Two words seem to come up whenever the subject is Toronto: cosmopolitan, and livable. Orson Wells once described Toronto as “New York run by the Swiss.” It’s a perfect description of the city’s sophistication, vibrancy, and clean, well-ordered environment. In short, Toronto is one of the world’s most exciting cities—with the welcome bonus of good manners. For golfers, though, “livability” means a choice of challenging, world class courses nearby —and Toronto does not disappoint. The 200 courses within an hour’s drive of downtown make a good showing on Canada’s list of top 50, including signature courses designed by some of the world’s top golf architects.
Canada’s most famous course is open to anyone wishing to
challenge Jack Nicklaus’ first solo design. Opened in 1976,
Glen Abbey is held in high esteem by Tour players for its difficulty—7,112
yards, Slope 140 from the Black tees. “The Valley,”
a five-hole stretch from the 11th tee, is renowned as one of the
PGA Tour’s toughest, adding to the Glen Abbey mystique. Yet
the course is surprisingly accommodating from the shorter tees.
Glen Abbey will be remembered for years as the site of “The
Shot of 2000”—Tiger Woods’ 218 yard 6-iron from
a fairway bunker on the 18th hole to set up the birdie that clinched
the Bell Canadian Open and The Triple Crown. Here’s a course
that’s not to be missed. Glen Abbey is a property of The Glen
At Hockley Valley, acclaimed golf architect Thomas McBroom has
created an unforgettable Scottish-style links course worthy of this
beautiful natural landscape. Centerpiece of a 300-acre, four-season
luxury resort, the course winds through the hill and vale terrain
with its immaculate fairways, imposing bunkers and fast greens.
Known as a shot makers’ course, Hockley Valley challenges
the versatile golfer and rewards accuracy.
No challenge was overlooked in this brilliant Michael Hurdzan design:
76 bunkers and water on all 18 holes will keep your full attention
on the game. But the rewards are great, and Royal Woodbine’s
beautifully conditioned fairways and greens make this championship
course a real pleasure to play. Just minutes from downtown Toronto
in the Mimico Creek Valley, this is one of the area’s treasures.
The Heathlands Links course is reminiscent of a true Scottish
links, a style that has special appeal for course architect Doug
Carrick. Just one of the unique things about Osprey Valley is the
way the layout mimics the dunes of a seaside course. It’s
said that Osprey Valley is a challenging course on the best of days,
and a truly tough one when the wind blows. But for the adventurous
golfer, Osprey Valley is always a memorable experience.
Some like it tough, and for them there’s St. Andrew’s.
This immaculate course is as beautiful as it is challenging, with
water coming into play on 14 holes, and wickedly undulating greens.
Called “one of the five best public courses in Ontario”
by Score magazine—and simply “Canada’s toughest
golf course” by others—St. Andrew’s prides itself
on being a real player’s course, designed and managed by avid
A new golf masterpiece has been created amongst the rolling pine
forests of the Uxbridge countryside, just 40 minutes north east
of Toronto. The first of its kind in Ontario,Wooden Sticks brings
together some of the world’s most famous golf holes. In designing
Wooden Sticks, Golf Course Architect Ron Carl has captured the spirit
found in some of today’s most recognizable golf landscapes.With
holes inspired from Augusta, St. Andrew’s, Royal Troon, Carnoustie,
Sawgrass, and Pine Valley, Wooden Sticks is sure to provide some
of the most exciting and memorable golf you will ever play.
The ambitious goal of Lionhead is to provide a private club standard
of golf and amenities in a public course setting.When Golf Digest
calls it “one of the best courses, public or private, to be
found anywhere,” and the pros are singing its praises, it’s
clear Lionhead has succeeded. Course architect Ted Baker has designed
not one, but two stunning 18-hole courses, the Florida-type Masters,
and the demanding Legends—a mind-boggling total of 14,233
yards of exciting play.
Voted Best New Canadian Golf Course for 1995 by Golf Digest, Angus Glen has quickly gained a devoted following for its beautifully sculpted traditional links design, superior layout, sensitivity to natural contours, and strategic use of water—with Bruce Creek coming into play on seven holes. Angus Glen is certainly one of course architect Doug Carrick’s finest achievements.