Scarboro Golf and Country Club, with a history dating back to 1912, has been the site of four Canadian Opens, the Canadian Tour Championship and several amateur championships.
The course was originally designed by noted professional and Canadian golf course architect George Cumming, but underwent extensive changes in 1924 under the direction of Albert Warren Tillinghast. Tillinghast was one of North America’s premier golf course designers, who was at the peak of his career when hired to redesign Scarboro.
Scarboro is in great company among such renowned Tillinghast courses as Winged Foot, Ridgewood, Five Farms East, the redesign of Baltusrol and the fearsome Bethpage Black at Farmingdale, Long Island, N.Y. The latter literally consumed the games greatest golfers at the 2002 U.S. Open.
Scarboro remains the only course outside the U.S. designed by Tillinghast.
He masterfully used Highland Creek, which comes into play as many as 11 times in 18 holes, and the hilly terrain, gullies and trees as natural hazards, making artificial hazards almost unnecessary at Scarboro.
The first hole is the longest hole on the golf course. This par five is difficult to reach in two, except for the longest of hitters. Concerns begin with an “out of bounds” on the right and bunker located on the left side of the fairway which often catches errant drives. Further along on the left about 150 yards short of the green is a series of grassy mounds. Getting your ball out of here onto the green is not easy. Guarding this sloping green are deep bunkers on the left and right. A tough green to putt on, especially from above the hole.
This hole is made for long irons, but be careful, it is probably the toughest par three at Scarboro. During the 1987 CPGA, it yielded only 30 birdies in 354 rounds. A hazardous gully lies to the right of the green combined with bunkers on either side. As everything kicks right, even shots that land on this large green can find themselves in the right hand bunkers.
A relatively easy, short par four. The only potential problem between the tee and this elevated green is a large tree on the left side of the fairway approximately 215 yards out. Basically the hole is a drive and a short iron.
A remarkable par three. A long iron shot is required from an elevated tee into a huge green guarded by Highland Creek and three traps on the right and trees on the left. Scarboro`s “signature” hole is truly picturesque.
According to Nick Weslock, one of Canada`s great amateur golfers, this hole represents one of the best par fours on the continent. In order to master Scarboro`s toughest par four, a right to left drive must be made over the Highland Creek which then veers down the left side of the fairway. Trees protect the right side. The green is designed to accept any kind of shot.
A reachable par five, perhaps even Scarboro`s most forgiving if you hit your drive perfectly straight. During the 1987 CPGA many eagles and birdies were recorded. Basically a drive, three wood and sand wedge, but keep away from Highland Creek on the left side of the fairway.
The shortest par four on the golf course that can be driven, as did the Legendary Bob Gray when he “Aced” this hole. Players usually hit their drive short of the two bunkers that guard the green, followed by a wedge. If the pin is in the front of this elevated, two-tiered green, there will be more fives on the score card than one would expect.
Trouble starts for this par four on the tee, where a high ridge blocks any view of the green. A drive to the right/centre is mandatory. A drive on the left of centre and you will be in Highland Creek. An excellent drive landing on the down slope often kicks far to the left and into the rough bordering the creek. The creek then crosses the fairway in front of the green. A small well trapped green awaits shots which should be high and soft.
A par four which demands an accurate drive through a chute. A hole that is not narrow, but rather sneaky tight. A birdie with a short iron awaits the player whose drive finds the fairway.
A par five that is reachable in two for the longest hitters. The green is sloped from left to right. Catch the bunker on the right side of the green and bets are that you will not get it up and down.
Though many a dream of aces and birdies have been fulfilled by this par three, miss the green surrounded by bunkers and you will be grateful for par
“Two Rivers” more affectionately known today as “Double Trouble”, has humbled many good players. The “big hitter” who can carry it 265 yards from an elevated tee will be rewarded with two river crossings out of the way and a nine iron or wedge as their second shot. Normally, your drive will be short of the second creek, followed by a long iron into a well trapped green.
From the tee, this par four offers a beautiful view of Scarboro`s Kentucky Blue Grass, UPHILL ALL THE WAY. Once your drive has landed on top of the hill, a mid iron should carry you to an elevated green. If however, the wind is blowing from the east, a long iron is a must.
Standing on this elevated tee, with the small green below, bunkers on both sides, and a long iron in your hands, you will be very happy with a par on this hole.
A fairway wood or a long iron to an elevated fairway followed by a wedge to a severely elevated green will be what most players will use. Although, this is a short par four, and may seem easy, trouble can be found in the bunker placed directly in front of the green. This hole has a reputation of being either a soft touch or a disaster.
Another par four that can be driven but should not be tried. The hole is sneaky tight with trees on either side. The better players hit a long iron off the tee and then a short iron to the green.
Dog-leg left par four from yet another panoramic elevated tee. A player must hit over the Highland Creek twice to get home. Driver or three wood off the tee and then a short iron. A beautiful and subtly tricky hole.
This hole is unique in that it crosses Scarborough Golf Club Road. Drives must carry uphill to a plateau. Trees line both sides of the fairway. Mid to short iron is required to hit the elevated, well trapped green. As with all the greens A.W. Tillinghast designed, if you end up above the hole, you pay the price.
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