Photo Review: Bigwin Island Golf Club

Reading Time: 4 minutes One of Canada’s most stunning golf courses, Bigwin Island is worth the visit when heading to the Muskoka area

Reading Time: 4 minutes


  • Baysville, Ontario
  • Semi-Private (June-August private, shoulder season public times available)
  • Doug Carrick (2001)
  • 20th in Canada (SCOREGolf)

In the Muskoka area, golfers are blessed with an abundance of good golf options, and one near the top is Bigwin Island, a 2001 design from Canadian Doug Carrick. Part of the allure of a place like Bigwin Island is, as the name suggests, the island factor, where you take a boat to the golf course from the mainland. Pretty cool, and quite unique, as Canada has nothing like that.

Part of the allure also comes from the interesting history of the island, with Stanley Thompson originally building a golf course here and the club being a booming place back in the 20’s. But in 2001, Doug Carrick completely started from scratch and built his own 18 hole golf course.

The par 4, 1st sets the scale for the golf course’s theme: big, bold, and friendly
A beautiful mid-length par 3 down the hill, the 2nd feels like a fade is the proper shot shape
A lovely tee shot at the 550 or so yard par 5, 3rd
The short par 3, 4th is a lovely one shotter with a back right pin location

Looking back at the long, uphill par 4, 5th with a view of the Bigwin Island watch point


The signature par 4, 6th plays severely downhill, taking off yardage from the 462 yardage
A cool green complex with a collection area left carved into the hill, with a nice bunker right on the par 5, 7th
A fairly standard mid-length par 4 at the 8th
My vote for the best hole on the course, the 408 yard par 4, 9th plays from an elevated tee
The short, uphill par 4, 10th’s tee shot
A perched green complex on the long, 450 yard par 4 11th awaits players
Playing similar to the 2nd, the 12th is a par 3 that calls for a fade
The 13th starts an interesting golf holes. The 404 yard par 4 features a cool green complex
The par 4, 14th was one of my favorite holes, and a tough tee shot visually to decide where to hit the ball
On the short par 5, 15th, Doug Carrick flexes his bunker prowess
The longest par 4 on the course, the 472 yard 16th plays slightly uphill
The penultimate hole at Bigwin Island is a 204 yard par 3
The 574 yard par 5, 18th is a fun risk-reward par 5. From an elevated tee with the lake to the right, this gives you a good chance at birdie

Doug Carrick designs good golf courses, and usually, they’re pretty. Bigwin is both, it’s not great, nor bad. It’s stunning and fun, and something that you could enjoy every day of the week. As you can see, it’s nothing crazy, and not too architecturally interesting, but the round is enjoyable and something worth a day trip from Toronto.

Have you played Bigwin? What are your thoughts? Did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below!


  • Andrew Harvie

    Based in Toronto, but having lived in Alberta, British Columbia, Montana, Arizona, and Texas, I have been lucky enough to see over 400 golf courses and counting!

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