One of two designs designed by Doug Carrick West of Ontario, Greywolf Golf Course is mountain golf at its definition. A roller coaster of a golf course, the first 3 holes climb straight uphill, with the next 5 playing downhill, 9 and 10 play flat, and then it’s all downhill until 18.
The resort-friendly golf course is a blast to play, with wide fairways, big greens and bunkers features a similar style of golf to Doug Carrick’s other Western Canadian gem, Predator Ridge Golf Resort (Ridge).
The opening hole, like so many modern golf courses (think Sagebrush, Blackhawk, Streamsong (Red)), is uphill, playing around a creek on the left. The holes short, only playing 406 yards from the back tees, giving the player a chance to walk away the first with a decent score.
The same creek on the left of the fairway intersects the fairway around 85 yards out and sidewinds to the right of the green. It’s really the main defence of the first hole.
Like the first, the third also doglegs left around a creek. This tee shot is far more elevated, and features a cape-style tee shot, where the farther left you hit it the shorter the approach.
Going uphill, 6 massive bunkers are carved into the upslope; three fairway bunkers and three green-side bunkers. A premium is played on shot value on the 3rd.
After the third, it’s all downhill or flat until the 17th. The 4th is perhaps the most dramatic downhill tee shot. At 490 yards, the long par 4 looks borderline impossible on the scorecard, but a driver can leave the player with a wedge in hand. The fairway is wide enough to let it loose, and it plays so much downhill that you’ll be able to carry it 30-40 yards further than your normal drives.
The approach plays just as much downhill, playing a club or half a club downhill.
The fourth really starts the best stretch of holes on the golf course. From 4-6 is quality hole after quality hole.
The 5th is the second par 5 on the golf course, and unlike the 3rd, the 5th plays downhill. The scorecard yardage is 570 yards, but it probably plays closer to 530 yards with the elevation change. The hole is all downhill.
The player is faced with a beautiful risk-reward approach shot into the green. Playing slightly like a redan — in that the player can play out to the right and it’ll kick towards the green — the 5th is flanked by a hazard short of the green, that bleeds up to the right and comes into play on the layup. It it critical to get it over the hazard for an easy wedge/approach shot.
This is probably my favorite hole on the course. I like how Carrick was able to craft a beautiful hole, but it’s also playable and full of options.
A long cart ride brings to the world-famous 6th, aptly titled “cliffhanger.” There’s nothing complex about this hole, it’s just a fantastic par 3 that’s a great picture and even better to play.
I wasn’t a huge fan of either the 7th or 8th. The 7th was fine, and the 8th was ok, they were just uneventful after the all-world stretch of 4-6. The 9th is the next hole that pops out, but likely for the hazard short. Nothing special, just a mid-length par 3.
In fact, from 7-10 is a slightly boring stretch of golf holes. Again, they aren’t really weak, per-say, but they were uneventful. The 11th picks up where the 6th left off.
At 339 yards, playing straight downhill, the 11th is drivable. A hazard left is the main defence here, and laying up is just as hard. I see no reason not to go for the green. If you do, a right miss will likely kick closer to the hole.
Laying up is incredibly hard. The fairway features a massive slope in the middle, dividing it in two, with four bunkers and that same hazard in play.
Worst case scenario, you hit it into the hazard and get to utilize the drop zone at the back of the green. Worst the player will do here is bogey, thanks to the drop zone. The only way I wouldn’t hit driver here is if I was hitting driver horribly, and I mean borderline quitting golf bad.
The 12th, whilst not the 6th, is another beautiful downhill par 3 playing 181 yards, but obviously less thanks to the yardage.
The par 3’s aren’t complex, but they are solid, and a highlight of the course.
The 13th, a great tee shot and par 4, is a 441 yard dogleg right. The tee shot looks tight, but there is much more room than what is seen.
To have a clear look at the green, the player must challenge the right. However, like a usual cape hole, it is certainly a harder tee shot. The safer play is to play out to the left, but have a blind approach shot. Magnificent!
The 14th is the final par 5 on the course, and another hole filled with options.
The key is keeping the tee shot right, which leaves a shorter second shot into the green, and thus easier to get home in two. The hole is a slight dogleg to the right.
The 15th, the final par 3, is another mid length par 3, playing 176 yards. The only critique I have about the par 3’s is they all play similar yardages, but with different elevation changes it messes with your mind a bit. Maybe that’s the point?
The 16th is a mid length par 4, just 10 yards shy of 400, but is a difficult hole. Driver is not the play, unless you decide to be aggressive and try to cut off a lot of the hole on the right.
I would think this hole would be borderline drivable if you knew where you were going. The hole plays significantly downhill, and dogleg’s to the right that’s easy to cut off yardage. I’m sure the big hitters could get to the green side bunkers.
The 17th, a long-ish par 4, around 450 yards, is a dogleg left. For bigger hitters, driver likely isn’t the play, unless he chooses to hug the left side as much as possible.
The hole would be a lot easier if you’ve played it a few times. I pulled my tee shot slightly and ended up perfectly. If I would’ve hit it on my intended line my ball would’ve been gone!
Unfortunately, the 17th is where the fun ends. 18 might be the most anti-climatic hole I’ve ever played, especially on such a dramatic golf course. A wide open tee shot, and a big green, this hole really features no defence or memorable features. A shame, considering how many good holes there are on this golf course.
Overall, Greywolf is fantastic. A lot of unbelievable holes, the 4th, 5th, 6th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 16th and 17th are all-world holes, while a lot of the other holes are fantastic as well. There was a few weak holes, namely 8 and 18, but overall, I would return to Greywolf in a heartbeat. What a fun experience!