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Great Golf the Norm in Toronto and Canada’s York Region

By John Silver
Golf Writer/

TORONTO, ONTARIO – Toronto is Canada’s largest city, one that cares about the past but has an eye toward the future. And the York Region, blessed with a variety of Canada’s best natural landscapes, is the fastest growing area. Both can be traveled  in both directions in less than an hour in an automobile. And both consider golf to be serious, albeit fun, business.

The York Region is one of North America’s densest golf locales with more than one third of the Greater Toronto Area’s 150 courses.

“Largely undiscovered, York’s public golf facilities offer up some of the finest three-season golf anywhere,” said Ontario golf expert Jason Harris.

Great Golf Courses in Canada’s York Region

One of the true gems in the York Region is the dual 18-hole Angus Glen Golf Club, minutes from the historic village of Unionville. Designed by Doug Carrick, the South course is less than 10 years old but has already hosted the national men’s and women’s Opens and a couple of made-for-TV Skins matches with the likes of David Duval, Mike Weir, Vijay Singh and Sergio Garcia.

“Playing from 7,400 to 5,721 yards, the South course blends elevation changes, natural terrain, water, wetlands and strategic bunkering,” said Harris.

Angus Glen’s North course, new in 2001, is a Carrick and Jay Morrish design featuring spacious fairways and valley land. Site of the 2007 Canadian Open, this 200-acre layout has a links-style feel with sweeping vistas, deep-faced sod-wall bunkers and a pair of substantial lakes that dominate the routing on the back nine.

From the tips, the North course is 7,514 yards with a Slope of 143.

Deemed by various golf media to be among Canada’s best, York’s Angus Glen is open to the public May through October.

“One of the coolest courses in York is Eagles Nest Golf Club in nearby Vaughan,” according to Harris. “This Carrick design took eight years from design to fruition. The previews promise to make this 7,476-yard, links-inspired layout and its 36,000-square-foot clubhouse a favored destination.”

True to its links heritage, Eagles Nest promises to threaten golfers with craggy waste bunkers, sand dunes, sod wall traps, gnarly fescue and wind.

A couple of miles south discover The Richmond Hill Golf Club. Don’t let the innocuous par-70, 6,004-yard layout fool you. This pretty, forested track has a pair of the toughest, tightest holes on the circuit melded with clever, bi-level design that utilizes the intersecting Don River.

Number 11 is a 393-yard par 4 requiring a frozen rope drive splitting a narrow downhill fairway that tilts severely right to left. The finishing hole, a long uphill par 5, has an hourglass fairway. With the river to the right and sloping forest on the left, this needs a textbook three shots to a blind green.

Don’t forget to test out the York Region’s St. Andrew’s Valley. The colossal 7,304-yard green tees, Sloped at 143 and a 76.0 rating, is as large a course as you will want. St. Andrews is fortified with bunkers and water waits on all but four holes and the greens are big and grainy.

While on golf vacation in the York Region head to Wooden Sticks, named for the various National Hockey Leaguers who have partial ownership. Meandering through the timberland of Uxbridge, minutes north of Markham, Wooden Sticks’ unique sales proposition is that 12 of its 18 holes are faithful replicas of famous PGA originals. Course architect Ron Carl has captured the essence of highly recognized golf landscapes from Augusta, St. Andrew’s, Royal Troon, Sawgrass and Pine Valley.

Playing from 7,012 to 5,216 yards, Wooden Sticks is a memorable experience on any golf vacation to Canada’s York Region.

“Other courses worthy of consideration include Silver Lakes Golf and Country Club,” said Harris. “With 7,029 yards coursing through well-forested terrain, ample wetlands and along the Holland River, this lush track is reminiscent of the Carolinas.”

The Maples of Ballantrae Golf Club in Stouffville is a R. F. Moote design that has matured into an enjoyable challenge for all skill levels. Playing to 6,662 yards, water is a factor on 10 holes.

The York Region postcard town of Kleinburg in King Township has several uncommon courses. Visits to Hunters Glen Golf Club, Kleinburg Golf Club and the lavish Copper Creek Golf Club are sure to please. The Cardinal Golf Club in Kettleby offers 36 holes.

A half hour from Pearson International Airport, minutes from Buttonville Municipal Airport and 90 minutes by car from the U.S. border at Niagara Falls, York is as accessible, affordable, affable and assorted as golf gets.

The York Region is an excellent place to book a golf vacation in Canada. Besides the afore mentioned beautiful golf courses that make York a growing golf destination in Canada, it is also conveniently located for travelers. The York Region is 90 minutes from the US border at Niagara Falls in auto and only a half hour from Pearson International Airport.

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