Course-Crafted Drinks Increasing in Popularity

A post-round drink where stories are swapped and bets are settled is one of golf’s finest traditions.

Some golf courses across North America are taking it one step further than just having some favorites on tap or behind the bar—they’re growing ingredients or making their own drinks right on site, which makes a golfer’s day that much more special.

Course-Crafted Drinks
Cog Hill Long Drive Ale (photo by Cog Hill Golf Club)

In Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, Rideau View Golf Club—previously ranked as one of the top 100 in the country—is the only golf course in North America that grows its own brew hops. The club decided to start growing the plant adjacent to its 17th tee box, and for the second season it has crafted a beer made from those very same hops.

Appropriately enough, its name is “No.17.”

Course-Crafted Drinks
No.17, the brew made from hops grown at Rideau View Golf Club (photo by Rideau View Golf Club)

“We wanted the beer to be easy drinking, quench your thirst on a hot day, and still have a unique flavor to it that was representative of the hops we grew,” says Steve Ducat, the general manager at Rideau View.

The idea, Ducat says, was spurred on by his desire to want to do more at the facility. It was already growing vegetables for the kitchen, and it had beehives as well for honey. But lots of courses had both of those.

Ducat began chatting with member Chris Phillips, who used to play for the local NHL franchise, the Ottawa Senators, and was co-founder of Big Rig Brewery. Phillips grew hops on his property just down the street from the golf club, and Ducat says they decided to plant two kinds (cascade and centennial) since they grow nicely in the Canadian climate.

“I just felt like there needed to be something more that we could do to not just differentiate ourselves, but also really define who we really are as a golf club,” says Ducat.

The club engaged Big Rig to make the beer itself and after three meetings with the brewmaster, they decided on the recipe that was perfect for golfers.

The beer was available at two local restaurants last year, helping account for nearly a quarter of the sales. However, given the impact of COVID-19, the golf club is the only place you can get the beer for 2020.

That hasn’t impacted sales one bit, however. Ducat estimates the club will run out of No.17 by mid-October. It ordered 7,500 liters this year (nearly 2,000 gallons), more than double the quantity from a year ago.

Ducat attributes the jump in sales to Big Rig, which agreed to put No.17 in cans so members could drink it on the golf course as well as in the clubhouse afterwards. But more than that, he says it’s just a really good beer—a cross between a light IPA, pilsner, and blonde ale.

While Rideau View is a unique operation, there are other clubs in the United States making a tighter tie between booze and golf.

In San Roman, Calif., there’s Canyon Lakes Golf Course & Brewery, where, yes, there is a microbrewery on site. Its 10-barrel brewing system opened in 2017 next to the 6,300-yard golf course about 45 minutes from San Francisco.


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The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort, featuring A.W. Tillinghast’s first-ever design about two hours from Philadelphia on the Delaware River, also boasts its own on-site brewpub and serves its handcrafted ShawneeCraft beer of multiple varieties.

Cog Hill Golf and Country Club—a longtime PGA Tour venue and host of the 1997 U.S. Amateur—partnered with a local brewery, Pollyanna Brewing Company, to launch Cog Hill Long Drive Ale earlier this year. It’s a kölsch, a lighter tasting German beer available in cans and on tap at the golf club only.

Speaking of tour venues, Pinehurst Brewing Co. is integrated right into the Pinehurst resort—a multi-time U.S. Open venue and idyllic spot for families, friends, and golf groups of all sizes. Guests can charge brews back to their hotel room and find the beer scattered around the resort, including at the 19th hole known as “The Deuce” behind the finisher at Pinehurst No. 2.


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And finally, there’s Sweetens Cove, which earlier this year launched the Sweetens Cove Spirits Company.

Since there’s a long standing tradition at the nine-hole layout for first timers to do a shot of whiskey on the first tee, a group of friends (including Peyton Manning and Andy Roddick) who bought Sweetens Cove in 2019 set out to create their own bourbon. Enter Sweetens Cove Tennessee Bourbon.

According to Marianne Eaves—master blender of Sweetens Cove Tennessee Bourbon and Kentucky’s first female bourbon master distiller since prohibition—the ownership group got their hands on 100 barrels of 13-year-aged Tennessee product from a warehouse in Kentucky and from there she began the process of blending. There will only be 14,000 bottles of the Sweetens Cove product, giving it a hyper-limited, handcrafted release.


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So, sure, you can come to a golf club for the golf—but why not stick around for a drink as unique as the course you just played?


What is your favorite golf inspired drink? Let us know in the comment section.