George Cumming, the 1905 Canadian Open champion, designed the course at Scarboro Golf & Country Club and it opened in 1914, two years after the club was formed. Ten years later, A. W. Tillinghast remodeled 11 of the 18 holes on the layout. Surprisingly, the course is the one and only remaining Canadian project that ‘Tillie” worked on.
Stanley Thompson is also credited with some input, reducing the degree of slope on the 8th hole in 1947 and Graham Cooke was involved in later renovation work, but the course was more recently renovated by Ian Andrew and Gil Hanse.
The 144-acre Scarboro Golf & Country Club site was the venue of four Canadian Opens and three of these championships were decided by one stroke (Sam Snead in 1940, Dave Douglas in 1953 and Doug Ford in 1963) with Bobby Locke winning the 1947 event by two shots from Ed “Porky” Oliver.
Set out on a rolling landscape where fairways are framed by towering trees, greens are often severely contoured and a dozen holes are interrupted by the winding Highland Creek. Scarboro is an Olde Worlde gem which just might be the most underrated course in the country.
Despite a modest overall length of around 6,500 yards, the course possesses a rich mix of holes. Its par five holes at the 576-yard 1st, 560-yard 6th and 527-yard 10th are all solid three-shotters whilst its par threes (particularly the 204-yard 2nd) are a delight to play.Those holes are very good but many believe the 284-yard 7th and 320-yard 15th holes to be the real stars of the show at Scarboro as they are regarded as two of the best short par fours in Canadian golf.
This mature stately private course offers wide fairways and severe elevation changes. The layout is a good combination of short and long holes. Be forewarned that some of your tee shots must carry over hazards. Three of the par-3s are over 200 yards and one is at 100 yards. The 5th and 7th are short par-4’s but the greens are raised and very small, so your approach shot has to be accurate.
The 5th is the signature hole, a downhill par-3 200+ yards with a river on the right. The course was in excellent condition. My only negative that they are giant oak trees standing in the middle of 1st and 9th fairways which probably can not be taken down for environmental reasons. This is a great course and a must play if you get an invitation.