The Toronto Star golf guide hit papers (and pro shops) today and as has been the case in recent years, I wrote a couple of features for the paper. The one that might catch some attention is a story where I pieced together an 18 hole golf course as a composite of the best holes in Toronto. In other words, I included four par threes, four par fives and 10 par fours to create a composite course.
I’ll note that I added some additional public courses to the mix where I would have had more holes from private clubs if I had the choice. Holes like Toronto Golf’s 9th, the 11th at Rosedale, and others didn’t make the cut — and would warrant it in a different circumstance. In fact, I might do that next week.
In the meantime, here is the front nine — click the link to see the remaining holes.
- Don Valley 3 (448 yards) Howard Watson’s design has been altered over the years, but this terrific par-4 is smartly designed and challenging — even more so with cars from the nearby Highway 401 roaring overhead.
- St. George’s 2 (478 yards) Potential disasters abound at private St. George’s 2nd hole: from the tee shot that must clear a bisecting grass valley to the green, with its bunkers on the right and steep drop off.
- Turnberry Golf Club 13 (165 yards) Based on the classic Biarritz hole, with a deep swale in the middle of the green, this design by Cam Tyers is a cool one-shot hole on a course that sports 16 of them.
- Eagles Nest 12 (439 yards) Played from a tee high on a hillside, this challenger from Doug Carrick’s mischievous mind asks players to hit a draw into a fairway that runs to the right. A false front on the green rejects all but the best shots and deep bunkers gobble up mishits.
- Angus Glen 7 (521 yards) Golfers must skirt bunkers on the right to find a fairway surrounded by trees, then find the speed slot on the right to get home in two.
- Beacon Hall 16 (223 yards) The all-or-nothing par-3 at this private club north of Toronto is reminiscent of Calamity at Royal Portrush in the north of Ireland.
- National Golf Club of Canada 7 (460 yards) The best hole on a top course. It uses the natural land perfectly, has a remarkable green location, and may be the hardest hole on this list on which to record a par.
- Summit 14 (541 yards) An incredible downhill tee shot leads to an approach to a plateau green that leans towards the fairway. Three good shots may yield par but only the biggest hitters will get home in two.
- Osprey Toot 16 (464 yards) A parkland masterpiece that commences the best and most challenging part of this course. The tee shot, with its cross bunkers, is hard, but the approach to the green is even more strategic and difficult.