It's not often you get to play one of Canada's top private golf courses but recently I had the pleasure while in the Toronto area to play Caledon beautiful Devil's Paintbrush. I had wanted to play this course as it had appeared on Golf Week's Best : Canadian Modern Golf Courses at #2. Having played #1, Cabot Links I was intrigued to play this gem of a course as well.
Located North West of Toronto both Devils's Paintbrush and Devils's Pulpit were established back in the 90s by Trivial Pursuit gurus and noted Canadians Chris Haney and Scott Abbott.
Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry were the architects of the Devil’s Paintbrush (named after a wild flower which grows on the course) built two years after Pulpit (1990. Devil's Paintbrush was constructed at a mere fraction of the cost of Pulpit and with minimal earth movement, Devil’s Paintbrush has gone on to become higher ranked over various publications than it's sister course.
Having a member play with my buddy and I was perfect. Not knowing the little nuances of the course was greatly helped by having a member play with us. We ended up taking a cart but Paintbrush is made to walk and if I had a chance to play again I'd definitely walk.
The course was in spectacular conditions. Although only being open a little over a week the greens were amazing, fairways immaculate and the various bunkers were mint. Thumbs up to to the Grounds Staff.
Although not a true links style course it's as close as your going to get around the GTA. The fescue hadn't grown in yet but the rough still played havoc with any wayward shots. Playing Paintbrush with fully developed fescue must be amazing.
The bunkers at Paintbrush are quite bold (some pot bunkers, some wooden banked, and others revetted). They are both beautiful and deadly take my advice stay out of them.
The greens at Paintbrush are pretty tough especially the ones that are tiered/contoured (like #7 and #13) You have to be a good putter and no where to miss to make some decent score.
Considered a modern course I just wasn't real keen on any holes that had blind tee shots like the par 2nd where your aiming guide is a white rock from the tee 2. Number 2 is also quirky in the fact it has a large mound situated in front of the green. Not a big fan.
If you get a chance to play Devil's Paintbrush you won't be disappointed. I can see why it's one of the top ranked golf courses in Canada. Beautiful scenery, conditions and golf holes. Play from the right tee boxes and you'll have an amazing time. Although a few quirky holes Paintbrush is one rugged test of golf. Good Luck!