18 Great Holes – The Back 9

Here is part two of my fantasy golf course made up of my favourite holes in Ontario:

Hole 10 – Timber Ridge #4 “ Par 4

I will wax enthusiastically about all of Timber Ridge some other week but today I proclaim this hole as the opening of our back 9. The layout of this hole is beautiful from tee to green. Your tee shot is framed by trees lining both sides of the fairway and the green is set in amongst among another bowl of trees. From the fairway you can look around and not see an inch of the rest of the course or any other players. It`s like a slice of golf paradise.

Hole 11 – St. Andrew`s #14 “ Par 4

I love holes that take drivers out of your hand and make you use your mind. This hole is quintessential. The set up asks you to decide how far down the fairway you dare to play the ball before flirting with a creek and can you hit it straight enough to hit the landing pad and not lose your ball to the trees?

Hole 12 “ National Pines #15 “ Par 4

Here`s another hole that takes some thought. Are you confident enough to fly your drive 220 yards over an environmental hazard or should you choose the safer route to the fairway on the left? One leaves you a relatively easy uphill 96 yard second shot the other leaves 135 yard to a green hidden by a series of mounds. How much risk are you ready to take?

Hole 13 “ Eagle`s Nest #8 “ Par 3

After you`re down admiring the view of downtown Toronto perched on the horizon you`ll have to access the wind vs downhill shot in selecting your club. Hold the green and you`ll get your par. Miss the green and get ready to write a double bogie on your scorecard.

Hole 14 “ Copper Creek #? “ Par 4

The tee shot is beautiful when the seasonal flowers are in bloom. Fly your drive over the environmental hazard and then walk into the valley only to find yourself faced with a severe uphill second shot to the green.

Hole 15 “ Eagle`s Nest #13 “ Par 3

If you read last week`s list you`ll notice that this is the third Eagle`s Nest hole in my Top 18 in Ontario. That shouldn`t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me as the course quickly became my favourite area layouts. If you`re playing into a headwind your tee shot will test your nerves. The green is perched on a mound and massive bunkers dare you to pick the right club.

Hole 16 “ Royal Ashburn #5 “ Par 4

This hole has had my number for years which is why it`s here. You`ve got to drive the ball to a fairway that is bordered on the right by water and on the left by an overhanging tree. Get the ball in the fairway and then choose your next club carefully. Water surrounds ¾ of the green and the air in front of the green always seems to gobble up the ball.

Hole 17 “ Glen Abbey #11 “ Par 4

This is certainly one of Toronto`s most breathtaking tee shots and the inspiration of a number of other holes at other courses. A good straight drive will hang in the air for ever and land in the fairway. Hook your ball and you`re in the trees. Slice your ball and your in a bunker. Your second shot must contend with overhanging trees on the left and a creek bordering the very front of the green. How tough is this hole? Ask Vijay.

Hole 18 “ Hunter`s Pointe #9 “ Par 5

There are no easy holes on my list of 18 and this closing hole is certainly no exception. If you`ve had a good round to this point, you`ll have to stay focused all the way back to the clubhouse. If you`ve had a crappy round, be prepared to lose a ball or two. Your tee shot has to clear water. Hit the ball too hard and the water comes in to play on the right. Your second shot is to a fairway that narrows down to the 100 yard marker with water in play down the entire right hand side. Your approach shot is over water again to an undulating green. Score par and feel fulfilled.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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