I’ve decided to take a look at some of Canada’s great golf holes in a series of posts over the next couple of weeks. This started with a note from someone connected to Beacon Hall yesterday who suggested I didn’t think there were any standout holes on the course, which is not in fact the case. With that in mind, I’ll start looking at Beacon Hall’s 16th, one of a handful of truly terrific golf holes on one of Canada’s most highly-rated courses.
Hole: Beacon Hall, No. 16 (Aurora, Ont.)
Par 3, 223 yards
What makes it great: One of several all-or-nothing exceptional long one-shot holes in Canada, Beacon Hall’s 16th is surely the standout on the course. Designer Bob Cupp’s course is smartly routed, making walking easy, but it also utilizes its land well. Nowhere is that more apparent than on the 16. The tee stands next to the 15th green (an interesting, is slightly dull par five), built into a hillside that runs into the 16th fairway. The tee is cut into the hill, and the tee shot plays over a wide grassy valley that also bisects the 15th fairway. From the back tees it is a beast — especially if it plays into the wind. Even if it doesn’t, many will hit a wood or hybrid at the hole. The green narrows at the front left, but lacks depth, and is narrow and wide.
What I’ve always found most intriguing about the hole is that Cupp created elements to make it fair, despite the big forced carry. For one thing, the fescue grass on the hill allows one to find their ball and try a heroic recovery shot if they’ve come up short. Secondly, Cupp created an extension of the green to the left of the hole, utilizing short grass that runs until the hill drops off. That means golfers can miss to the left and still have a good chance of getting up-and-down as they’ll be pitching into the length of the green from there. The green itself has some movement, but nothing too extreme, as it should be for a hole where the tee shot is so much of a challenge.
Other holes at Beacon worth noting: I’m also quite partial to the opening hole, the par 4 9th, the terrific downhill 13th and the closing par four.
Tomorrow: The second at St. George’s G&CC