Formerly known as the Lake Medad Golf and Country Club, Hidden Lake Golf Club opened its doors as a straightforward, albeit enjoyable, 18-hole layout in 1962. Purchased in 1979 by the current ownership, the course was more appropriately renamed the Hidden Lake Golf Club after the lake that inconspicuously flows alongside the finishing holes of what is now referred to as the “Old Course".
Much has changed since 1962 as Hidden Lake Golf Club has expanded into two exceptional, but very distinct, championship courses that cover over 500 acres of picturesque Niagara Escarpment landscape. The atmosphere inside the clubhouse is warm and friendly; the clubhouse caters to both individuals and groups alike.
As the name implies, the Old Course is a throwback to bygone golf. The Old Course follows much of its original routing. The addition of tournament tees, strategically-placed bunkers, and extensive tree planting have immensely improved the course and "toughened it up". This course certainly deserves its championship-calibre billing. Measuring 6,712 yards, the golf course is very mature and features lush, tree-lined fairways and small greens. The par-4, first hole is indicative of what you can expect to encounter on the Old Course. Trees line either side of the fairway extending 397 yards to a frugal, bunker-protected green.
The Old Course features four, par-5s all of which measure 500 yards or more. The 541-yard, hole No. 6 is one of the longest and arguably the most difficult hole on the Old Course. A sharp dogleg right you must strategically play for position by veering to the left-centre of the fairway. If you're considering reaching the green in two, you better cut the right corner and carry the cluster of trees that line this side of the fairway. Should you decide to play more conservatively leave yourself a full wedge to hold the undulating green. The back nine begins with another formidable par-5. The 548-yard, hole No. 10 requires you to split the fairway off the tee and later position yourself to the right of the 150-yard marker as maple trees guard the corner of this sharp dogleg left. The green is small and well guarded on the front left by two bunkers.
Ask any member to pick a hole that seems to stand apart from the rest, the overwhelming favourite seems to be the 185-yard, par-3, 14th hole. Despite its soothing appearance, this punishing par-3 requires perfection off the tee. Your approach is to a postage stamp-sized green situated atop a small embankment encircled by dense forest and a large hillside bunker. If you miss your target be prepared to record a double bogey or worse on your scorecard. The 16th and 17th holes are challenging par-4s that measure 395 and 419 yards respectively. Both holes provide you with a glimpse of the "hidden" lake through the trees that line the right side of the fairways.
The final hole on the Old Course is a straightforward 189-yard, par-3 that provides some relief to those who found the two previous holes overly severe. Proper club selection is crucial as there may be a two-club differential depending on the position of the flag stick and the intensity of the wind.