Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club Review

Seventeen at Sault Ste. Marie is a 200 yard par 3

Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club Review

Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
Grade: C-
Teachers’ Comments: Intriguing greens complexes and a fun course.

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In the summer of 2022, I added to my trans-national golf travel by crossing the International Bridge from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, to play the Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club.

That’s a mouthful.

For those not in the know, “Sault” is pronounced “soo” and means “rapids.” Sault St. Marie therefore is the rapids of Saint Marie.

All that said, the Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club caught my interest because of its architect: Stanley Thompson. One of the giants of the golden age of golf architecture, Thompson designed nearly a hundred and fifty courses, many of which (such as Banff) were commissioned by Canadian Pacific Railways, Canadian National Railways and Parks Canada as tourist attractions.

Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club is at least mostly a Thompson design. The first nine holes at Sault Ste. Marie golf club were routed in 1919 by George Cumming, who later became a partner in Thompson’s firm. Thompson himself remodeled the original nine and added nine more from 1952 – 1955.

The fifth at Sault Ste. Marie is a 392-yard par 4

Sault Ste. Marie is for the most part a parklands course, although the holes furthest away from the clubhouse tend more toward woodlands.

A series of creeks — perhaps better described as drainage ditches — cross six holes, and run the length of several others. Three ponds and a couple of swampy areas add to the watery trouble.

Aside from the par three seventeenth, none of the water hazards are difficult to negotiate. They did, however, occasionally cross in surprising places.

A satellite view of Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club.

My favorite features of the course were the greens complexes. The best of them were like tiny landscapes, with mounding reminiscent of hills surrounding a valley in which resided the green. Bunkers with green-side faces flashing toward the fairways often put me in mind of a glacier.

A view of the greens complex from the fairway on Sault Ste. Marie’s thirteenth

As with many classic courses, greens at Sault Ste. Marie generally had open fronts; in a twist, however, the greens frequently angled away from that opening. This often created interesting decisions: hit a safe shot over a bunker, or run the ball up and face a long, out-of-position putt.

I do not know whether such greens complexes are characteristic of Thompson designs. If they are, I want to play more of them.

The second at Sault Ste. Marie is a 366 yard par 4.

My favorite hole was the par 4 second. The hole runs straight out for most of its length, then turns slightly right at 100 yards to the green. I enjoyed it because of the surprising creek that runs immediately in front of the green, the mounding around the green, and the flashing of the bunkers.

As it turns out, that greens complex was emblematic of what I was to discover as I played on (see the above discussion of the greens complexes).

A satellite view of the green on the par four second at Sault Ste. Marie golf club

From the back tees, Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club measures 6, 768 and plays to a 73.4/131

Black6, 76873.4131
White6, 01068.8120
Gold5, 46771.6118
Orange4, 69665.2105

Conditions on the day I played ranged from good to terrible. Fortunately, there was much more good than bad. The bad, however, was notable. Much of the course had taken a beating over the previous winter.

The members I was playing with acknowledged the deficiencies — indeed even apologized to me for it — but said that their new superintendent had a plan to get it back in ship shape.

I am sufficiently intrigued by Sault Ste. Marie’s design that I want to play more Stanley Thompson courses.

The Sault Ste. Marie Golf Course review was first published on GolfBlogger.Com on March 21, 2023 from notes and photos on a round played July 7, 2022. For all of Golfblogger’s Golf Course reviews, follow the link.

A photo tour of Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club follows

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3 thoughts on “Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club Review”

  1. If you want to play a Stanley Thompson designed course, come to Cleveland and play Sleepy Hollow. While here, you can play Manakiki designed by Donald Ross as well, both owned and operated by the Cleveland Metro Parks. You will not be disappointed.


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