I had the chance a few weeks ago to play The Golf Club at Lora Bay with my Father-in-law. I was visiting my kids who were staying with family in the Georgian Bay area and a good friend suggested I play Lora Bay as it was the "best course" in the area.
Located just minutes west of Thornbury, Ontario Lora Bay is a 7,200 yard championship layout, co-designed by PGA Tour Professional Tom Lehman and Canada’s premier golf course architect Thomas McBroom.
Needless to say I was pumped to play the course as I remember watching on TSN the Telus Skins Game, which Lora Bay hosted back in 2007.
The first hole is a beauty. Great view overlooking the shores of Georgian Bay. Although the fairway is generous I ended up playing a hybrid to make sure I hit the fairway. Your second shot is the all important, over a creek to a green that slopes quite pronounce back to front. I managed a double even though I was middle up of the fairway for my second shot. Did I mention the sloping green and this is the #3 Handicap hole.
Onward I ended up parring the next two holes including #3 which was the longest par 3 I played at Lora Bay. Although it's the largest green on the course with water and bunkers down the left side this is one intimidating par 3. My Father-in-law had a bit of an odyssey on this hole be sure and pick the right club and let it rip.
Managed a bogey on the first par 5 #4 a dogleg right hole that has some bite with well placed bunkers but shouldn't be to difficult for most from any tee deck.
Number 5 is a nice par 4 where you can let it fly with the driver as the fairway is generous although the bunkers can be a bit intimating.
While #6 has many bunkers (9) to navigate your closing hole on the front has none and really isn't spectacular from the tee. It's when you hit your second shot to a smallish green overlooking Georgian Bay that you get a beautiful vista. Take a picture you'll want to remember this hole regardless of your score.
Opening the back 9 at Lora Bay #10 gives you a little breathing room. I managed to be just be off the back part of the green in two but couldn't get it close enough for a make-able birdie putt as this green has many slopes. First time in awhile I was actually disappointed in a par.
#11 was one of my favorite holes to play. Although my score wasn't great. Visually the old barn in the background a perfect setting for golfing the Nipissing Ridge. From any tee deck this hole is a beast.
Holes #13 and #14 you can score well with smart decision especially with #14 where depending on wind conditions driver might not be the best choice.
The par 3 15th is another hole at Lora Bay where you might want to get out your iPhone for a picture. The hole drops over 200 feet to a heavily bunker green that again slopes back to front. This isn't a shot you hit that often so have fun with it, I did.
Hole #16 I didn't really like the way the tee shot was designed not being able to see your tee shot land and hitting into a hill basically. All that aside once you get to your tee shot this hole is one beautiful par 5 as the hole narrows along the plateau to a green set in amongst trees. Managed a birdie on this hole!
Number 18, the closing hole at Lora Bay gives you great views of the beautiful Clubhouse at Lora Bay and of Georgian Bay. We soaked it in as it was a perfect Summer round of golf with friends.
I can't say enough good things about the staff at Lora Bay especially the Starter as well as the lad that got our bags/cart (very friendly and helpful). Lora Bay is definitely worth the drive wherever your coming from. The scenic views of Georgian Bay and the Blue Mountain Escarpment were amazing to see while golfing. The course was in great conditions and the greens even though they took me awhile to figure out I managed a respectful 92 on a lovely Saturday. I'll definitely be back!