Osprey Valley -Hoot #17


Have a go at the region's top 10 reachable par 4's

Posted by Alistair Orr


A par 4 does not need to be 485 yards long to be a great hole. Most golf course architects slide a couple of short par 4s in to their designs to give the big hitters a chance to flex their muscles and the short hitters a break from playing beastly long 4’s. These holes usually rank high on the risk/reward scale and have plenty of trouble to catch wayward drives or present tricky green sites that are well guarded by nastiness. Although the wise route on these holes is to play safe, a good design will ensure it’s tough to resist the urge to go for the green. We have endeavored to put together a collection the best in breed “Grip-it-and-Rip-it” par fours in the region.


In order for a hole to be considered the middle tee yardage must be no longer than 300 yards as the “crow flies” in a direct line from tee to green front, not the yardage as it listed on the score card which follows the centre line of the fairway.


1: National Pines: Hole #15 - Black: 361; Gold: 353; Blue: 325; White: 308; Red; 279
Two distinct options, two completely different experiences. The safe tee shot plays left, but must be placed in position to not get blocked out by the thicket of trees straddling the creek separating the two strips of fairway. The second from this position must carry uphill to a narrow green guarded by a series of 4 facing bunkers. The more direct line plays with a challenging forced carry over the wetlands leaving, at worst, a chip to the green for anything struck well.


2: Osprey Valley Hoot: Hole #17 - Gold: 352; Black: 348; Blue: 336; White: 322; Red 224
There is nothing hidden from you on this brilliant hole. Standing on the tee, the panorama tells it all. Take an aggressive rip over the lake to a narrow strip of fairway and green and an eagle putt might be the reward. Finesse a safe shot to the curving fairway left and you are forced to carry a babbling creek and waterfall to the narrow green with little room for error.


3. Ridge at Manitou: Hole #2 – Black: 306; Blue: 281; White: 265; Red: 256
A long iron or hybrid to the landing area seems like the smart play leaving you a short iron or wedge to the steeply uphill green.  The challenge is the false front. Anything short will put the ball back at your feet again for your third shot. Big hitters can take a rip over the exposed stepped granite on the right, but must carry your line as trees and rock outcroppings will make anything hit errantly turn into deer food.


4. The Rock: Hole #14 - Black: 316; Gold: 287; Green: 262; White: 182
The teeing ground is a series of step down plateaus built in to the back side of a typical Muskoka outcrop looking down over an environmentally protected hazard to a well bunkered green site on far side of the valley floor. A mid iron to the valley floor just short of the fairway bunker some 40-50 yards short of the green is the safe option. For those taking a rip at it two fronting bunkers, a hazard left and rocks long await the crooked approach. 


5. Muskoka Bay: Hole #4 – Tour: 349; Champ: 319; Member: 303; Middle: 278; Forward: 213
On a course filled with signature holes, this beauty is a stunning risk / reward test. An inviting opening to the green is presented on the right side, with the left side stymied by 4 hillside bunkers front and an exposed rock cut back. Those able to hit it straight and long will be rewarded with a putt or at least an easy chip to the generous surface.


Muskoka Bay #4


6. North Granite Ridge: Hole #3 – Blue: 337; White: 295; Red: 251
The tee is perched on a hillside overlooking what lies ahead. A sentinel white pine in the middle of the fairway makes your decision that much trickier. A left side pin tempts you to hammer your tee shot to roll up the throat. A right or back pin perched on the ridge of the green makes the prudent play a well positioned lay-up to avoid the tree and fronting bunker.


7. Orchard Beach: Hole #9 – Blue: 295; White: 290; Red: 290
With a beautiful Cooks Bay backdrop this drivable hole has OB right and a "Redan" style green that slopes heavily from front to back. Typically into the prevailing wind this thinking- man's finisher gets harder the closer you are to the hole.   


8. Highlands: Hole #7 – Gold: 351; Blue: 340; White: 318; Red: 271
The safe route is a long iron or hybrid to the valley fairway and a short iron or wedge uphill to the green. The bold play is to take aim at the back right of the green and hammer your drive letting the wind settle it on the surface. Anything left of target will end up OB and give you the chance to do it all over again.


9. OslerBrook: Hole #16 - Black: 330; Gold: 303; Blue: 283; White: 271; Red: 261; Silver: 195
This is a superb hole whether played from the junior tees or the tips. The hole flows uphill to a green complex that is set in a natural amphitheatre with the escarpment and clubhouse as the backdrop. For those looking to play safe off the tee three bunkers set amongst hill side fescue protects the left while an environmentally sensitive area and pond protects the right side. A deep green side bunker guards the front and right.


10. Silver Lakes: Hole #13 – Gold: 315; Blue: 295; White: 275; Yellow: 258; Red 238
This temptress is a dogleg left that makes it easy to lay up into the generous fairway. Placing your tee shot between the massive bunker right and the pond leaves a daunting wedge to a narrow heavily sloped green guarded by facing bunkers. Those feeling it, might wish to take a go at the small opening between the bunkers and run up a tee shot on the left of green.

As with any “best off” list there is a certain amount of subjectivity involved and there are a great many holes that could quite easily have made our top 10. Here is a list of the holes that rounded out our top 25 nominated holes that made it to the final cut before getting voted off the island.



Honourable mentions:
Bond Head North #6 - Black: 349; Gold: 317; Blue: 279; White: 248; Burgundy: 194
Caledon Country Club #9 –Blue: 298; White: 269; Red 245
Devils Paintbrush #3 - Black: 293; Blue: 293; White: 268; Red: 201
Georgian Bay Club #11 - Cobalt: 335; Gold: 314; Silver: 295; Copper: 272; Pewter: 176
Grandview #17 - Gold: 303; Blue: 280; White: 259; Green: 259; Red: 235

Highland Glen #7 -Black: 207; Green: 313; Yellow:c251
Hockley Valley #9 – Black: 285; Gold: 263; Green: 246; White: 208
Innisbrook #7 - Blue: 327; White 307; Red: 262
Lora Bay #14 - Black: 328; Silver: 310; Cobalt: 289; White: 269: Gold: 252
Mad River #6 - Gold: 291; Blue: 270; White/Green: 270; Purple: 252; Red: 234
Monterra #3 - Gold: 301; Blue: 274; White: 248
Muskoka Highland #12 - Gold: 285; Blue 251; Red: 213; Purple: 180
Rocky Crest #15 - Gold: 357; Blue: 330; White: 300; Green: 290; Red 256
Silver Brooke #5 - Black: 254; Blue: 234; Silver: 213; Red 213
Windermere #18 - Blue: 252; White: 289; Gold: 246
Woodington Lake #7 - Green: 313; Blue: 293; White: 273; Red: 253



































Hole 1

National Pines #15































































Oslerbrook #16