We arrived later on Friday and checked in to our upper level room in the Pinewoods Lodge. Beautiful, rustic riverfront view with all the amenities(propane fireplace was a nice touch). You couldn't ask for a nicer place to stay before tackling a round a Smuggler's Glen.
That night we ate at the Smuggler's Lounge where we were entertained by the three piece band, Black Rapids Gold. Lou the bartender/server was the perfect host at the Smuggler's Lounge where we dined on some great appetizers(calamari, bruschetta and wings). The 40 Creek BBQ wings and Triple Bogey beer were my favorites. My wife definitely love all the appetizers as well as her Mike Weir Chardonnay.
Smuggler's Glen Golf Course Review
After getting a drive up to the clubhouse I was greeted by Ben, one of the many friendly and helpful staff on hand at Smuggler's Glen. Having the first tee time of the day, I decided to hit a few balls to get warmed up. The newly expanded practice green and natural grass driving range was ideal for getting the kinks out of my swing. Smuggler's Glen has a new fleet of GPS-equipped golf cart and this was also very helpful having never played the course before.
The opening hole at Smuggler's Glen is a very scenic and intimidating par 5. Not long from the white tees at 433 yards your tee shot has to clear "The Gorge". You don't have to hit driver here off the tee but it is fun to try.
You get to take a little breathe on #2 a nice uphill par three aptly name "Upper Ridge". You don't want to be long and right on this hole. The next two holes reminded me of playing golf in the Muskoka area with some great elevation changes, exposed rock and scenery to boot. The 4th hole being a stunner of a par 5. Playing your second shot up to the narrow fairway takes gut. Green is narrow and tough to hit when the wind swirls.
The greens and fairways are bent grass at Smuggler's Glen and they were in top condition even so late in the season. The day I played carts were car paths only because of all the rain that had fallen in the area. Talking to Jason Boyce, Director of Golf at Smuggler's he and his staff are continuing to work on drainage issues a battle for most golf courses.
The 6th hole just didn't fit my eye and I found it to be a tough tee shot on this longish par 4. Although there's plenty of landing area from the tee the "Wild Creek" is intimidating. Smuggler's Glen's par 5s are all scenic and solid including number 7 "Rolling Meadows" with out of bounds on the left side this par 5 will test all facets of your game. "River View" finishes off the front with a tight driving hole. Be careful on this par 4 as you don't want to go long.
The back 9 at Smuggler's Glen I really enjoyed because it was a great mix of fun par 3s with drivable par 4s and stout par 5s. The downhill par 3 tenth is just a fun hole. Trying to figure out which club will get you there in the ever present wind might drive you crazy but in the end you'll enjoy. The "Gambler" is just a fun grip it and rip hole where I managed to just be short of the green on this uphill par 4. The "Rock" again hearkens me back to Muskoka with rock outcroppings and elevation to frame one of the prettiest tee shots on the course. Sixteen through eighteen does the same with "Shorty" a birdie hole to the 18th "Green Monster" a mammoth par 5 where it's a bad thing to lay up.
Smuggler's Glen was a challenging yet fair golf course. Scenery is spectacular especially in the Fall. With 5 different sets of tee boxes it will be fun for all levels of golfers. Green fees are very reasonable and vary according to time of the year you play. With a healthy membership of just under 100 golfers and thousands of resort guests playing Smuggler's Glen every year. Smuggler's will continue to excite and challenge golfers for many years to come. (2015 will be Smugglers' 10th Anniversary)