500 or Less: Ladies Golf Club of Toronto
In ‘500 or less,’ author Alex Hunter discusses a golf course in 500 words or less to provide a quick overview. Furthermore, the series introduces a “star rating,” which is based off an opinion on fun factor/repeatability, walkability, routing/design aspects, plus cost & conditioning. Check back in March for the next instalment (featuring a true hidden gem) of the series!
- Toronto, Ontario
- Stanley Thompson (1926)
Opening in 1926, Ladies Golf Club of Toronto is the only remaining golf club in North America created by women, for women. The course was built by Stanley Thompson at the request of Ada McKenzie, the club’s founder, who often was unable to play elsewhere simply because she was a Woman. While the club is built for Women, Men have enjoyed annual guest access since 1936 with restricted perks and playing privileges.
In recent years, the club has made some changes. Starting with selling the old 9th hole, to make way for luxury condominiums. The boost of cash provided the club with the ability to make some improvements to the golf course, adding a new second hole and revising some others.
The championship routing plays at a hair over 6000 yards. For the longer hitter, many holes remove the driver option, leaving the golfer with a similar approach they may have elsewhere. With tree lined fairways, and smaller and sometimes severely sloping greens this is still a great test no matter how far or well you hit it.
Holes and Features of Interest
The 2nd hole is a magnificent Par 3 surrounded by bunkers and has lots of undulations in the green. This new hole replaced the 9th.
The 6th is one of the more scenic and is, in my opinion, a valley template. Sloping down and rising back to the green. This short Par 4 has a large tree down the left of the fairway. The green is tucked into the hillside with a bunker short some 20 yards. Approach shots are often obscured by the elevation change.
The Par 4 15th green site is framed well by bunkers and has a wonderful approach to a green with a small false front.
The Par 4 17th was one of my favourites. This driveable 270-yard Par 4 is exciting. Driving the green is possible but be aware of the bunkers and going anywhere left plays into the hazard.
The finisher is a neat Par 3 which plays uphill to a semi-blind green. The natural contours and ripples in the terrain are nice to look at. The green is very tricky, missing left or right is not advised. Accuracy is the name of the game at Ladies.
The 9 hole alternate routing
Finally, Ladies Golf Club is uniquely comprised of 20 holes. With an out and back routing, those who prefer to play 9 can play this alternate loop. The 9-holes is comprised of holes 1-7, 8A and 9A. Having played all 20 holes, 9A is certainly one of the more interesting on the course.