For the avid player, Toronto golf is a bit of a letdown when it comes to public courses. But if you are looking for a spot to let a youngster try out his or her first “round” in an actual course setting, look no further than Dentonia Park Golf Course.
Now, just to be clear, don’t just show up at this par-3 course with your kid having never held a golf club before. That’s bound to end in embarrassment and disaster for all concerned. I’m of course talking about taking them to Dentonia once they’ve been able to pound some balls at the practice range with at least some semblance of success. Or, ideally, the child has been fortunate enough to get some professional instruction.
There used to be a successful and proper practice facility just a few blocks from Dentonia, but despite a passionate attempt to save it, the City of Toronto, in its finite wisdom, decided the space would be better suited to condos.
As Dentonia is a par-3 18-hole course, it is an irons-only facility, and management is quite strict about the rule. Also, don’t forget that there is a dress code. A simple golf shirt and khakis will suffice.
If you need to get your child a bit warmed up before the round, Dentonia offers a netted area where people can hit some practice shots.
As far as equipment is concerned, you can rent your child a set of irons, or bring your own. All you really need is a couple of wedges and some other short irons. Unless your kid is showing some real talent, you needn’t bring anything longer than a 7-iron.
Make sure you bring a solid supply of OLD golf balls. At least a dozen. I say old because you don’t want to waste your time searching for expensive balls. No need for that pressure. This is supposed to be fun, but taking these extra precautions can help save you some unnecessary stress.
It’s pointless to keep an actual scorecard for your child’s first time on the links. If anything, devise your own custom scorecard to help instill some positive routines. You can reward points for things such as keeping the golf bag off the tee decks and greens, or remembering to pick up tees and divots. On the flip side, deduct points for behaviour such as shouting and running. It’s meant to be a quiet, methodical game after all.
Always remember to be mindful of other golfing groups on the course. Be courteous and allow faster, more experienced players to play though your group. Tell them it’s your kid’s first time and you want to take it slow.
Click here if you want to check out some pace and etiquette tips from course staff.
Remember that apart from learning about a sport, this is a wonderful opportunity for both you and your child to work on patience. It’s a huge part of this great game anyways. That also means that no matter how poorly your child plays, keep your cool, and don’t start giving them instruction out in the middle of the course. If the course is empty, have at it, but it’s generally best to keep play and practice separate.
Depending on your child’s age, you can get them out on the course at Dentonia for $10 – $15.
The elevation changes provide some nice exercise and a bit of an extra challenge for calculating these very short course yardages. The majority of the holes average just a tad over 100 yards,
Dentonia Park Golf Club: Par 54 – 2176 yards. Established in 1967