Opening in 1959, London Hunt is the site of one of the very few Robert Trent Jones designs in Canada and – keeping it in the family – Jones’s son Rees was called in to renovate the layout forty years after it debuted.
The club was actually formed in 1885 as a hunting club with dog kennels established in converted farm buildings and, as the years progressed, archery, tennis and golf facilities were added to the range of activities on offer to members.
The first course in 1904 was a 9-hole effort, expanding to a full 18-hole layout in 1917 but, with residential developments encroaching on the property, the club acquired another 275-acre site – enough for a 27-hole complex, which was actually planned but never constructed – for its present course.
The updated London Hunt course can be stretched to over 7,200 yards from the back tees and the routing favours golfers who fade the golf ball as most of the par four and par five fairways dogleg left to right. Some of the greens are huge, indeed the putting surface of the 10th measures 100 yards in length. The River Thames bounds the course at holes 9 to 11 but it never comes into play.A number of important championships have been held at London Hunt over the years including the Canadian Amateur Open (1930, 1938, 1954, 2010), the Canadian Ladies Amateur Open (1953, 1980), the Canadian Women’s Open (2006) and the Canadian Open (1970).
The course achieved worldwide recognition in 1969 when it featured in the “Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf” series of televised challenge matches when Ben Arda, Roberto DeVicenzo and Dan Sikes competed in a lighthearted yet competitive 3-ball tie.