A few weeks ago we published the Club at Bond Head North course review HERE. It spawned a 50/50 response on how others felt on the golf course on the TGN forums HERE. I played the North Course first, with the South a couple days later. Needless to say, they are polar opposite golf courses.
The North is rambunctious and demanding off the tee while the South is a bit more spacious laid out over more suitable terrain for golf. The North is bent grass, the South is fine fescue. On paper, the South sounded extremely appealing to my tastes.
Opening up, Bond Head South’s beefy layout starts on a generous 356-yard par 4. Slightly downhill and a single bunker on the left awaits. For most, less than driver—even if it is a three wood—is likely the play to stay short of the gorge.
The 2nd is the first of a handful of strong par 4’s. Working its way up the hill and slightly to the left, the 435-yard two-shot hole has trouble up the left.
The approach plays to a cheeky green complex with a false front. In fact, there are a lot of green complexes on the South that are interesting.
The first of the par 3’s really is not a par 3, but a short par 4 as the 254-yard price tag suggests. The green complex falls off around the green, and is honestly a clever way to provide difficulty. I suspect, even from the members tees, most will hit a long iron, hybrid or wood here. From 254 yards, driver might sometimes be the play!
Like the 2nd, the 4th heads uphill with a similar 435-ish yardage. Navigating the dotted bunkers is the first step.
The bunker on the left side angles the green from the front right to the back left suggesting an approach shot from the right side is preferred. The uphill nature of this golf hole emphasizes that, and the green contours illustrate it further.
After climbing the hill, the golfer is greeted with a delightful 181-yard par 3.
It is one of those green complexes that you cannot really put into words, yet is just brilliant. The contours are big and extreme are a lot of fun to putt on.
From the top of the hill, the 353-yard par 4, 6th is a great opportunity at birdie, and for the longest hitters, the potential to hit the green. The split fairway here also makes sense, with the right side being the more difficult side of the two, but the better angle into the green.
As you can see from the photo below, the left side is a more demanding approach shot in.
The 7th starts a very beefy three-hole close to the front nine with the long par 5 measuring 627 yards.
The lay-up is demanding and interesting with a centreline bunker dictating the shot asked.
The approach is fairly standard, but the contours in the green complex are once again of high quality.
With an open tee shot, this gargantuan par 4 measuring a whopping 500 yards from the 7500-yard tee marker invites a big drive to start the 8th.
From there, the green complex ever-so-slightly falls away from the front edge, and with a long iron or wood in hand, this makes the world of a difference.
The 9th finishes on a sophisticated conclusion with a creative par 5.
With a green complex tucked on the right hand side, the layup is ideally played to the left to set up an easier iron shot in. From the right, the trees may block the golfer and cause problems.
If navigated successfully, a fairly normal uphill iron or wedge awaits.
Atop a high ridge, the 10th is an attractive looking tee ball. Two bunkers eat into the hole up the right, while bunkers through the fairway (or the left, depending on how you look at it) come into play if an aggressive enough line is not taken.
The strategy is best suited from the left side of the fairway, but honestly, the hole does not emphasize the concept enough which means the golfer can really hit it anywhere and be okay. Even at 423 yards from the back markers, most golfers will have a shorter club in. The green complex feels like a bowl of sorts, with a backstop in the back portion, and certainly does not encourage play from the left side.
Like the 10th, the 11th is a generous tee shot from a high point playing downhill. Shorter, at 385 yards, a grouping of bunkers rides up the right side of the hole.
I really enjoyed the orientation of the hole, which has the green complex tucked to the right like something you may find at Pinehurst No. 2 (see: the 11th hole), forcing the golfer to play close to the bunkers up the right. From the left side, the bunker on the left seems menacing on this slightly pushed up green.
The 12th is a monstrous par 5 at 662 yards! Even from the 6400 yard tee box, it is 601 yards. Mean!
Hopefully you find the fairway and set up a fighting chance at getting there in three (or even four). The second shot is played from below the fairway, with a massive bunker up the left.
The approach shot into the green is big and spacious, but the green is no cake walk. A small ridge in the back falls off to a collection area.
The 13th provides a gentle reprieve from the 12th and before the similarly strong 14th.
The tee shot is fairly standard, while the approach shot plays over a gully fronting the green complex.
At 493 yards from the back deck (420 from the blues), the 14th is likely the most difficult par 4 on the golf course. A centreline bunker splits the fairway and really complicates the hole, but given the positioning in the overall routing, a perfectly demanding par 4.
A slight false front on this uphill approach will catch shots short, but the bunker on the right will likely cause havoc for more golfers.
The pushed up green on the 244-yard par 3, 15th is difficult, but encouraging from an architectural standpoint. The architecture is sophisticated, yet fitting given the land presented.
Offering yet another interlude from the madness of Bond Head South’s back nine, the 520-yard par 5, 16th is the risk-reward par 5 where matches are won or lost. With a gorge up the right, the golfer is asked the question: how much to challenge the inside corner on the right?
After turning the corner, the second half of the hole is easy on the eyes, but strategically sound.
The well-protected green is ideally suited for the risk-reward element of the hole, putting the 16th amongst my favourite holes on property.
Speaking of good golf holes, the 209-yard par 3, 17th is a stout penultimate hole. The green complex’s funky shape is fun and provides some interesting pin locations.
Coming out of the valley, the 446-yard par 4 finishing hole has bunkering flanking the left side.
For the ideal angle, the left side is preferred.
I really enjoyed Bond Head’s South course and felt it was slightly underrated at 138th in Canada. Jason Straka really did some interesting things here, and I would go back to the South Course again.
When comparing the North vs. South, the South is my clear choice, but I could see some of the upkeep issues, like neglected bunkering and some minor grassing lines, turning off some people. Regardless, I would recommend Bond Head’s South course, and really look forward to the next time I make it up.