Course: Lora Bay GC
Location: Thornbury, ON
Length: 5096 to 7105 Yards
Par: 72
Driving Range: Yes
Practice Area: Yes
Website: https://www.lorabaygolf.com/

This course and the surrounding area just personify cottage living. The fact that we almost drove in to the literal “Lora Bay” on the way there (a la Michael Scott) may have added to that, but the entire day had a nice, relaxing vibe to it that left me yearning for a break from city life.

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And that feeling continued at the golf course. Everything from the clubhouse, to the staff, to the welcoming feeling as you pull into the lot, it all really makes for a nice day. There were a few minor issues I had with the course (which I’ll get to) but all-in-all I highly recommend Lora Bay if you’re looking for a quick peaceful break from the city life without having to go too far.

View of the Clubhouse from the 18th Green
View from the 9th Fairway

My main takeaways in terms of the actual golf were positive. I expected a course with lots of water and for it to be right on the Lake, but it was not that. Overall it’s a pretty tight track, but the tee shots look very inviting and aren’t nearly as intimidating as what actually lays ahead. Approach shots will then have to maneuver between well-guarded greens (mainly from bunkering) and a combination of elevation change and contouring. The green complexes were generally quite large, but I don’t think I had a single straight putt all day; they will keep you guessing. Designed by Thomas McBroom and Tom Lehman, Lora Bay has been host to some big events including the 2007 Telus World Skins Game won by John Daly, and was recently ranked the 133rd best course in Canada by Score Golf.

Really my only issue with the course was the construction going on surrounding it. Given the circumstances in 2020 it’s probably a good time to get some work done and I won’t hold it against them too much, but just being honest. One other minor issue was there were some dry spots out there and some of the tee boxes could use a bit of maintenance, but all-in-all, nothing that will come close to ruining your day.

PROS
– Fun, relaxed vibe
– Nice views
– Good combination of holes at varying lengths
– Nice patio and restaurant area
– Very nice staff and members
– Great overall facility
– Perfect summer course to have a membership at

CONS
– Construction throughout the course was loud and slightly distracting
– Course conditions could have been better… i.e slanted, wet or divot-filled tee boxes, some dry or dirt-filled patches; small things like that CAN make a big difference, but overall here it was really not a big deal!

Ratings
Course Conditions – 7.2
Difficulty – 8.1
Amenities –  8.5
Design – 8.8
Fun – 8.4

Final Score
41/50 or 82%
 

(More Pictures Below)

My Current Top-5 Courses

  1. Wooden Sticks – 90%
  2. Tarandowah – 89%
  3. Eagles Nest – 87%
  4. Seguin Valley – 86%
  5. Muskoka Bay – 84%

To see my full list of course rankings, click here 

PGA Tour Winner Kevin Chappell holds the course record (61) here
Patio behind the 18th Green

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