St George's Golf & Country Club - Ontario - Ontario - Canada

St George’s Golf and Country Club,
1668 Islington Avenue,
Etobicoke,
Ontario M9A 3M9,
Canada


  • +1 416 231 3393

  • Jason Clarke

  • Stanley Thompson, C.E. (Robbie) Robinson, Doug Carrick, Tom Doak and Ian Andrew

  • Tim Moore

The Royal York Golf Club, as St George’s Golf and Country Club was formerly known, was founded in the Roaring Twenties with the help of Canadian Pacific Railway money. Stanley Thompson, one of North America’s most talented architects was commissioned to fashion a championship course in downtown Toronto, close to the shores of Lake Ontario and in 1929 the course opened for play. In 1992, Doug Carrick was commissioned to renovate St George’s. We were unclear as to exactly what work Carrick implemented, so we asked Doug directly and his response follows:

“As you know Stanley Thompson designed the original course which was built in 1928 and 1929. C.E. (Robbie) Robinson was a newly hired design associate at the time and St. George's was the first golf course Robbie worked on with Thompson. Robbie consulted with the club following Thompson's death until his own death in 1989. I began working with Robbie Robinson in 1981 and established my firm in 1985. I continued to work with Robbie until his death in 1989. We became partners in 1987. So there have been only three architects that have worked on the course since it opened 1929, Thompson, Robinson and myself.”

Doug continued, saying that Robbie Robinson made the most significant changes to the course between 1965 and 1967 in preparation for the Canadian Open in 1968, which mainly comprised of lengthening a number of holes. Since then, Carrick has constructed a new green on hole 10, added various new tees and built new practice facilities for the club. In 2001 a bunker restoration was undertaken by his associate at the time Ian Andrew. In 2014, St George's rung further changes as outlined by Ian Andrew:

"Tom Doak and myself rebuilt the greens in July and August of 2014. During this process all the greens relocated or rebuilt by other architects (3rd, 4th, 9th, 10th and 15th) were renovated to match the original greens. The most significant change was the restoration of the original 3rd hole back to its Stanley Thompson configuration.

The club continues to restore a few more original bunkers each year and has undertaken a massive tree removal program to address issues of sunlight and to open up the landscape to view."

With tight twisting fairways and undulating terrain, St George’s is a man and woman-sized test of golf and the club has proudly played host to the Canadian Open on five occasions (the Open returned to St George's in 2010 after a 42-year gap) and the LPGA Classic also on five occasions.

Today’s layout measures a tad more than 7,000 yards from the back tees and with par set at 71, St George’s really is a serious challenge, especially at the two demanding closing holes, which were both par fives, but now they are each taxing par fours, having been converted for the Canadian Open. #17 measures 486 yards and its devilishly narrow, crowned green calls for an exacting approach The home hole is just as tough (465 yards uphill) to a steep, heavily bunkered green.

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Reviews for St George's Golf & Country Club - Ontario

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Description: With tight twisting fairways and undulating terrain, St George’s Golf & Country Club is a man and woman-sized test of golf and five-time host to the Canadian Open. Rating: 5.6 out of 6 Reviews: 7

This golf course is almost perfect. As a mid single digit handicap, the Blue Tees at ~6800 is a tough test. I hit more 3/4 irons than on any other golf course (200-215 yards). The greens are the best I’ve seen in Canada. Combining the history with the day to day test, you won’t find a better place to get your butt kicked if your long irons and putter aren’t on point.

There are too many favorite holes to mention, but what I will say is more than 13/14 holes on the course are on that’s favorite list. This place is a must play in Canada. The club is about 10 minutes from the airport, so check it out!

6 / 6
St George's Golf & Country Club - Ontario
December 03, 2018


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A visit to St. George’s Golf & Country Club is essential to start to understand the architectural genius of Stanley Thompson – arguably his greatest gift to the world of golf. This course is awesome!

Not only is it awesome, it’s been the influence of many an architect. Including a young Robert Trent Jones who St George's Golf & Country Club - Photo by reviewer went on to utilize many of its principles at Peachtree, his best effort.

Upon arrival at St. George’s, which finds itself just outside the bustle of downtown Toronto, you immediately realize you have landed someplace extremely special.

From the clubhouse you make your way under the highway and up to the pro shop. Hard to believe the city has grown up around this course as during your round it feels totally isolated. The routing takes you out through this highly undulated landscape over rolling hills and through their troughs. The start takes us from an elevated tee through a small valley on the tee shot and then up the back side of the valley to a green nestled at the top. Natural in its setting, the green slopes severely back to front with the slope of the hill. Thompson most certainly allowed the St George's Golf & Country Club - Photo by reviewer landscape and its features to dictate the routing, yet the end result was a seamless integration giving the idea that the course had always been there, one with nature.

