8. Devil’s Paintbrush, Caledon

Brush5- web

(c) Doug Ball

Score: 48.92

At some courses, golfers are limited by their depth of talent. At Devil’s Paintbrush, they’re limited only by their imagination. There are no imposing forced carries from the tee called for here; no high-trajectory, soft-landing long-irons required to hold the putting surfaces. This is vintage British Isles golf laid upon a Caledon Hills landscape ideally suited for it. And architects Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry (under the guidance of Devil’s Pulpit Golf Association founders Chris Haney and Scott Abbott) took great pride in producing such a creative, enchanting golf experience upon fescue grasses liberally spiced with pot bunkers, sod walls, rolling double-greens and unobstructed countryside views with the inherent windy accompaniment.

The absence of cart paths and the incorporation of stone walls and the ruins of an old barn in the eighth fairway all add to the ancient links theme.

“The Paintbrush can be played under any conditions because the ground game is as important, and even more inviting, than the air game,” veteran golf journalist Lorne Rubenstein has observed of the 1992 design. “It asks for more thought than any course in Ontario, precisely because there are so many options.”

“This may be the closest you may get to Scottish links-style golf in Ontario,” says panel member Dave Bunker. “Great elevation changes at times allow the wind to take over ball control and create some of the most enjoyable/frustrating ‘hit it and hope for the best’ moments in golf.”

“It’s a magnificent golf course that is truly unique with fun-factor galore,” observes Cory Budovitch. “You feel like you’re far, far away.”

 

PANEL COMMENTS

“Just all-out fun and a great challenge.” —Steve Waxman

“There might be nothing like this course anywhere in Canada. Wide open, sweeping fairways with terrific vistas. Even the entry road into the course is unique—I can’t describe it; you just have to drive it.” —Gerry Dobson

“A pure links golf course in Ontario. I love the fescue, the quirkiness, the bunkering. It’s just a fun test of golf and always a joy to play.” —Matthew Yustin

“One of the most unique golf courses anywhere. Name me another course like it. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone that doesn’t enjoy the ‘Brush.’” —Craig Loughry

“Put the scorecard away and enjoy one of the most unique golf experiences in the province. A gambler’s delight that rewards skilled shots.” —Dennis Firth

 “From its striking and unique name to its inhospitable terrain, Devil’s Paintbrush is as unconventional and challenging a golf experience as one is likely to find in Ontario. Few other courses in the world, let alone the province, can claim to be as striking, as memorable and as infuriating.” —James McCarten

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