Hole 7

Heritage Hills Golf Club:

A Hidden Treat in North Barrie

Posted by Alistair Orr


The area surrounding Kempenfelt Bay is dotted with nearly two dozen golf facilities from which to chose, ranging from exclusive private experiences to family friendly beginner courses. Heritage Hills is one of the numerous public play facilities that cropped up in the course building boom years of the 90's. Located on 1 Line South at Gore Road just south of Hwy 11, this Rene Muylaert design can be described as having two distinctive faces. Carved out of the rugged Oro-Medonte forest and adjacent rolling farmlands Heritage Hills presents a routing featuring tight, heavily treed parkland holes combined seamlessly with a collection of open windswept beauties.


Rene Muylaert isn’t the most recognizable name in Canadian golf course architecture circles, but, as the idiom states: “you can’t swing a cat in these parts without hitting a course that Muylaert didn’t have his hands on”.


With nearly 50 layouts to his credit in Ontario, Muylaert certainly left his mark on the Barrie, Mildland, Orillia and the greater Lake Simcoe area golf scene. Among others, Tangle Creek, Horseshoe Valley, Hawk Ridge, Brooklea, Western Trent and Heritage Hills were all Muylaert creations.

The course opens with a series of par 4 holes played through the maples and birches where correct placement of the tee shot is way more important than flexing your muscle with the driver.  Combine that with elevation changes and the daunting slick green complexes the beginning of your round will set the tone for the day. The third hole is the first of a collection of superb par 3 holes. This multi-tiered green is protected by devilish pot bunkers, sharp ridges and a nasty fall-away if you miss left.  The first taste of the windswept holes could arguably be the best holes on the course.


Muylaert designed many super golf holes but one of his finest may be the par four 7th at Heritage hills. From the tee perched high on a bluff, the fairway below sweeps around a fairway bunker on the left side and climbs steadily to an elevated green which is guarded by two bunkers short right and one on the left. It takes a pretty big drive to carry the fairway bunker on the left side but if you succeed a short iron shot from a great angle to any pin position on the green is the reward. However, if you don’t carry the bunker or pull it in to the long grass which protects the corner, a very difficult approach shot awaits and par will be next to impossible. The smart player will favour the right side off the tee setting up a mid iron to the green. A front pin should be ignored and the approach should be played to the centre of the green. Be careful to two putt and walk to the next hole with a par you can be happy about!


The eighth hole is a beautiful risk /reward hole. Playing downhill off the tee you must be careful to avoid the scrub protecting the creek at the end of the fairway. Lay up short of the trouble and you now have to decide your second shot options. Reachable to only the longest hitters the large green is well guarded by surrounding hills and a huge bunker short.

The back nine leaves the wooded fairways behind after the superb par 3 11th. Teeing off over the creek the green is framed by a rolling landscape covered in nasty thick grasses. The four leaf clover green is filled with slope and protected with pot bunkers, grassy hollows and the now present prevailing winds must be taken into consideration. Hole 12 is a wonderful par 5 dog-leg left that sweeps around a pond playing downhill with the wind at you back. Catch the tee shot and you might find the “go zone” with your second. The green sits deceptively behind the pond with more room short than it appears from the fairway. The tee of Hole 14 now puts you back into the wind and presents a terrific short par 4. The aggressive line takes aim at the distant silo and rewards a well struck shot. Anything right of center risks a hunt through deep grass and mounds. The final short hole, ironically, plays over 200 yards from the tips and uphill into the wind all the way. A mighty strike is needed to challenge the pin and a par. The penultimate hole might be the most daunting task of the day. A long iron off the tee sets up an approach to the toughest green complex on the course which is set amongst dense hardwoods. A wedge or short iron must cross a cavernous gulley to find the wide, shallow green and all the tiers that come with it.


Hole 12

Heritage Hills is a wonderful example of a pure golf experience. Welcoming you with a generous practise area and huge putting green near the first tee, the facility strives to focus on all things golf. The quality conditioning of this solid design leaves you with a sense of great value while being challenged along the way. Next time you are passing through the Hwy 400 & 11 area north of Barrie make sure you have the sticks and your shoes in the car, Heritage Hills won't disappoint the wallet or your game.


Course Stats: 5391 - 6808 yards, 68.0 - 72.6 rating, 122 - 130 slope.


Heritage Hills Golf Club

367 Line #1 South

Shanty Bay, Ontario

L0L 2L0































Hole 11