I’ve had the pleasure of playing at St. George’s Golf and Country Club, the site of this year’s RBC Canadian Open, once and that was about eight or nine years ago.
To sum it all up, I would use the word awesome.
Even back then, I heard about the practice facility being small, but I loved it. The golf course itself is incredible and walking up 18, having the clubhouse across the street, is a great experience.
When I played it, I knew about its history and all of the awards it’s received and the nostalgia of the place and it’s all well-deserved. It’s a great facility.
I’ve never played the Hamilton Golf and Country Club and want to one day, but last year, when I played the Open at Glen Abbey, I heard the guys talking about it on the range. On more than one occasion, they said this event should either be at Hamilton or Shaughnessy in Vancouver.
They just loved Hamilton and I would think that St. George’s will come away with the same reputation. The only issue I can see is the logistics of it having the potential for negative, but I would be shocked if they didn’t like the course.
You have to be able to hit every shot at St. George’s. A lot of times, you can play golf courses where it seems like you’re playing the same hole over and over again. At St. George’s, each hole is different with unique challenges, sightlines and looks.
It’s the kind of golf course where, if you’re a member and play it four times a week, you would still not get bored because it offers so many things.
When I played, it was a regular members’ day and it was tough, so I’m trying to picture what it will be like for the Open. That could make it a bear if they want to this year.
St. George’s is renowned for its greens. At the time I played it, they were probably the fastest I’d played and like I say, it was a regular members’ day. I don’t know if it’s still like that, but back then, they were like grease.
If you get on the wrong side of the hole, it’s all defence and I seem to remember even on uphill putts being cautious. They’ll have to place that second shot into the green because if they manage to get it on the wrong spot, they’ll be fighting.
For those reasons, I suspect that St. George’s will definitely earn the respect of PGA Tour players.