Photo Review: Islington Golf Club

Reading Time: 4 minutes Islington is one of the under-the-radar Stanley Thompson designs that makes for an enjoyable day on the golf course.

Reading Time: 4 minutes
  • Etobicoke, Ontario
  • Private
  • Stanley Thompson (1923)

If you’ve ever heard Etobicoke and Stanley Thompson in the same sentence, it’s probably because one of Thompson’s most famous designs, St. George’s Golf & Country Club, resides in the Toronto suburb. But head south about 5 minutes from St. George’s and you find Islington Golf Club, also designed by Thompson 6 years earlier. While not the championship test St. George’s is, there’s no doubt Islington is a good golf course that’s very enjoyable and has some very sporty greens.

The approach to the mid-length par 4, 1st
The par 5, 2nd let’s longer players get home in two
The tee shot at the par 4, 3rd plays down at the bottom of the valley
A mid-length par 3, the 4th starts to get a sense of the urban setting of Islington Golf Club
The approach to the short par 5, 5th features a redan template green, heavily sloping from the front left to the back right
The short par 3, 6th features an absolutely wicked green complex
The approach to the mid-length par 4, 7th features a beautiful view of the expansive clubhouse
A controversial hole, the short (sub-300) par 4, 8th features a dogleg left tee shot
An uphill wedge shot awaits players to finish the front nine
A long par 3, downhill is a Stanley Thompson centrepiece of any golf course he designed. The 200 yard par 3, 10th is a standout at Islington
A sharp dogleg right, the par 5, 11th plays the longest of the 5’s, but is still gettable in two
Over some pretty boring land, the 12th is a mid range par 4 to a green heavily sloping to the right
Once a par 5, the 450 yard par 4, 13th plays down and back up some rolling topography
A sporty green complex on the par 5, 14th, which plays as a 475 yard par 5 and is a good chance at birdie
A mid-length par 3, the 15th has been worked on in recent years by Ian Andrew, who helped move this green to the left, raise it and improve drainage
The 16th is a short par 4 that plays sharply up the valley to a perched green complex
A semi-blind approach shot, the par 4, 17th is a difficult 390 yard par 4 that plays over the creek
A strong finisher to a 6400 yard golf course, Islington’s 18th is a 424 yard par 4 pressed up against the river

Is Islington a top 10 golf course in Canada? No. But there’s no doubt it’s an enjoyable 18 holes in the middle of the city. It’s hard to distinguish what is Ian Andrew and what is Stanley Thompson here, but it’s got a fantastic set of greens that make it memorable.

Islington isn’t currently rated in the top 100 golf courses of Canada, but I’d make a case that is probably could be. Sure, it would be on the low end of the list, but I’ve played a bunch of top 100’s that I think are objectively worse than Islington, and having another Stanley Thompson on the list isn’t a bad thing at all.

Have you played Islington Golf Club? Did you enjoy it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!


  • Andrew Harvie

    Based in Toronto, but having lived in Alberta, British Columbia, Montana, Arizona, and Texas, I have been lucky enough to see over 400 golf courses and counting!

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