Doug Carrick designed all three 18-hole courses at the Osprey Valley resort, which lies between the town of Orangeville and the village of Alton, an hour’s drive northwest of Toronto. The Heathlands course debuted first in 1992 then a decade elapsed before the Hoot and Toot layouts followed, arriving within a year of each other at the start of the new millennium.
When asked about the unusual titles given to the two new courses, Carrick was quick to lay the blame on owner Jerry Humeniuk, suspecting that “there might have been some alcohol involved when they were named”. According to the architect, the owner had actually considered calling them “Royal Hoot” and “Royal Toot,” as a playful swipe at other golf clubs which were adopting the Royal prefix at that time.
Hoot and Toot were constructed simultaneously, with the wide, accommodating fairways of the Toot course intended to attract green fees from higher handicapped golfers, beginners and families. Not that, measuring all of 7,151 yards from the back tees, it can’t be regarded as a serious challenge to more accomplished players playing from the tips.Feature holes on the Toot? “The 9th is a very natural hole,” says Carrick, “because it required very little grading. It just seemed to fit into the valley. The 10th is a short downhill par four through a valley, with a pond on the right side of the green. The 14th is probably the prettiest corner on the golf course, a dog leg right par four. Nice topography, great roll to the ground.”
long and tough
Have played the Heathlands course (which is excellent) for years, but this was my first time on the Toot. Was very impressed. Course was in excellent condition. A very different feel to Heathlands and a more forgiving layout. Osprey is a big property and there is a "big course" feel to the courses (although they are eminently walkable, which is nice). Throughout the course is fair, well designed and it is a pretty spot, Thoroughly recommended and well worth the trip if you are in the Toronto area.