The Bogey Man

Birdies and bogeys of 2002
As seasons go, this one was unbeatable. The GTA is fast becoming the world's Number Two golf location, considering the new courses, which came onstream this year. Problem is that almost all of them are in the high-end bracket-the default option is that only one is a municipal course.

These high-enders will likely choke each other our in the greatest cutthroat battle in the annals of Ontario golf, offering late-season deals, bargains and ploys from some very unexpected sources-and maybe a closing or two.

The Bogey Man's Theory of CREPOLA - Course Rapid Expansion Predicated On Local Averages - theorizes that GTA courses, now including Muskoka and Niagara, are growing faster than our participation rate and that green fees will moderate.

Things have never been beter for GTA golfers, but problems still linger. Ball dredgers destroy plant and pond life while enviromentalists turn a blind eye. It seems the dilemma of slow play will forever be unresolved unless these attendant issues can be addressed

  • Use the appropriate tees for your ability level.
  • Play ready golf.
  • Know your rules. The lost ball/OB and cart path drop rules are still misunderstood by most golfers
  • sLeave cellphones in the car.

Two newer trends are the better. Pro shops nowadays treat you like a somebody and that has not always been the case. The new courses have developed sensational practice facilities where the ranges are as much of an attraction as the course itself.

In my multi-faceted, self-proclaimed role as last bastion of correct golf dialogue, I picked up on these gems from the mouths of our top analysts- "a raucous par 4" - "enigmatic putting" - "a prolific shot." Either their intended meanings are too much of a stretch of my paltry brain, or these big-mouth bozos don't know a preposition from a proposition. Most people seem apathetic about evolving golf phraseology, but what do I care?

But now it's time to turn those lights down low for the annual bestowing of birdies and bogeys for 2002. The drum roll and a flourish of crumpets, please...

  • Top pro shop receptions: Oakville Exec, Royal Toot, Parkview
  • Top Ecology: Grey Silo
  • Total turnoff: anything Royal...
  • Persona non grata clubhouse: Canterbury Common
  • Most boring hole: Crosswinds #2
  • Best island green: Crosswinds #5
  • Overdone OB: Grey Silo #1
  • Worst pro shop reception: None: all very congenial
  • Top Greens: Royal Toot, Legends on Niagara, Coral Creek, Deerhurst,Wooden Sticks
  • Best Value: Coral Creek!!!
  • Best double green: Deerhurst #8
  • Longest green: 9th at Ussher's Creek (Legends)
  • Most scenic: Bigwin, Taboo, Deerhurst, King's Bay, Wooden Sticks, Grey Silo, Coral Creek
  • Top pot bunkers: Taboo, Wooden Sticks
  • Best fairway maps: Whistle Bear, King's Bay
  • Highest tee ball: Claremont 4 Seasons #1; Bigwin #6
  • Top par 3: Taboo's #11
  • Top par 4: Deerhurst's #11
  • Top par 5: Bigwin's #18
  • Top new par 3: Brittania Hills #3
  • Best short par 4: Royal Ontario's #5
  • Ugliest bunker: Claremont 4-seasons #14
  • Best closing hole: Victoria Park #18
  • Elegant clubhouses: Crosswinds, Bigwin, Whistle Bear, Legends on the Niagara,Grey Silo
  • My kind of clubhouse: Cramped little Coral Creek
  • Best new muni: Grey Silo
  • Historic settings: Bigwin, Legends on Niagara, Whistle Bear
  • Most knowledgeable pro: Jerry Magee, Coral Creek; Nigel Hollidge, Taboo
  • 'Ruff time': refused play at Diamond in the Ruff at 6:45 a.m. for aeration of greens
  • Top practice facilities: Legends on Niagara, Taboo, Whistle Bear, Wooden Sticks
  • Longest carries to fairway: Tangle Creek
  • Overpriced: Wooden Sticks, Taboo, Bigwin
  • Great waste bunkers:Taboo and in the words of Bill Haley and his Comets, "Te properius videbo crocodillis."