St. Andrews Valley Golf Club (905-727-7888)
Ontario Golf Course Review
St. Andrews Valley Golf Club in Aurora is a true 4-star course (Golf Digest) and is one of the top public 18-hole facilities in Ontario. The inviting golfing environment features
picturesque, rolling topography and exquisitely conditioned fairways and greens. The beautiful clubhouse complex, located behind the 18th green, includes a pro shop, dining
area for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and banquet/conference facilities for up to 120 people. A large putting green and short game area for chipping are on property, adjacent to a
grass range with beautiful target greens. The St. Andrews Golf Junior Golf school features a separate range and short game area - and even provides six holes of par three golf for
complimentary use by enrolled students. This is one of the best programs in the GTA for kids and beginning students.
St. Andrews is especially family friendly, with special parent/child rates set at $42 (call for times) for an adult playing with their son or daughter - and the kids play for free! For those
who can't get enough golf, or who want another crack at handling the quick, undulating greens at St Andrews, the replay rate is just $29 (dependant upon availability). One time is
not enough on this high quality track. After an early morning round, we were enthused about playing again, armed with the information necessary to better our scores.
The most helpful tip we can offer is to stay below the pin on most of the greens - and pay special attention to the pin placements. Go for the flag unless you are especially skilled at
lag putting, and are very good at reading putts coming off tiers and ridges. Land on the correct portion of the putting surfaces and you can score well here, as the greens roll fast
and true and are a joy to play. The small indicators on each flag stick provide info on front, middle and back pin placement, and the fairways are marked with 100/150 and 200
yardage blocks. A 150-yard stake is also quite visible and provides a good target on many holes. Also appreciated are the blocks posted on all the tee boxes, with yardage
measured to the center of the green. Five sets of tees provide sufficient choices to suite all levels of players, and measure from 7304 to 5530 yards. This is a long championship
design, with the middle tees (blues) playing at 6619 yards. The average golfer may want to opt for the white tees, which measure a still formidable 6253. Nearly 100 sand bunkers
and a considerable amount of water hazards (coming into play in some form on 14 holes) dot the landscape.
Hole # 1 (par 4) Great opening hole to a fairly wide fairway after a reasonable carry over a ravine. The approach is to a elevated green that is guarded by both deep and shallow
bunkers and surrounded by beautifully groomed mounds. Take note of the speed of the greens.
Hole # 2 (par 5) The wide open fairway invites a tee shot that lands just short of a creek, running across the fairway approximately 275 yards from the green. The uphill approach
must avoid deep bunkers in front and back right. There is bail out room to the right of the sloped putting surface.
Hole # 3 (par 4) A long drive is necessary on the uphill par five 4th . Heavy mounding right and green-side bunkers will challenge the approach to a ridged green. Aim for the flag!
Hole # 4 (par 3) This is an easy mid length par three with a fairly level putting surface. Avoid the 3 bunkers in front and birdie is possible here.
Hole # 5 (par 4) After an accurately placed fairway wood or long iron, you will turn 90 degrees to face the green on your right. The approach shot is over water with deep bunkers in
the front with lots of room in the back.
Hole # 6 (par 3) The "Arizona" hole features a carry over a huge waste bunker, to an undulating green that creates a tricky two putt if you are not on the correct portion of the putting
surface. It is best missed short right, if anywhere.
Hole # 7
(par 4) Another level green awaits on this dogleg right par four. A huge fairway bunker left and water right make this a tight driving hole. A short or middle pin placement
brings 5 green-side traps into play.
Hole # 8
(par 4) A drive to the right side will serve you well on this long par four that plays uphill off the tee, and downhill on the approach. This hole plays very long if the prevailing
wind is up. The putting area is undulating and well bunkered.
Hole # 9 (par 5) This is an extremely interesting closing hole. It plays straight off the tee, snakes to the left on the second shot, and back to the right on the approach. A unique
bunker complex on the left and bush to the right make the third shot an intimidating proposition. The green slopes from back to the front and is well bunkered.
Hole # 10
(par 5) Bring out the big dog as there is lots of room to the fairway from a elevated tee. The second shot must navigate a large water hazard on the right. The approach is
narrow, but the green is quite putt-able.
Hole # 11 (par 3) There is a narrow marsh just short of green, with bunkers left and back. This par three features one of the easiest greens of the layout.
Hole # 12
(par 4) Aim for the 150 yard marker on this dogleg right par four. A water hazard right and mounding left increase the need for accuracy off the tee. The approach is over
a pond to a elevated green fronted by a long bunker. A creek surrounding the putting surface will penalize anything hit long.
Hole # 13
(par 4) This short par 4 must carry a marsh and river for long hitters. The smart move is a lay up to the landing area between the hazards. Stop just short of the river and
you will have a 150 yards left to an elevated green that slopes back to front.
Hole # 14
(par 5) This is the longest hole on the course (624 from the tips). A good drive will reach the end of the initial fairway at about 300 yards from the green. The second shot
is over marsh and doglegs to the right, leaving an approach to a two tiered green with long bunkers in front and right.
Hole # 15 (par 3) There is room long on this fairly simple par three. Bunkers short and on both sides create the need for accuracy. Aim for the flag!
Hole # 16 (par 4) This is the third of three par fives that measure over 600 yards. It is very difficult to cut as a marsh will come into play. The second shot bends left towards
strategically placed fairway bunkers, and the approach cuts back to the right on this serpentine-like hole. There is a hidden pond right,- an unwanted surprise for those who mis-hit
to that side.
Hole # 17 (par 3) The green slopes back to front on this simple par three over a hater hazard and marsh.
Hole # 18 (par 4) This is a great finishing hole which doglegs to the left and plays slightly uphill to a large landing area. The approach shot presents a gorgeous view of the
clubhouse in back of the large, heavily bunkered and sloping green. Water along the right side forces a tight fairway wood/long iron approach.
From tee to green, the conditions at St. Andrews Valley are impeccable. Rolling mounds and deep bunkers, plus quick, undulating greens are just a few of the challenges that you
will encounter on this four star course. Arrive early and make use of their practice area, stay afterwards for food or a beverage. This is a wonderful golfing environment, with
upscale country club like conditions - available to the public. More information about St. Andrew's Valley can be found on our detailed listings site.
The Two Guys highly recommend play at this gem.