Hole 12: Plenty of Risk / Reward


Huron Pines Golf & Country Club:

Blind River’s Northern Ontario Golfing Jewel.

Posted by: Rick Parnham


The Town of Blind River, midway between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, was established in 1906 and has seen lumber mills and uranium and copper mines in the area come and go. The vision and development of a local golf course in 1984 has lead to the town having a new resource that now attracts those from afar to the shores of Lake Huron.


Huron Pines is widely considered one of the premiere golf courses in Northern Ontario. Located a few kilometers west of the charming town center on Eldorado Road, the facility sits gently on a pristine acreage of Northern Ontario wilderness next to the dark waters of the Mississagi River. Plentiful hardwoods, pines, wetlands and a splash of exposed rock provide the canvas for what is a true test of challenging and enjoyable golf. Well conditioned and very playable, the routing maximizes the natural


Two highly regarded Canadian architects have their names proudly attached to the design at Huron Pines. Robbie Robinson, a disciple of legendary Stanley Thompson was the person behind the original nine holes, which opened in 1984. True to the design philosophy learned from Thompson, the holes on the opening side fit the canvas naturally. Carved out of tall stands of pines and hardwoods, the majority of the fairways have a slight roll to them. The 4th hole, a daunting par 4 with hazard down the left side and an interrupted fairway, is the first encounter with considerable elevation change. The green is well below the fairway and cants from right to left making for a challenging approach. The short par 3 5th is a deceptive tricky hole. It plays over a crevasse filled with brush and rocks to a green filled with slope and a nasty false front for anything hit less than pure. The next trio of holes are the first to bring water into play. A pair of ponds frame the left of each of the holes combining with very tricky greens, par through this stretch is a welcomed result.


Beautifully Conditioned Routing


The back nine is the work of Graham Cooke, who was brought in create a true championship test. Many have a love / hate feel for Cooke’s work, however on this occasion, his work fits seamlessly with the holes crafted by Robinson. A similar look and feel is found on this side of the card, with very few of the quirks found in some of his other work. The series of holes from 12 -14 are a round wrecker trio. The par 5 12th plays downhill off the tee and is short enough to tempt you to get home in two. The lengthy pond, heavily sloped green and deep bunkers right of the hole all protect par. The longest of the par 3 holes awaits at the 13th tee. Beastly long from the tips a driver might be the club of choice to clear the lone pot bunker protecting the raised green. The dogleg right 14th plays entirely uphill, with bunkers defending the corner and also right of the green, two might whacks are needed to avoid a late round bogey here. The finishing hole framed entirely on the right by the river on the right is an imposing close to the round.


As with many of the collection of northern courses, starting out as nine hole routing and expanding later, they are usually the work of different designers. Sometimes the result is a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde feel to the round. In the case of Huron Pines the end result is a fantastic collection of holes, with an array of shot making and challenge provided. A consistent feel of the  two nines and a well conditioned routing of lush fairways and terrific green complexes are big reasons for the accolades and praise bestowed on Huron Pines.


Drive Times: Sault Ste. Marie 1hr 35mins, Sudbury 2hr, Barrie 4hr 45 mins


Related Editorial: Highway 17, Timberwolf.



Huron Pines Golf & Country Club

303 Eldorado Rd. Hwy 17 W.

Blind River, ON

P0R 1B0    






























Huron Pines G&CC: Par 72

Tees Yards Rating Slope
White (M)
Gold (M)
Gold (L) 5552