Below is a short description of some of my favorite holes:

The par 3, 3rdhole demonstrates perfectly his genius as the deception has you thinking on the tee that the green is resting behind the small hill while in fact there is another 50 yards of fairway fronting it. The bunkers left and far out of play add to the illusion of this tricky par 3.

The 4this a reachable par 5 where a solid drive up the right side will catch the slope and run down the hills allowing a risk reward shot at the green in two. A hard back to front sloping green protects par on this hole.

The par 4 10this a slight dogleg left and plays to a highly elevated plateau green. The 11this a medium-long par 3 playing St George's Golf & Country Club - Photo by reviewer to a back to front sloping green with a false front and a bunker front left protecting it.

The 12tha par 4.5 that rewards a long drive to the left side catching a speed slot down the hills. Failure to reach this leaves a long iron or hybrid over a burn and green side bunker to a challenging green running diagonally from right to left away from the line of play.

An excellent back 9 ends with a long uphill par 4 playing back towards the highway with the clubhouse above it. Another testing green finishes things off on this brilliant course.

A day at St. George’s is not complete without enjoying a post round drink up in the clubhouse on the patio overlooking the highway and the course. It's worth a special trip to Toronto which is a wonderful city full of friendly people.

6 / 6
St George's Golf & Country Club - Ontario
September 07, 2018


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You immediately know that St. George's is going to be a great golf course when you stand on the tee and see the beautiful first hole winding its way through the rolling terrain. Stanley Thompson used the rolling terrain here very well when he routed the course. His par five holes in particular are very good, demanding holes.

For a variety of reasons, St. George’s is a wonderful place to play golf including the meandering fairways, the great use of terrain, the difficult greens and the imaginative elevated bunkers. The course is built on terrain containing a cornucopia of hills, valleys, ridges, nobs, inclines, hollows and hillocks. As Tom Doak mentions in his Confidential Guide to Golf, Thompson routed many holes alongside or through valleys rather than over them. This lead to a world-class golf course.

The greatest stretch of holes on the course are numbers twelve through fifteen, which are routed through the hilliest part of the course. The 12th hole has a green greatly elevated from the fairway off on the left side of the hole. The 14th is a picturesque hole with elevated bunkers above the green. True to his name, The Toronto Terror left us with many downhill sand shots above greens that slope away from you.

John Sabino is the author of How to Play the World’s Most Exclusive Golf Clubs

4 / 6
St George's Golf & Country Club - Ontario
December 01, 2016


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Excellent course - the recent restoration by architects Ian Andrew and Tom Doak should be listed in this course's summary.
6 / 6
St George's Golf & Country Club - Ontario
November 03, 2015


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Both times that I have played at St. George's have been excellent experiences. The conditioning of the course was fantastic with some of the fastest greens I have putted on. Though neither time, I played as well as I had hoped, the topography combined with the "old school" design made St George's a round to remember.
6 / 6
St George's Golf & Country Club - Ontario
November 12, 2014


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St George's is an excellent golf course however, the 8th hole is quirky as is 10 and 12. Aside from these obvious flaws (which could be corrected easily) the course flows between majestic trees and undulating fairways. The greens are super slick and a challenge.The range requires a power cart to get to and, you cannot see any of the course from the club house.
5 / 6
St George's Golf & Country Club - Ontario
August 28, 2007


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Gordon
January 02, 2012
As a member I would suggest that we regard #8 as a challenging long par 3 that plays tougher than it first appears with a premium on the tee shot. #10 and #12 reward accuracy off the tee but still require a precision approach with a short to mid iron. Par is a good score on all 3 of these. Hardly "quirky" and certainly outside the top 10,000 quirky holes in North America...in my humble opinion. As for the ranking - no guest I have ever brought to our course with playing experience at over 50 Canadian or N.A. courses has ever disagreed with our #1 ranking.
Quite rightly the No.1 in Canada for my money. St George’s is simply an incredible course and a stunning club. The course makes great use of the terrain and is routed cleverly and you’ll need to take the right line off the tee boxes, which are shorter and faster than the greens at my home club. The greens themselves are lightning fast and devilishly borrowed. The condition here is as good as any I have played in the world and I would come back here in a heartbeat. Simply first-class.
6 / 6
St George's Golf & Country Club - Ontario
August 15, 2006


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john
April 13, 2009
The previous comment on holes 8, 10 and 12 is very accurate. Also, you cannot see any of the course from the club house, you must take a cart to get to the practice range (because they sold off land) and, it sits on one of Toronto's busiest streets. St Georges may be in the top 10 in Canada but you do a disservice to Canadian golf with a #1 ranking for St. Georges.
chris
January 29, 2012
Are you kidding, busiest street in Toronto. Islington, where do you live.