Chris Haney & Scott Abbott created the enormously successful Trivial Pursuit boardgame.
With some of the proceeds they went on to create The Devil's Pulpit Golf Course on 315 acres of rolling Caledonian Hils just out of Toronto.
Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry were appointed as architects and they moved a lot of dirt to create a dramatic course. Walk to the first tee, and be prepared for a memorable tee shot!
No expense was spared, and the clubhouse and facitlities are first rate. The course opened for play in 1990 as a private members course.
In 1992 a second course was added for the enjoyment of the members. Located a few miles from 'The Pulpit', Devil's Paintbrush was sited on 164 acres of slightly gentler terrain- but it still bucks and rolls more than most.
Devil's Paintbrush was named after a wildflower that grows on the course, and required very little earth movement. The course could be best described as 'links like'- with fescue fairways, blind shots, dramatic bunkering, and plenty of movement in the greens.
The bunkering is worthy of discussion with some huge boarded bunkers reminscent of Prestwick, small revetted bunkers, and plain vanilla bunkers as well. It's an eclectic mix, but it works!
Two sets of greens are shared, and one of these- holes 11 & 14- have a tree in the middle of the shared green!
You will also find the ruins of all old stone walled barn in the middle of the 8th fairway. And you thought you couldn't hit the broad side of a barn!
This course is pure fun!
I like the variety- with short driveable par 4's, a variety of par 3's and greens that challenge you with their movement without beating you up.
Notable holes include:
- hole 3- a short par 4 which is driveable- with bunkers awaiting, an eagle or a double bogey are both on the cards
- hole 9- a medium length dog leg par 4 with a huge green wrapped around an even larger boarded bunker...
- hole 10- a short par 4 with a moonscape of boarded bunkers to negotiate off the tee, and an elevated green that would test anyone's putting
- hole 13- a longer par 3 with a large tree framing the left side, a deep gully short right and out of bounds along the right side....
- hole 15- a shorter par 4 with water in front of the green (see pic top of page)
- hole 17- a downhill par 4 with a stone wall to carry off the tee, and more than a few bunkers to avoid.
Devil's Paintbrush has a number of teeing options, but you don't need to play it long.
In fact I would recommend you go forward and just enjoy the course.
There is enough going on to keep you fully occupied, and I think you will enjoy it more playing forward first up.
It is a course where you will benefit from the knowledge of playing a number of times, or playing with someone who has done so.
My only question mark on the course is that it is set up as a walking course, but has some longish and difficult walks from green to tee.
The cart paths are rudimentary, and at times double back along the previous fairway.
I am sure at some stage this will be rectified. I hope so because Devil's Paintbrush is the sort of course I would like to play over...
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