Famous for its roaring waters and incredible sight-seeing, Niagara Falls also provides fun for golfers
By ECG Newsdesk
The booming sound and sheer power of the rushing waters of Niagara Falls is one of the great wonders of the world. Beyond the iconic destination of the Falls themselves exists the spectacular Niagara River corridor, Niagara Parks’ 56-kilometre stretch of land from Fort Erie to Niagara-on-the-Lake, comprising pristine gardens and parkland, locally sourced restaurants, natural attractions and world-renowned golf courses.
The golf season in Niagara Falls runs from mid-April through to October. Spring rates at Niagara Parks courses are in effect until mid-May, with fall rates beginning in early October.
Thanks in large part to the efforts of The Niagara Parks Commission, which has acted as the stewards of the Falls and the surrounding lands since its establishment in 1885, golfers will find three of the best championship courses in the region, all situated along the scenic Niagara River Parkway, which Winston Churchill once described as the “the prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world”.
Niagara Parks’ Whirlpool Golf Course, located a short distance downriver from the Falls, first opened in 1951 and was the last course designed by renowned Canadian golf architect, Stanley Thompson, whose designs include Banff Springs and Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta and Highland Links on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. Whirlpool is a meticulously maintained piece of land, a classic parkland course that overlooks the spectacular Niagara River Gorge and is consistently ranked among the top public courses is Canada.
The popularity of Whirlpool ultimately led Niagara Parks to expand its golf offerings, opening the 404-hectare (1,000 acre) Legends on the Niagara golf complex, just south of the Falls, in 2002. Designed to preserve and protect a historic battlefield from the War of 1812, Canadian architects Doug Carrick and Thomas McBroom teamed up to build two 18-hole championship courses, Battlefield and Ussher’s Creek, each measuring over 7,200 yards from the back tees.
Carrick’s aptly named Battlefield course, which borders the historic 1814 Battle of Chippawa site, played host to the 2004 LPGA Canadian Women’s Open. It is considered the tamer of the two courses with generous landing areas off the tee and with large greens. Ussher’s Creek, whose namesake runs throughout the course, is often considered the supreme test of the two courses with narrow fairways cut through the bush and with a number of smaller greens that place a premium on a player’s second shot.
Niagara Falls is an easy 90-minute drive from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport along the Queen Elizabeth Highway and less than 50 minutes from Buffalo International Airport for those flying into New York. Border crossing times can be as short as 5 minutes with a passport or enhanced U.S. driver’s license.
The Niagara Parks Commission is committed to a vision of Ontario’s Niagara Parks as one that Preserves a rich heritage, Conserves natural wonders, and Inspires people world-wide. Founded in 1885, Niagara Parks is an Operational Enterprise Agency of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Its mission is to protect the natural and cultural heritage along the Niagara River for the enjoyment of visitors while maintaining financial self-sufficiency.
Head to http://www.niagaraparks.com for more information and rates.