The Takeaway: A classic club featuring a Donald Ross design after redoing the original Tom Bendelow routing, Rosedale sits on prime Toronto real estate in the city but feels away from it all. Relatively short and not too difficult, but some quality architecture along the way. Grade B-
Designer: Donald Ross 1919 (Tom Bendelow 1909 original, John Fought 2010 restoration)
Phone Number: 416-485-9321
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Rosedale Golf Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 1901 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, Ontario M4N 2W3 – CANADA
What to Expect: Rosedale sits on some of Toronto's most prime real estate just north of downtown. As is the case with most courses over 100 years old, the property is blanketed in grass and framed in trees with very few waste areas. Tom Benedelow did the original design and in 1919 Donald Ross was brought in to redesign the course. One of the most exciting moments on the course is right off the bat with an opening tee shot that boasts an impressive downhill descent before playing along a creek for much of the routing. The front nine concludes with a driveable par four that will boost your ego before the well known uphill par three 13th stands ready to take strokes back. Of the two sides, the back nine is clearly the more intriguing group of holes with several memorable holes and more interesting terrain to play across. The routing is very well done with holes running a variety of different directions while making for a comfortable walk for those that forgo the carts that are made available. The vast majority of bunkers on the course are found greenside but half of the holes feature fairway bunkers as well. At 6500 yards from the tips it is short by today's standard and is well past its ability to host the Canadian Open, however the club did own that distinction in 1912 and 1928. Ultimately, Rosedale is the kind of course you can enjoy everyday, rarely lose a ball on, and be satisfied with the architectural merits of the hole designs. While it may not be one of Canada's elite tracks at this stage, it is a solid course with unbeatable access to the heart of Toronto.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 1st Hole – 396 Yard Par 4 – The privacy one feels at Rosedale from the 1st tee, the highest point on the course, is impressive considering it is just a handful of miles from downtown Toronto. The elevated tee plays to a fairway that bends right with a bunker on the outside of the turn that you'll want to stay right of. The drop from tee to fairway should give players an extra 30 yards on their drive to set up the approach shot to a left to right sloping green protected by a trio of bunkers. If you stay below the hole, starting your round with a birdie is certainly a possibility.
Best Par 3: 13th Hole – 206 Yards – For many people in Toronto, the 13th hole at Rosedale stands as one of the finest one-shotters in Ontario; and certainly one of its most difficult. Players often underestimate the 20 foot climb to the green and leave their tee shot short, with the deep bunker in front being a scorecard killer. The overhanging trees on the left can rob some confidence from players and push them to the right side of the green where the slope is working away from most pin placements. Greens in regulation don't happen often for first time visitors, so if you can walk away with a par you deserve a candy bar from your playing partners.
Best Par 4: 15th Hole – 406 Yards – The sweeping 15th hole plays 25 feet downhill from tee to green with the fairway bending slightly left with the terrain kicking balls in the same direction. A ball that starts at the tree line with a draw will get the maximum distance afforded before setting up an approach to a green with a false front and a deep bunker on the left. Pin positions in the back of the green bring in the risk of going long and down to the tightly mown chipping area on the left or into the trees straight back.
Best Par 5: 12th Hole – 502 Yards – The 12th is a reachable par five that needs to avoid the fairway bunker on the right for a legitimate chance to get home in two. A creek crosses the fairway 125 yards from the green and forces players to layup short of it or fly it on the second shot. The angle of the green is such that players have twice as much width as they do depth to work with and flags tucked on the right third behind the greenside bunker being the most difficult to get close to. The spine going through the green makes putts playing towards the right third extremely slick.
Birdie Time: 9th Hole – 265 Yard Par 4 – Gifts from Donald Ross don't get much greater than this; a 265 yard par four to close out the front nine. If you are playing the appropriate tee box, virtually everyone will have a chance to connect on a drive and get it to the green as long as they stay out of the three bunkers that come into play. The opening to the green is wide and will be receptive to a variety of shots with birdie putts coming in droves.
Bogey Beware: 14th Hole – 445 Yard Par 4 – The uphill 14th not only plays long, but features the most diabolical green on the golf course. A good portion of the fairway isn't visible from the tee due to the rolling nature of the terrain which also pushes balls to the right. When the conditions are firm, approach shots need to come in short and left before bounding onto the putting surface since balls that fly into the center of the green will likely catch the slope and run off the right side of the green. If you can manage a tee shot up the right side of the fairway so that your approach shot plays back into the slope you'll have a chance to hold the green, but from the left side the challenge is immense.