View from the Clubhouse deck with 16th green in the forefront

and Georgian Bay on the horizon

OslerBrook G&CC:

Graham Cooke's Risk/Reward Test on the Niagara Escarpment

Posted by Alistair Orr

This private club is located in Collingwood Ontario along the edge of the Niagara Escarpment and offers spectacular panoramic views of the Georgian Bay coast line. This Central Ontario beauty was brought to life by prolific Canadian course architect Graham Cooke and local designer Jason Miller. Cooke and Miller took advantage of the steep elevation changes and flats that exist on this 230 acre plot to craft a creative, challenging test. Although the elevation change is 260 feet from the lowest to highest point the property is actually very walkable and the majority of the routing selected by the design team is reasonably flat. Two ridges crossing the property account for the majority of the elevation change.


The course is impeccably conditioned and generally windswept due to the Georgian Bay breezes. The course can be described as open with sporadic sentinel trees and clumps of fescue lining the fairway corridors, however, there are a handful of holes where stands of tree line either side. The putting surfaces are firm and speedy and well protected by bunkers, mounds, swales while water is ever present influencing your strategy. There are six sets of tees ranging from just over 7000 yards from the tips to a Silver set that measures in at 3706 yards so the course has a distance to suit any golfer.


The routing may seem open from the tee blocks but with many holes offering fairly narrow fairways and having creeks or ponds come into play on 14 of the 18 holes, the initial optics are deceptive. The round’s inevitable wayward shots will have you reaching for your ball scoop and punishing to the scorecard. The course plays longer than the posted yardage on the card for many of the toughest longer holes play uphill and are typically buffeted by the prevailing winds. The player who utilizes a brainy approach to tackling the course will likely find more success here than the player who tries to let if fly on every hole. Regardless of the tees selected the creeks, ponds and fescue covered mounds need to be avoided for a good score to be posted. Finding the fairways at Osler is a must!


There is a wonderful collection of short holes at OslerBrook that vary in style, length and elevation presenting different challenges and will have you reaching for clubs at either end of your collection but the best of the bunch may is not even be a par 3. A par 4 does not need to be 495 yards to be a great hole! Most golf course architects slide in a couple of short par 4s into their designs and Cooke included a masterful one late in the round. These holes usually rank high on the risk/reward scale, with plenty of trouble to catch wayward drives. Although the safe play is to lay up, a good design will ensure it’s tough to resist the urge to go for the green. The 16th at OslerBrook is a great example of a well designed short par 4; 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 amphitheater with the escarpment and clubhouse as the backdrop. A pond and environmentally sensitive area protects the right side, while three bunkers set amongst hill side fescue protects the left. A deep green side bunker guards the green on the front right


The player who employs a low risk approach to the 16th will ease a utility or long iron out to just inside the 150 marker, thus taking the bunker and hazards out of play. However, a tricky uphill approach shot into the prevailing winds and over the deep fronting bunker awaits those who opt for the safe route off the tee. The moderate risk taker will hit a three wood and take it farther up the left side of the fairway opening up the angle to the green for a short iron second shot. However, a shot blocked right will find a watery grave and the wayward left shot will flirt with the bunkers. The risk takers among you who are willing to try to drive it into the neck of the green, while aiming to avoid the trouble on all sides, will be rewarded with a good up and down opportunity for a birdie. Did I mention that the green slopes severely left to right? No matter which strategy you employ, this hole’s last line of defense, as it is with the other 17 holes, will likely get the last laugh.


For those of you who like to tinker with your game the practice facilities at OsleBrook are second to none in the region. With its massive range containing a practice fairway bunker, chipping area that features two multi-bunkered green complexes and a large putting green you are able to practice just about any shot that you will encounter on any golf course.


If you are considering relocating to the shores of Southern Georgian Bay, and are looking to join a private facility, OslerBrook is certainly worthy of your consideration.































OslerBrook Golf & CC: Par 72

Tees Yards Rating Slope
Black 7012
Blue (M)
Blue (L)
White (M)
White (L)
Red (M)
Red (L)
Silver (M)
Silver (L)

























The par three 5th




OslerBrook Golf & CC

2634 10th Line,

Collingwood, On.

L9Y 3Y9