Rideau Glen - the early days. Courtesy the North Grenville Historical Society

Rideau Glen, in its 89th year of existence, flourishes under the wise guidance of the Goss family. The ladies league has surpassed its membership and is hopeful for a bright and prosperous season.

Rideau Glen has stood the test of time: from a 2-hole course on a patch of farmland along the Rideau river, it grew to a 6-hole, then a 9-hole regular course that endured for 70 years. It was the gem that attracted many players from the Ottawa Valley and beyond. It was only in 2005 that it progressed to a regular 18-hole course. In this extension, fairways and greens were cut into the forest, where ditches and ponds were created to make it a very attractive and interesting course to play on. A view of the Rideau River is a line of silver between the trees and a few of the cottages. People have commented on how lovely it is to play on a course with no houses surrounding the fairways or greens. It is becoming a rarity in these modern days.

To play in pristine scenery, with the silence and beauty, awes everyone. The fairways are bordered by giant maples, birches, oaks, and a variety of pine trees that intermingle with each other to form a canopy of shade, protecting the players from the intensity of the sun. In the Spring, when the course opens, the trees are bare, but soon buds are sprouting. You admire the difference, from almost nothing to full leaves, in no time at all. The very tender greens against the dark hues of the pine trees is astonishing. As an artist, you notice such changes and fully appreciate the progression of nature from Spring to Summer. On one particular spot on the 3rd fairway is a “Tom Thompson pine”, hovering over the line of other trees and looking down on the players passing through. It seems to be agreeing with every good shot that goes by.

You enjoy the lazy, hazy days of Summer playing leisurely on the course that you love and hate…Many beds of flowers and shrubs intersperse between different holes and augment the beauty of the course.

Then comes the Fall! The shock surprises you with the trees adorned with the most beautiful palette of colours. The yellows, oranges, reds of different hues, are spectacular and, again, amongst the background of the dark greens of the pine trees. Admiring what is in front of you, your concentration is beguiled, and your ball finds a ditch or a pond, then reality brings you back to earth. The trees also play tricks on you and hide the balls under their fallen leaves. Looking for them will exercise your patience. It is not easy to play at Rideau Glen. You must keep your ball in the middle of the fairways if you want to achieve a decent score. Only one great shot will bring you back to play another day.

This all to remind golfers that Rideau Glen is a picturesque course that has survived many changes through its 89 years. In possessing such a beauty, success and joy will follow in the striving to make Rideau Glen a star in their “field of dreams”…


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