6. Toronto Golf Club, Mississauga

Hole No. 12 from tees, H. S. Colt Course -The Toronto Golf Club

Hole No. 12 from tees, H. S. Colt Course -The Toronto Golf Club

Score: 53.69

Positively no course in Ontario evoked more eloquence from our panel than the recently refurbished Toronto Golf Club. Although it was founded in 1876, the current location served as the fresh canvas for Harry Colt, then one of the world’s preeminent golf architects, who was brought in from England to craft the Mississauga layout in 1911. A leading British golf writer, Henry Leach, visited Toronto GC soon after it opened for play and thought highly enough of the design to rank it “as one of Colt’s masterpieces.”

In 2009, the course was restored under the direction of English golf course architect and restoration expert Dr. Martin Hawtree. “What I’ve tried to do is produce a golf course for the 21st century, unifying the existing disparate elements resulting from the subsequent contributions of (Hugh) Alison, (Howard) Watson and others; and using my knowledge of Colt’s style, philosophy and principles to bring about that unity. So I tried to work in this century with Colt looking over my shoulder, doing my best to introduce Colt allusions where they seemed appropriate to the modern game, liberating Colt’s spirit from the site.”

“It’s a classic renovation case study,” says panelist Rick Young. “The combination of Colt’s original design and a thorough resurrection of his work by Dr. Martin Hawtree has elevated Toronto GC to one of the top courses anywhere. Already blessed with outstanding landforms, a great routing and terrific shot values, Hawtree has accentuated the visual and playability aspects with classic bunkering work and areas of tree removal. Golf at its finest.”

“The surprise of the season. Tremendous conditioning, with pristine fairways and all-world putting surfaces,” says James McCarten. “Stunning aesthetics, with fescue-fringed bunkering and towering stands of trees that frame daunting tee shots and breathtaking approaches. Every hole is a thrill to play, with a clubhouse to die for and a routing that stands out even among some of the greatest golf courses in North America, never mind Ontario.”  

A five-time Canadian Open host, Toronto GC will stage its ninth Canadian Amateur in 2017. The comments section below is well worth the read.

 

PANEL COMMENTS

“The best restoration/renovation of a golf course in Ontario in my eyes, bringing back the Harry Colt look and feel of a heathlands course. Perhaps the best set of par-4s in the province, and the par-3s are very solid as well. Always one of the best conditioned courses, from nearly flawless greens to the best fescue in the out-of play areas.” —T.J. Rule

“Toronto GC is a treasure. Upon entering the gates one feels they have somehow been transported to the heathlands outside of London. It contains the ultimate combination of charm, elegance, challenge and historical significance, while also possessing some of the best par-3s and 4s in the province. Dr. Hawtree’s renovations have brought Colt’s genius to life. These recent changes have also added significant teeth to the track.” —Mike Shapira

“One of the purest golf courses tee to green I have played.” —Ian Doig

“I think this club is the best member experience in the GTA, with a fantastic renovated golf course to go along with it, not to mention a short course, a great group of members and a great renovated range. A first-class experience and a classic Colt design.” —Peter McCarthy

“The look and feel is different than the rest of the parkland type courses in the GTA. In fact, it more closely resembles the heathland courses west of London, England—no surprise, considering Harry Colt did so much work there. It’s is simply a treat, from the driveway in to the old-school clubhouse. Every superintendent should go see Toronto to understand how a golf course should be kept lean rather than overwatered and sluggish.” —Matt MacKay

“The new bunkering is some of the best I have seen anywhere in the world. Combine a world-class golf club with one of the most unique clubhouses anywhere in the county and I could play here every day.” —Scott Borer

“The update of this Colt masterpiece has left a regal routing remarkably relevant to today’s technology. A joy to play from the members’ tee and a pure test of golf from the tips, TGC always leaves me yearning for a return visit.” —Dennis Firth

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