9 and the back 9 is reversed, there are twelve combinations. If you add the factor of four sets of blue, white, orange and red tees, you may experience forty-eight different combinations. Therefore, you will never tire of playing on the Meadow course, unlike some courses where you will feel bored after playing for a long time.
The original course design sketch still hangs on the wall of an office in the clubhouse. With a careful look, you may notice that the lower right corner of the design sketch of is different from the actual course, which is the location of the par-3 South 4th hole. The changes should have been made after the construction started. This is the reason why there is an extra piece of open space on the side of the tee box on the South 5th hole. I didn’t know this history before, so I felt that it was a bit awkward in that area because of the two unused terraces for no reason.
It is easy to see from the picture above that the course is designed with many narrow dogleg holes. In addition, the golf course’s green is smaller than most golf courses and is surrounded by bunkers and water hazards. Therefore, this course requires a high level of accuracy to strike balls.
3) The Clubhouse
The traffic on Hawthorne Road leading to the golf course is very fast. In summer the grass and trees are lush and the course entrance is hidden among them, making it easy to miss it if you are not paying attention. On the west side of the road, the course installed a street light with a long arm that can be used as a reference for slowing down and turning.
The golf course has complete facilities and is very suitable for hosting large-scale tournaments. The restrooms and showers have been recently renovated, but there are no towel or shower shampoo supplies.
The course hosts a lot of tournaments. From June to September, there are always about five or six large tournaments every week. Sponsor signs and demo vehicles can often be seen at the course.
Since 2010, the Ottawa Chinese Golf Open, sponsored by the Ottawa Chinese Golf Association, has been held on the course almost every year.
4) Practice Areas
The putting green reflects the real speed on-course greens pretty well. In recent years, the course has paid greatly attention on improving the green speed which is much faster now. By personal estimate, the stimp rating seems between 8 and 9.
The chipping green is too small and the slope is too steep. Not only is it impossible to accurately judge the chip distance, but it is also inconsistent with the actual conditions on the course. It would be nice if the greens could be properly enlarged and flatter.
There is also a smaller practice green between the tee boxes of the first holes on West 9 and North 9.
The driving range is long enough to hit drivers with no worry. However, you can only hit the ball on plastic artificial grass mats but not allowed to hit the ball directly on the grass.
（To be continued…）