Created by a group of Toronto real estate developers from land on an old aggregate mine next to a landfill site outside the nation’s biggest city, Eagles Nest Golf Club made a confident entrance onto the Canadian golfing stage in 2004, prompting one commentator to describe it as “among the most impressive modern courses to open in Canada in the past thirty years.”
Carrick Design provided the following article:
At Eagles Nest, our design team transformed an otherwise uninteresting former sand and gravel pit just north of Toronto into a stunning links style golf course. In order to make the most out of the site the developers, York Major Holdings gave us the green light to hold nothing back when it came to using our imaginations to create a bold and distinctive design.
They also asked us to draw on our creativity to use as much imported fill from some of their other construction sites to assist them in other development projects where they had excess fill.
Eagles Nest is also the longest and most challenging course we have designed to date.
What you’re most likely to remember about a day on the links at Eagles Nest are its dramatic elevation changes, undulating fairways, uneven lies, distinctive revetted pot bunkers, large rolling greens as well as its massive sand scars and wild fescued dunes. If there had been a coastline nearby, Eagles Nest would look and feel as though you were playing golf on a natural links setting in Scotland or Ireland.
It’s a tough test, built on a grand scale (around one and a half million cubic metres of earth were moved during construction) with many memorable holes like the short, 164-yard 8th, the long 14th with its split fairway or the back-to-back par fives at holes 16 and 17.
As architect Doug Carrick says of the Eagles Nest project, “the course evolved out of the rugged landscape left behind from the former sand and gravel operation. Many of the spoil banks were left intact and form the backdrop and framework for holes 12 through 15. We carried this theme onto other holes to create the links land experience.”
Carrick’s enthusiasm to use the topography of the site to fashion a faux links in the best traditions of a classic Irish or Scottish seaside course – including the installation of almost one hundred pot bunkers – has certainly paid off and some feel the finished article is good enough to host a future Canadian Open.