I’ve repeatedly divulged my less-than-grand opinion of my hometown’s golf scene on this site over the last year, along with my ranking of the city’s best courses. So, along such lines of thinking, I figured that I would offer some easy suggestions (easy, at least in my opinion, since I’m not the one footing the bill, or dealing with angry members’ reactions, etc) that would help each of, what I judge as, the 15 best golf courses in our nation’s capital. Of course, I could have opted for winding, page-long Proustian sentences for most of these selections; however, in most cases, I tried to focus on a single thing.
1. Chateau Montebello
Dynamite the unplayable abomination that is the current 9th green and use Thompson’s original green instead, below and to the right, which is still maintained.
2. Ottawa Hunt
Either raise the tee box or re-shape the fairway on 5 West, so as to make the tee shot a little less awkward by providing a clearer view of the landing area.
Gas up the Husqvarna and chop down the ridiculous tree short and to the right of the 5th green, an otherwise excellent hole.
Never, ever, ever, ever, water the golf course—let it bake!
T-4. Royal Ottawa
Stare at pictures of Inverness, in Ohio, and learn to love its largely tree-less, golden-brown-turfed aesthetic.
6. The Marshes
Rekindle the desire, with which the course was founded, to bring a top-flight men’s professional event to Ottawa.
7. Rideau View
Keep pumping money into Ian Andrew’s bank account, then stay out of his way.
Hire somebody to soften the 14th green so that it matches the rest of the set a little better.
9. eQuinelle Golf Club
Find room in your budget to dig a few more centerline-bunkers like the one on the 2nd.
Realize that the city is growing in your direction and is in dire need of good public options, then act accordingly.
Treat your Stanley Thompson product with the care and attention that his works deserve.
12. Smiths Falls
Hire folks who like to run a chainsaw and some who are in need of firewood.
13. Carleton Golf & Yacht Club
Learn to embrace the benefits of short grass, especially around the greens.
Don’t let them pave over your golf course?
15. Loch March
Bring your conditioning up to, or at least near, the level of the city’s private options.