Turf Conditions, Layout, Help Black Bear Ridge Crack Top 100

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Black Bear Ridge Golf CourseBELLEVILLE, Ontario (Gord Montgomery/iG) — In the second part of his series on golf in Ontario, Inside Golf writer Gord Montgomery travelled east past Toronto to the community of Belleville, where he found a wonderful surprise awaiting him — Black Bear Ridge.

This area is known not only for its great golf facilities, but also to a secondary hobby of many golfers, great fishing. Trophy walleye can be found on the Bay of Quinte in spring and fall and awesome trout and salmon fishing in the summer.

This trip though was about golf and we got more than our fill of that at our single stop in the Great Waterway Region at Black Bear Ridge. Situated mere minutes outside of Belleville, the natural beauty starts as soon as you walk up to the clubhouse. From there you can see the stunning downhill tee shot required on No. 1 and the beautiful uphill ap-proach shot needed on the final test of the day.

While the beauty of this area was stunning what was even better were the course condi-tions. Even though we played here in early October the fairway and greens grasses were second to none making one think it was July 15th rather than October 5th.

The course’s longtime head professional, Bill Kerr Jr., a third generation golf pro whose grandfather teed it up in The Masters back in the day, said a lot of pride and professional-ism goes into maintaining the standards of this beautiful facility.

“It’s a parkland style with a bit of a feel of a Muskoka golf course,” he began. “They didn’t move a lot of earth when they built this golf course. They used the land that was here.”

From Above, You Can See The Demands Placed Upon Golfers On The Final Assignment At Black Bear Ridge, A Truly Great Golf Course That Sits In Canada’s Top 100. (Photo/Gord Montgomery)

And they used it well. From the stunningly beautiful tee shot that starts your day off on this assignment that measures just over 6,700 yards from the blue tees and 6,300 from the whites, you’re challenged to a variety of shots to test your skill. The tree lined fairways add to the accuracy quotient out here while greens with false fronts and well placed bun-kering add even more to that equation.

The course changes somewhat from front to back, where the fairways are more open but there are more elevation changes than you see on the front. A great design feature here is that no two holes are the same, especially the par 4s, where the 8th green invites the big hitter to go for broke in clearing a water hazard seeking the green at “only” 289 yards from the white tees.

Black Bear Ridge GC is most certainly one you’ll want to put on your itinerary because it’s a wonderful play. Making the list of Canada’s Top 100 at No. 68 hasn’t been a bad thing at all, Kerr noted, saying it helps draw visitors from far and wide in to have a look at why this particular course is among this country’s elite playgrounds.

“When we first opened 90 per cent of our play was local but now that’s down to about 50 per cent,” as those from outside the Belleville area find out about one of Ontario’s great golf getaway spots. “This golf course can stand on its own. There are quite a few good golf courses around,” and Black Bear Ridge certainly fits easily into that category.

For more on this great course with its phenomenal turf conditions, go to their website at blackbearridge.ca. Their toll free phone number is 1-866-811-BEAR.

altAbout the Writer
Gord Montgomery is a retired sports editor of two weekly newspapers in the Edmonton area and is a member of the Golf Journalists Association of Canada. He is now in his eighth year of writing for Inside Golf. He can be reached at noraltagolf@gmail.com. He’s also on Twitter at @gordinsidegolf.

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