Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada
Architect: Tom Fazio (2006)
7536 Yard, Par 72
My Quick Review: Great undulating terrain, excellent routing and a wonderful mix of holes make Coppinwood one of Fazio's best.
I have played almost 40 T. Fazio golf courses, and Coppinwood is in my top 3 (and for reference of my own preferences, my top 10):
1) Victoria National
2) Shooting Star
4) The National GC of Canada
5) Shadow Creek
6) Gozzer Ranch
8 ) Glenwild
9) Black Diamond
ScoreGolf has Coppinwood ranked number 15 in Canada and Golfweek has it as number 9 on it’s top 30 Modern ranking. The average GW rating is 6.60, which would place around 150 modern in the US.
Here’s what I liked:
1) Hole 12 may be the best modern par 4 in Canada. Other holes often in the discussion are 7 at National GC of Canada and 6 at Bigwin Island GC, but 12 at Coppinwood is my favourite.
2) Hole 15 is one of my favourite modern par-5s in Canada. Reminiscent of the 16th at Shinnecock Hills with its snaking configuration, I don't think I would ever tire of playing this hole.
3) The routing is very good. Almost every hole has elevation change, though unlike many modern courses they aren’t all downhill! The course constantly changes direction thanks in large part to a routing that is made up of 5 separate loops. I was told that walking is a priority at Coppinwood. Green to tee walks are never offensive and there are cut-outs through the tall grass.
4) Par 3s as a set are stronger than the individual holes. Individually, only 11 is very good, but the variety of the holes make them work very well together. I suppose it is the standard variety, but it is variety nonetheless. Hole 5 – long P3 over water; Hole 7 – short P3 with significant green contouring / difficult up and down; Hole 11 – very long / downhill P3 with large green and really tough up and down if missed in wrong spot; Hole 16: Naderish mid-length P3.
5) Tree removal to create several very interesting skyline and eternity greens
6) Just the right amount of green contouring – It seems as though Fazio knew the greens would be kept lightning fast. To me, the contouring was significant enough to create interest, but not so significant that the U-word (unfair) would often be used
7) Lots of interest off the tee. Fazio’s other Canadian golf course has been criticized for being one-dimensional because it is too penal (hit it straight or else). At Coppinwood, assuming you are playing the right set of tees, you will have a choice to make on almost every tee shot. The bunkers are generally staggered, and hazards are at a diagonal. Three-wood or iron is a reasonable choice on many holes.
8 ) A very well done driveable P4. The tee shot is just enticing enough that downwind I would bet that just about everyone will take a crack at the green. There are no hazards where one will lose their ball, but you aren’t making birdie after anything but a very well-placed tee shot. One of those holes that you know the smart play is iron-wedge, but because you feel like there is not much risk in hitting driver, you always go for the hero play.
Coppinwood is configured in 5 loops. This guarantees there will be many changes in direction, which adds significant interest on a windy site.
- This section is less-detailed than usual because of rain interrupting play. I hope to have the opportunity to visit Coppinwood again next year and will fill in the holes. Please see the course tour on the Coppinwood website for further info.
Hole 1: Par 5, 568 Yards - A very stout par 5 opener. Uphill and intimidating tee shot with more room than there appears. Second shot is over a diagonal hazard and bunkers, though there is a ground-game option to the right for those unwilling or unable to carry the hazard and bunkers. The approach is straight uphill to a massive and severely back-to-front sloping skyline-ish green.
|Approach to the 1st Green
The best way to play the hole is likely iron-wedge, but it is so hard to stay disciplined when tempted like this. A lot like number 5 at Mountaintop (in Cashiers, NC) which also has no hazards but is all about angles, one of my favorite short Fazio par-4s.
|4th Approach from Right
|Approach from 250 Yards Out
|7th Tee Zoomed
Options off the tee once again, and again these options dictate the second shot. The fairway is at a diagonal to the tee, with an approach that is best from the left (ie challenging the left fairway bunkers). Placement of the bunker right is really clever. A tee shot that does not attempt to carry left bunkers will stay short of the right bunker. But, someone long enough to carry left bunkers but hits bigtime slice/push will be penalized.
|A Huge Run-Off Protects the 11th Green
Hole 12: Par 4, 430 Yards - The hole that may be the best P4 in Canada sits on the most interesting terrain at Coppinwood that features obvious elevation change and a fantastic rolling fairway. From the tee, the green is in clear view (though it looks 5 miles away) and the line of charm is in full effect.
From the tee, the player has three viable options:
1) Lay-up short of the left bunkers, leaving a semi-blind approach from about 180 yards out.
2) Try to get the tee shot on top of the hill, which requires a tee shot long enough to challenge the bunkers.
3) Challenge the right side. If successful the tee shot will find a 'power-slot' leaving <100 yards in, though the shot will be substantially uphill.
|Member Tee View
|12th from Left of Fairway
|Approach from 150 Yards Out
|From 100 yards out the eternity green turns into a skyline green. Very cool!
|12th from Behind
No picture of the tee shot, but it is largely blind with only the left fairway bunkers in view. Play it short or aim over the corner of the rough to find the fairway right of them? Shots that successfully challenge the bunkers will find a speed-slot and put the player in position to go for the green in two.
|15th from Start of Fairway
The shortest line in requires a carry over the bunkers, but if laying up, one really wants to be on the left side of the fairway to best challenge this shallow green.
|View from 250 Yards Out
|Approach from 125 Yards Out
|15th from Behind
|18th Green from 100 Yards Out