It took Seguin Valley Golf Club founder Robert McRae 15 years to stitch together 2,000 acres—a rugged but stirring parcel of Precambrian Shield wilderness just south of Parry Sound—before his dream of a unique golf course set upon 400 of those acres began to take shape in 1998.

IMG_1353A former RCAF pilot, McRae flew with Air Canada until the 1960s, when a medical problem curtailed his flying career and he entered the investment business. While he looked to spread his wings by developing a secluded paradise for golfers, the project remained mostly grounded before McRae secured the services of Ron Dennis, a close friend of 50 years, to oversee construction. As CEO and president of Seguin Valley Golf Club, Dennis, who had retired in 1991 as Air Canada’s chief pilot and director of flight operations, hired course construction firm Bruce Evans Ltd. in 2001.

Under the design guidance of Evans’ Ted George and the nurturing touch of superintendent Chris Hudswell, who was lured away from Port Carling G&CC, the preliminary course routing was reworked.

Although blasting was required to clear rock for some tee and greensites, as well as for cart paths, little earth was moved during the more than four years of construction, as the course took advantage of the natural terrain.

And while there is a minimalist approach to bunkering at Seguin—there are just 25 sand traps on the entire course—and a driving range and expanded practice area are still in the plans, no expense was spared in achieving memorability throughout the property. Among the most spectacular of those examples was the creation of one of Seguin’s signature holes, the stunning par-3 7th over McRae Lake, where the 180-yard-long bridge that curls from tee to green was constructed at a cost of $350,000.

005“That’s a dramatic hole and a great greensite,” says Hudswell. “Mr. McRae acquired whatever property he needed to help realize his dream. The green on No. 5, for example, used to be a guy’s house. Mr. McRae knocked on the gentleman’s door one day and said, ‘I don’t want your house; I just want your property.’ So the guy sold the land and actually moved his house!”

The front nine of one of Ontario’s most scenic layouts officially opened for business in the spring of 2003 (the back nine followed that fall), with Golf Ontario magazine editor Ted McIntyre calling Seguin Valley “easily among the most dramatic and photogenic golf courses in Ontario.”

To complement the wild nature of the landscape, a handsome, rugged, rustic clubhouse design was commissioned—a nearly 15,000 sq. ft. log-style pine structure built by Mennonites in St. Jacobs, Ontario, with each log numbered, before being reassembled on its permanent site at Seguin Valley. An iconic 40-foot B.C. cedar thrusts up from the basement through the centre of the distinctive red-roofed clubhouse, which finally opened in 2013 and now includes a 3,000 sq. ft. patio.

Sadly, Mr. McRae never got to see the final product, having passed away in 2004. His estate sought a new owner for the next five years, before closing the course in 2009, with superintendent Hudswell overseeing its maintenance that season.

Seguin sprung back to life in 2010, reopening to the public on June 15. Three days earlier, Mike Feldman had arrived on the grounds and toured the Seguin property. Recognizing the great potential of the facility, Feldman, a former chartered account who founded TPP Warehousing and TPP Services to warehouse and distribute newsprint for several major newspapers, tendered an offer. The deal closed on Sept. 30, 2010, and Feldman has worked tirelessly ever since to complete the vision of the original owner.

Since the Feldman purchase, the clubhouse has become fully operational. Many of the finishing touches such as landscaping, clubhouse finishes and amenities are planned and in the works.  A true labour of love for Mr. Feldman. His passion for the game of golf and love of the Parry Sound area shows in his investment.

 

An article from Ontario Golf from a few years back.

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"Awesome course played there the last 2 years going back this year it is spectacular hole after hole challenges you with great atmosphere."  Doug Smart

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"Absolutely stunning fall scenery on a beautifully maintained championship course. Bring your A game and choose the right tee blocks for a great golfing experience." James Cran

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"Wow, I've missed out all these years, what a gem this course is. On par with all the "big name" courses in Muskoka! Will be back for sure."  Linda Duval

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"Seguin is one of the most beautiful courses I have ever played. The staff are friendly and a pleasure to know. I recommend Seguin Valley whole heartedly."  Marie Halloch

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"One of the most special golf courses in Ontario. Beautifully kept. First class equipment and the clubhouse in a class of its own. It's worth the drive. Everyone friendly even the bear who walked across the patio tonight."  Robert Milne

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"One of the most beautiful and challenging courses I have ever played.Love the wildlife. People treat you like gold at the club house.", Paul Halloch

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"Golf here the first summer they opened, after opening the remaining holes the following year, ownership changes etc the course has remained in tip top shape. Always a test of patience not only in the fairways but on some greens that will test the best. Highly recommend playing the course and taking the time to enjoy nature at its best.", Ben Hughes

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"I played here for the first time today. Started off great not expecting the premium chauffeur service to the clubhouse. Everyone was very friendly. The course layout is very nice yet challenging, with very picturesque surroundings especially #7 which wouldn't be that bad of a shot except for the wind but very nice to say the least. I only was able to play 9 but recommend any golfer visit Seguin and if i'm ever back in the area, will definitely play it again!", Cody Scott

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"If I could get over the 15th whole I would love it!", Susan MacLean

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"Very nice course with a nice diversity of holes and well maintained. Nice walk in the woods, if you bring your 'A game'. Staff is friendly and professional. I will be back. I enjoyed it.",  Jean-Pierre Ouellette

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"This is a wonderful course. After two humbling rounds and upon careful reflection this is a quiet serene piece of natural Northern Ontario golf with plentiful challenges that I would recommend to any golfer. I stayed at one of the cottages on the property and must say waking up to this beautiful piece of Canadiana with lakes and loons was just about perfect!", Ed Zankowski

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"Awesome time here and great golf! We did the stay and Play package for 3 days and 2 nights. Great customer service and even had a few pops with the owners. Stayed in Cabin #2. Had a couple of night bonfires after our Rounds - lakeside! Wow what a great place and every staff member we met were first class great people. We will be back!", Al & Tracy French

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"Spectacular location for your wedding!!!! Wow, what a fantastic spot, staff were phenomenal; Gail you are absolutely amazing along with your  staff, Linda, Shawna and others. Everyone was friendly, helpful and in good spirits. Thank you!!! What a gorgeous spot and your hole 7 is truly one of the best!!!", Sonya Felsman

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