Carruthers Creek

I usually have my doubts about a golf course when I’m the only one playing, but in the case of the Lake Breeze Course at Carruther’s Creek, I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Pure and simple, this is an undiscovered little bit of paradise and my playing tim was one hour and 30 minutes. That includes two lengthy walks from green to tee as well as experimenting with shots from different levels of tees. The Lake Breeze blues are tough enough for any handicap, particularly under-birdied and over-bogeyed me.

But Lake Breeze is exactly what we need around the GTA, what with so many of the new courses being in the premium bracket. When you only have two hours to spare and are cash-crunched, a quality course for just such a reasonable price is a rare find.

Besides Lake Breeze, Carruthers Creek also has a nine-hole executive course a driving range and an immense Scottish style putting green, faintly reminiscent of the Himalayas at The Old Course. The nine-hole Lake Breeze course has been carved out of a wetlands and has been skillfully fashioned to blend in with this environmentally sensitive area, with its own boardwalk yet. A sign beside the fifth green implores golfers to keep out of the wetlands, but no sane person would ever venture into that Louisiana-style swamp. The par-fours are much more inventively designed than the second par-five, where only bozos get bogeys. The best approach shot is reserved for the first par-five, with a knoll to the right of the green and deep water to the left.

Yet what is really admirable about Lake Breeze is the greens. They are small undulating and totally fascinating to putt, although the back corner pin on the mesmerizing ninth green was the meanest pin location encountered by The Bogey Man in this century. Mean, mean, mean! How could a green which looks so fair act so foul?

The most creatively designed holes were the first and last holes, both short par-fours. The first fairway flares down into a valley with a pond on the starboard side and then up a hill to a long narrow green with a well-weathered old barn as your aiming point. The last hole is even shorter at 274 yards , but shoots straight uphill, a narrow hillside festooned with traps and fraught with danger. As one of those rare hillside superfits that always plays harder than it looks, this much I know is true – never , never, never go over the back of this green, where it’s better to be 60 yards short than one foot long. This is where I really blew it.
Two Tips – Try a power fade with a five-wood off the first. Ditto on the ninth.

Reprinted with permission of The Bogey Man and The Toronto Star.


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