St. George's Golf and Country Club
|Location||Islington, Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Tournaments hosted||Canadian Open|
|Designed by||Stanley Thompson|
|Course rating||73.7 (Black tees)|
St. George's Golf and Country Club (originally The Royal York Golf Club) is a golf course and country club located in Etobicoke, Toronto, Ontario in the west end neighbourhood of Islington. The club was established originally in 1909 by Robert Home Smith from Stratford-upon-Avon, England who originally purchased the area of land which was located on the banks of the Humber River.
The club was built in co-ordination with the construction of the Royal York Hotel, which was being designed in downtown Toronto, with the plan being that the golf facilities would be necessary for the guests staying in the hotel. Leading the construction of the hotel was Sir Edward Wentworth Beatty, who was known to be acquainted with Smith. Leading construction of the golf course was Stanley Thompson, the leading Canadian golf course architect. At its Islington Avenue location, the course opened in 1929. The course, under the Royal York name, hosted the Canadian Open in 1933. However, in 1935 Smith died, and his executor trustee Godfrey S. Pettit, became president of the club.
In 1946 the name of the country club was changed from The Royal York Golf Club to St. George's Golf and Country Club as a result of the financial arrangement with the Canadian Pacific Railway (of which Beatty was president) ending. The club has been rated several times in the top three of Canada and amongst the top 100 in the world
St. George's has hosted the Canadian Open five times:
- 1933, won by Joe Kirkwood, Sr.
- 1949, won by E.J. "Dutch" Harrison
- 1960, won by Art Wall, Jr.
- 1968, won by Bob Charles
- 2010: won by Carl Pettersson
In recent years, the club has extended its length, to 7,025 yards, par 71, with the hope of attracting the Canadian Open once more. While the course is universally regarded as outstanding, issues of logistics, access, and available space in a crowded neighbourhood may make hosting a tournament of this magnitude somewhat problematic. However, the Royal Canadian Golf Association announced on June 26, 2008 that the club would host the 2010 Canadian Open. Among the logistical steps taken for the 2010 Open are: closing the busy thoroughfare Islington Avenue before and during the tournament, using the nearby Islington Golf Club's practice facilities, shuttling the players back and forth to Islington Golf Club, limiting the number of spectators who can access the course, and starting play for the first two rounds from the 1st and 9th tees (normally it would be the 1st and 10th tees).
- St. George's Golf and Country Club: Information Retrieved on July 18, 2007
- The top three in Canada, amongst the top 100 in the world Retrieved on July 18, 2007.
- The Globe and Mail, June 26, 2008.
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