Gorgeous Grand River Setting


Conestoga Golf Club:

Friendly & Challenging Golf Along the Grand River.

Posted by: Rick Parnham & Don Thorne


A drive through rural Waterloo Region is sure to lead to a contact with one of the many horse-drawn carriages used by the thriving Mennonite community. The early 1800’s saw an influx of Pennsylvania Mennonites settling the banks of Grand River. The village of Conestogo, a little north of the City of Waterloo and due east of the St. Jacobs, was one of the communities built by the immigrants. The once thriving mill town is now a quiet suburban enclave to the Kitchener-Waterloo urban sprawl and home to a fun 27 hole golf and conference center. 

The course opened for play as the Conestoga Country Club back in 1969 and was brought into the Golf North fold in 1998. Home to the corporate headquarters and offering a variety of meeting and wedding facilities, the now Conestoga Golf and Conference Center is a hub of activity in the charming hamlet. An invitation to join a friend for a golf event at the club exposed me to the terrific service, fun and challenging golf in a place about which I knew very little.


The Goose Run nine plays to a par of 35 and features a true parkland character. Tall trees line the tight fairway corridors which weave around a collection of ponds and skirt the Grand River. Many of the holes are bunkerless, as the challenge of the overhanging limbs and tight green sites is plenty enough. Players who can accurately shape the ball off the tee are rewarded with favorable approaches and fewer situations where scrambling out of trouble is necessary. The pair of par 4 holes along the river provide a beautiful vista of the flowing waters and the final hole can be confounding with a large hardwood tree standing guard dead center in the fairway protecting the green on your approach.


The Moors nine is the newest of the nines and has an entirely different feel from the other nines at Conestoga. Built in the links-style, the routing is characterized by narrow strips of fairway carved between tall, grass covered mounds. Many of the greens are elevated and surrounded by collections of sizable sandy hazards, placing a premium on your approach shots. The opening hole is a brute; a certain three-shoter with two ponds with which to contend on the way to the well protected green. The finishing hole par 4 plays as the toughest on this nine. Well over 400 yards from the tips, the hole is a gentle uphill climb all the way to the kidney-shaped green tucked beneath the clubhouse. 


The true treat of the facility is found on The Village nine. Having four par 3 holes this is the shortest on the card, but one filled with character. This collection of holes is centered by the meandering Grand and plays directly across the river on two of the stand out holes. The par 3 second hole is a beauty playing over a wide section of the current with the need for a steady nerve and smooth swing. The fifth is a beastly par 4 that requires thought to select the right club off the tee as the river interrupts the fairway about 150 yards from the green. A tough approach is left for the narrow green is tightly tucked behind the weddy river bank and a pot bunker with the shot usually playing dead into the prevailing wind. The ninth is a fitting finish to the round, with one of the best green sites of them all. The hole bends left for your third shot presenting a stone-faced target tucked behind a fronting pond. 


The visit to Conestoga was a pleasant surprise. The routing was fun, with plenty of challenge and a shot making delight. The course is a good value for those looking for a walkable and memorable experience. Getting to play golf along the banks of the Grand River envisioning an era past is a special bonus to the day.

The Apres "Local Taste" @ Waterloo's Innocente Brewing


Heading back into the city post round, Innocente Brewing became the obvious “Local Taste” to accompany the 27 holes at Conestoga. Located on Northfield Drive in the north end of Waterloo, the taproom and brew house have been a local fixture since opening in 2014. Head Brewer Steve Innocente is dedicated to making award winning brews, using his PhD and Post Doctoral Fellowship in molecular biology and yeast to craft delicious draughts. Cleverley the brand weaves the family name into a few of their staple pours. Playing off the name Innocente, Fling is their golden ale, and Conscience is their IPA. Combined with a charcoal porter, German pils-sinner and a few seasonal brews the menu is full and robust. My favorite of the collection was the Irish Red Ale, Inn O’Slainte, rich in both flavour and dark tones. The relaxed atmosphere and being less than 10 minutes from the terrific golf experience capped a great day to experience a pair of Waterloo must do activities. 


























Conestoga Golf Club










Conestoga Golf Club: 

400 Golf Course Road

Conestogo, ON

N0B 1N0

(519) 664-2851









Innocente Brewing Company

283 Northfield Dr E #8,

Waterloo, ON

N2J 4G8

(519) 725-1253