Lakeview Golf Course – A Unique and Historic Municipal Course
The uniqueness starts once you pull in the driveway…and enter carefully as your drive bisects the 11th and 10th holes. Quickly you see the great quality of this course, exceptional for a municipal track. Conditioning is a strong asset for Lakeview, maybe not its strongest asset but a significant one. For me, the allure of this course is its history and along with its conditioning it is why it made my personal Bucket List. The plaque outside the clubhouse shares an overview of the rich history of this course. The scorecard also provides insight to some of the legendary names who walked the same fairways – Armour, Sarazen and Hagen. Lakeview hosted two Canadian Opens, in 1923 and 1934. The City of Mississauga actually provides some dedicated space on the course website to share more of its history.
I played the course in early July and the conditioning was superb. And while conditions have been wetter than usual, the course has been well kept. For a municipal course, it dispels so many of the stereotypes around condition. Greens were consistent and rolled true. I found surprisingly few ball marks. The rough was not as penal as it could have been and fairways were excellent. Bunkers were fair and had sufficient sand, some of the best I’ve played in all season. It’s a course which its regular players are proud of and it shows.
Yet pace of play was an issue and this was consistent with my previous experience at Lakeview, an issue I acknowledge is not exclusive to Lakeview. My playing partners, a group of three seniors playing a skins match more than offset the delays and made my visit a real delight, as they needled each other in a lighthearted way which shows the extent to which Lakeview is a true meeting place for many local residents in the season, similar to private courses.
The layout is where I feel this course has both tremendous strengths and glaring weaknesses; the back nine closes strong with a stretch from 6 to 9 with great variety and challenge. The par 4 8th is a risk/reward short hole which can be played conservatively with a precise shot to a smaller landing area, or, aggressively to the left part of the green which is well guarded by bunkers. The 9th hole is a long par 3 which looks like a thin sliver off the tee but has more surface area then it appears. Other good holes, like the closing stretch of 16 to 18 reflect good diversity of shot making needed to score well. The par 5 16th allows big hitters to go for it in two but with a creek meandering short and left it requires precision. Like others, I have serious issue with the par 4 12th hole. A true target golf hole, the tee shot needs to be longer than it appears to have any real shot to play up to an elevated green, but too long and you’re in the creek. If you’re a guest, ask your playing partners for a yardage but I think a 190-200 yard shot is ideal. That hole simply doesn’t flow with the rest of the course. One other critique is a very high number of errant balls which enter into other fairways. While the fairways are generous, often there is not much rough available before trees (which help separate one hole from another) come into play. And for a course which gets considerable play, the risks of balls coming into play from other fairways is high. Still, the layout has some significant merit, uniqueness and ensures Lakeview is no pushover.
Playing at about 6300 yards from the tips, the course offers three sets of tees. As some other courses have done, I’d like to see the City incorporate a set of Family Tees, allowing juniors and first timers an opportunity to experience this beautiful property at a yardage inside of 4900. As a municipal course, this could provide greater access to a future generation of players.
I left Lakeview satisfied with my golf experience and hopeful that I can enjoy this game well into my senior years as my three playing partners did on what was a rare, truly sunny summer day in Ontario this year.
Aura – 7 out of 10 – And I am likely being generous here. But it’s too bad. The course is unique and is well designed and maintained to a very good quality. If you appreciate the history of the game, this course should be on your must play list.
Value (cost / experience) – A peak fee of $68 +tax to walk in the Greater Toronto Area is very good value. Manage expectations around time – this will not be a three and a half hour round – and you can leave feeling you’ve had a great experience, as I had. Greens fees can be found here.
Course Condition (fairways/greens, layout) – 8.5 out of 10. It has been a damp spring and summer in Ontario and no surprise, the course was in superb condition. Many of the holes are very intelligent in their design and pose a true challenge in strategy and shot making. The fairways and greens are very good and bunkers may be some of the best I have played all season.
Overall Experience (how did the round make me feel; would I return) – My experience was very good, the City of Mississauga has made some excellent investments in the maintenance of this course and I would return again…for no other reason than to seek out my three playing partners for another 18! – 7.5 out of 10
Recommendation (magic wand…what would I change) – This is an easy one. Let’s change up the 12th hole, even if it made into a longer downhill par 3, that’s fine. This blind downhill tee shot and a challenging uphill approach doesn’t fit within the layout and feel of the other 17 holes. But it does detract from the overall playing experience.
Highlight (what is great about the course) – Convenience. Affordability. History. The course is very close to the QEW in the south west end of Mississauga. The price excellent and to walk the fairways of legends and appreciate the history of this course provided me the value and experience I was craving. The closing three holes were surprisingly challenging and beautiful.