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Destination Guide: Toronto

Destination Guide

Destination Guide: Toronto

Two words seem to come up whenever the subject is Toronto: cosmopolitan, and livable.

Orson Wells once described Toronto as "New York run by the Swiss." It's a perfect description of the city's sophistication, vibrancy, and clean, well-ordered environment. In short, Toronto is one of the world's most exciting cities -- with the welcome bonus of good manners.

For golfers, though, "livability" means a choice of challenging, world class golf courses nearby -- and Toronto does not disappoint. The 200 courses within an hour's drive of downtown make a good showing on Canada's list of top 50, including signature courses designed by some of the world's top golf architects.

Standout golf courses in Toronto:

Glen Abbey, Canada's most famous course, is open to anyone wishing to challenge Jack Nicklaus' first solo design. Opened in 1976, Glen Abbey is held in high esteem by Tour players for its difficulty -- 7,112 yards and a 140 slope 140 from the black tees. "The Valley," a five-hole stretch from the 11th tee, is renowned as one of the PGA Tour's toughest, adding to the Glen Abbey mystique.

At Hockley Valley, acclaimed golf architect Thomas McBroom created an unforgettable Scottish-style links course worthy of this beautiful natural landscape. Centerpiece of a 300-acre, four-season luxury resort, the course winds through the hill and vale terrain with its immaculate fairways, imposing bunkers and fast greens.

No challenge was overlooked at Royal Woodbine, a brilliant Michael Hurdzan design just minutes from downtown Toronto in the Mimico Creek Valley. Seventy-six bunkers and water on all 18 holes will keep your full attention on the game.

Osprey Valley's Heathlands Links course is reminiscent of a true Scottish links, a style that has special appeal for course architect Doug Carrick. Just one of the unique things about Osprey Valley is the way the layout mimics the dunes of a seaside course. It's said that Osprey Valley is a challenging course on the best of days, and a truly tough one when the wind blows. But for the adventurous golfer, Osprey Valley is always a memorable experience.

Some like it tough, and for them there's St. Andrew's Valley. This immaculate course is as beautiful as it is challenging, with water coming into play on 14 holes, and wickedly undulating greens. Called "one of the five best public courses in Ontario" by Score magazine -- and simply "Canada's toughest golf course" by others -- St. Andrew's Valley prides itself on being a real player's course, designed and managed by avid golfers.

Wooden Sticks sits among the rolling pine forests of the Uxbridge countryside, just 40 minutes north east of Toronto. The first of its kind in Ontario, Wooden Sticks brings together some of the world's most famous golf holes. In designing Wooden Sticks, Ron Garl has captured the spirit found in some of today's most recognizable golf landscapes, including Augusta, St. Andrew's, Royal Troon, Carnoustie, Sawgrass, and Pine Valley.

Voted Best New Canadian Golf Course for 1995 by Golf Digest, Angus Glen has a devoted following for its beautifully sculpted traditional links design, superior layout, sensitivity to natural contours, and strategic use of water -- with Bruce Creek coming into play on seven holes. Angus Glen is certainly one of course architect Doug Carrick's finest achievements.

See also

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