TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley is a jack of all trades hosting events (including the Mackenzie Tour), buddy trips, day trips from Toronto and it has the distinct honour of being the only golf facility in the country to have three courses in the Top 100.
With three really good golf courses featuring different styles of architecture we get a number of really great golf holes. The goal of this article was to find the ideal 18 holes on property. What’s the best first hole? Best 18th hole? There are no rules or quotas. This is strictly about the best hole from either the Heathlands, Hoot or North Courses.
1st hole — Heathlands course
515 yards, par 5
The opening hole at Heathlands is a friendly introduction to the golf course. Three bunkers lay in the driving zone with two directly in the fairway. For big hitters, a blind landing area over the hill awaits on this reachable, dogleg left par 5. Two circular pot-bunker-inspired hazards are short left of the green, but it’s the aesthetics of the first hole that knock it out of the park. With fescue, a rock wall and a different style of bunkering from typical modern golf courses in Ontario, the first at Heathlands is a treat.
2nd hole — North course
472 yards, par 4
Doug Carrick’s architecture style is dominated by playing angles and width, letting players choose their own path on the tee shot to set up either a more difficult or easier second shot depending on how aggressive they are on their first swing.
The 2nd on the North Course is a perfect representation of that with a big, brawny par 4. A singular bunker cut on the left side of this canted left-to-right fairway awaits with the short right corner of the green bunkered. Those who don’t want an uphill long iron or wood over the bunker must challenge the bunker off the tee, but for those who favour their approach game over their tee ball, there’s an ample amount of room right.
3rd hole — Heathlands course
411 yards, par 4
From an elevated tee, the third hole at Heathlands is laid out all in front of you. Down the left side is a stream that comes into play, which you eventually cross to get to the green, and while it’s a big fairway, two bunkers down the right await those with a weak stomach. The golfer who challenges the left will be handsomely welcomed with a shorter club in, while those who bail out right will have a very difficult iron shot to a well-guarded, small green.
4th hole — North course
158 yards, par 3
For most of us, a short par 3 is the definition of fun, and the North’s fourth is—if you hit the green. A massive bunker short left looks like the main defence, but anything short or right is likely even worse find a deep collection area. The green features quite a bit of movement, but the beauty of the fourth is it looks relatively simple, yet disaster lurks all around.
5th hole — Hoot course
472 yards, par 4
A wonderful, big swinging dogleg right par 4, the fifth on the Hoot lets you choose how aggressive you want to be on the tee shot. There’s a lot of room left, but that leaves a longer approach in and likely from a downhill lie. For the courageous player, cutting the corner sets up a great birdie chance. It’s a modern take on the “Cape Hole” and well-executed at that.
6th hole — North course
350 yards, par 4
The single most undulating fairway on the North, the short 350-yard par 4 provides an abundance of options given the contours the golfer plays over. A bunker up the right is carry-able for the big hitter and the kicker slope might get you to the front edge of the green. Those who lay back have to negotiate a collection area taking balls down to the lower portion of the fairway. It’s a difficult pitch up and over the short left bunker from there.
7th hole — Hoot course
440 yards, par 4
The seventh at the Hoot might possibly be the best hole on property. A longer par 4, the tee shot is best placed directly over the tree, but there’s room left to work with. From there, you trek up a hill to a green set in a natural amphitheater. Approach shots are from the right are favoured here, which is the more difficult tee shot, but as with many Carrick holes, the less-aggressive line is often safe.
8th hole — Hoot course
185 yards, par 3
Working back down the hill from which the seventh climbed, the eighth at Hoot is a wonderful little par 3. Cut at the base of a hill with a big bunker short right and an angled green to the left, it’s simple, yet elegant in delivery. A splendid par 3.
9th hole — North Course
432 yards, par 4
In similar nature to the seventh on the Hoot, the ninth on the North is a wonderful mid-length par 4 playing up a hill. Doglegging to the right, challenging the inside corner of the dogleg sets up a more welcoming second shot, while left is a longer club in. The green is tucked on top of a hillside and provides a wonderful heroic finish to the front nine.
