Review for Scarboro

Reviewer Score:


Scarboro is the only A.W. Tillinghast design outside of the United States, which makes it quite noteworthy in itself. This is especially the case with the resume Tillinghast built over his years as an architect, with Winged Foot GC, Bethpage Black, San Francisco GC and Baltusrol GC among his many celebrated designs.

The club went through with an extensive bunker restoration by Gil Hanse and Ian Andrew about 10 years ago and the results are absolutely stunning. The flat bunker floors give way to steep grass faces and the look is very unique and incredibly photogenic and while I have never seen the course before the bunker work, I have to imagine that the members of the club are quite pleased with the end result.

I can’t speak highly enough about the experience of playing Scarboro. The routing is kind of unique in that it doesn’t feature the traditional ‘loop’, with nines returning to the clubhouse. You basically set out through the course, across the road and eventually come back, finally reaching the clubhouse again on the 18th.

Conditioning was absolutely spectacular. The greens were reminiscent of Oakmont and I can’t give a higher compliment. They had to be running at about an 11 or 12 on the stimp the day we played and with the slopes on those greens, it was as much challenge as you could ask for.

We loved the variety out there, with many short fours that presented multiple options and a very challenging set of par threes. The bunkering, as indicated previously, is tremendous both visually and from a playability standpoint. The course is a hell of a great walk too.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the stately Victorian-style clubhouse. It’s a gorgeous piece of architecture and features a wraparound veranda that overlooks the practice green, the 19th hole (another cool feature) and the first tee.

The best thing I can say about Scarboro G&CC is that it is super fun to play and after finishing 18 you want to head right back out and challenge the course again, a trademark of all great courses. There is some quirk here, most notably on the 18th hole, which requires a blind tee shot hit over a fence and a major roadway but that hole does little to detract from the experience.

I think Scarboro stacks up against the best this country has to offer and believe it matches up favourably with a place like Westmount, which I also love. Perhaps it would fall slightly below that course but my point has been made. Scarboro is a wonderful members course, one people could play every day and feel still feel challenged every time.

I can’t wait to go back and play it again.

Read more at Now on the Tee:

Date: September 25, 2020

Read all reviews about Scarboro

Read all reviews from this reviewer