The 54 holes at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley all came from the drawing board of architect Doug Carrick. He was so impressed with his Heathlands course in 1992 that it was only a matter of time before he added the Hoot (in 2001), closely followed by the Toot (now called the North) a year later.
Why the strange names for the two newer courses? Well, according to Carrick, “owner Jerry Humeniuk thinks the golf industry takes itself a bit too seriously and that golf should be fun and entertaining – the names reflect that.”
Much of the property consisted of an old sand and gravel pit which had become flooded over time, creating some beautiful, natural looking ponds which were incorporated into the design for the Hoot.
Mature trees on site were spared during construction and remain on the edge of several fairways to challenge accuracy off the tee. Where there were no trees, Carrick planted new ones – over 8,000 of them in total.
The stands of pine and spruce trees and sparkling lakes bring a certain maturity to the Hoot course and these features, along with tee-to-green waste bunkers, frame many of the fairways.
Carrick is very pleased with the final outcome of his work on the Hoot: “There are so many good holes here. Number 3 is through some very tall pines, giving it a North Carolina feel. The 13th is a neat downhill par five with a beautiful pond on the right side of green. The most satisfying from my perspective was number 15, a short par three where we started with nothing, just a flat, open barren piece of ground. Now it's all waste area from tee to an elevated green with some of the many trees we planted. The transformation is so dramatic. It looks so natural, like it's always been there.”
I loved this golf course, tucked away in the middle of nowhere without the impression of walking through someone's back yard. No houses to be seen, beautiful stands of trees, and plenty of challenge. One of my favorite public tracks around Toronto, but, be advised, it's a long drive from downtown Toronto belying its title of TPC Toronto.
TPC Toronto @ Osprey Valley - Hoot is a fantastic Doug Carrick designed course situated about 45 minutes from Toronto. Hoot features many design queues from the famous Pine Valley, its pine tree lined fairways are well groomed and nice and wide for a majority of golfers to hit. The rough is well taken care of and is thick which punishes those who miss the fairway. The greens are in excellent condition all year round and have many tough pin locations which can challenge even the best of amateur golfers. Hoot is the most picturesque of the three courses at Osprey Valley and is generally regarded as the "best" or favourite of the clubs visitors.
Hoot is easily in my top 5 courses I have ever played at the moment of writing this review. Hoot ticks all of the boxes for me; its picturesque, the greens are fast, the course challenges all aspects of your game, there are ample tee blocks for different levels of golfer, there are birdies available on many of the holes with well executed shots, and most importantly its fun.
Hoot is a course I could play everyday for the rest of my life and be happy.