10th hole — Hoot course
216 yards, par 3
A massive waste bunker up the entire left side of this hole is the main defence with the green tucked behind it. A small, but useful kicker slope awaits short right and provides a wonderful relief from an otherwise difficult, long par 3.
11th hole — Heathlands course
561 yards, par 5
A strong par 5 playing straight into the headwind, two bunkers left and one right frame this hole, but the elevated tee lets you give it a good rip likely taking those bunkers out of play. From there, two bunkers are in the layup area, but the main defence is the bunker at the centre front of the green, which plays bigger than it looks. It’s a fun risk-reward par 5, and one where you can pick up a shot (or two) on your opponents.
12th — Heathlands
174 yards, par 3
Perhaps the craziest green Doug Carrick has ever built, the par 3, 12th at the Heathlands features three distinct playing areas. As opposed to playing directly into the slopes, however, the green is angled 45 degrees to the right, making the back right portion the longest to get close to, while the short left portion is the easiest. A single bunker and copious hummocks and rolls in the collection areas around the green make recovery shots interesting for those who miss the green.
13th hole — North course
554 yards, par 5
The catalyst of the North is its big scale: bunkers, greens, and yes, fairways — the 13th embodies that entirely. A massive fairway with two bunkers on the right and one left frame this tee shot. From there, the hole works gently down a slope, sidewinding its way through the layup bunkers to the green. It’s the bunker complex short left of the green, however, that dominates the strategy of this hole. With the entire hole sloping left to right, the bunkers are placed exactly where you would want to hit it. Those who can shape it right to left off a sidehill lie or hit it higher have the best chance to get home in two, or those who challenge the right side as much as possible.
14th hole — North course
176 yards, par 3
Ian Andrew, then associate of Doug Carrick, tweeted that the par 3, 14th on the North was inspired by famed Alister Mackenzie design Royal Melbourne, and the sprawling bunker style to a pushed up green represents that inspiration. It perhaps provides the best view on the North, dropping down the hill, but the subtle contours of the green complex makes this hole truly great.
15th hole — Hoot course
138 yards, par 3
A wonderful short par 3, the 15th on the Hoot requires an all-carry approach over a massive waste bunker to a green featuring many pockets of pin locations. If the massive waste bunker wasn’t scary enough, three bunkers long also await. Like a lot of great short par 3’s, the variety in how the hole plays depending on the pin is excellent. Long left provides a difficult shot over a ridge, while short right to the front tongue gets pinched by the bunkers long and waste bunker short.
16th hole — Heathlands course
196 yards, par 3
Like the 12th on the Heathlands, the 16th also provides a wild, exceptional, yet difficult green. At 196 yards from the back marker, it’s quite long, especially to a pin on the left over the bunker. The fun comes when the pin is down on the right, which is known as the “hole in one” pin at the base of the ridge. Thanks to the green complex alone, with four distinct levels, this hole is among the most interesting to play day-in, day-out.
17th hole — Hoot course
352 yards, par 4
The waterfall is a bit over the top, but the split fairway of the Hoot, in spirit of Lido, is a wonderful penultimate hole. Running down the middle is a creek, with the bigger fairway on the left, and the green, plus a smaller, longer carry fairway on the right. Those who need to make a push down the stretch to win a match will go up the right, while conservative players might go left. There’s an abundance of options, all of which require at least one difficult shot. Pick your poison on this gambling, short par 4.
18th hole — Heathlands course
418 yards, par 4
It’s not the best hole on property, but the it is the best 18th on property thanks to the smart strategies presented from the get-go off the tee. An undulating fairway grants some funky lies, but the player who aims right over one of the three bunkers is greeted with a flatter lie with a better angle. The green, divided by two ridges, is another aggressive complex, providing a wonderful array of pin locations on a day-to-day basis.
Front nine: 3,435 yards, par 35
Back nine: 2,785 yards, par 33
Total: 6,220 yards, par 68
Heathlands (6): holes 1, 3, 11, 12, 16, 18
Hoot (6): holes 5, 7, 8, 10, 15, 17
North (6): holes 2, 4, 6, 9, 13, 14