Deer Creek North: Challenging You in a Distinctly Different Way
AJAX, ONTARIO - Deer Creek North is known as " THE JEWEL" of Durham region. Situated only a few minutes north of the city of Ajax, Deer Creek opened 18 holes for play in 1988.
Its designer and owner, Jerry Coughlan, enlisted the aid of Rene Muylaert in designing an additional 9 holes which opened in 1999. Since then Deer Creek North has been ranked as one of the "Top 10 Public Golf Courses in Ontario"(Toronto Star Golf Guide, 2000) and is noted as being the Top Holes in the Durham Region (Toronto Star Bogey Man, 1999).
They were also winners of the Reader's Choice Award in Durham for the past 4 years as well as the Toronto Sun Readers Choice this past year. This course comes with great credentials. Deer Creek North has a "no tournaments" policy which encourages a faster round of golf.
There have been some exceptions as it is very hard to say no to special events like, Ontario Golf Association Qualifying Events, The Eastern Ontario PGA Assistants' Championship and the American Junior Golf Association Eastern Canadian Championship. Deer Creek North tests your shot making ability because each nine challenges you in a distinctly different way.
Their front nine, "Diamond", we found to be long and narrow playing approx. 3400 yards from the back tees, 3150 front the middle tees and 2750 from the reds.
This run does not give you much room for error and severely tests your skills. The first hole is an easy par 4 - 326 yd. It can be difficult if you don't stay in the middle because you have banks on both sides of the fairway that will give you an uneven lie.
Number 2 has an elevated tee box and is a short par 4 with water coming into play on the right side and in front of green. # 3 is a longer par four at 392 yards. Make sure that you keep your approach shot to the right or you'll find yourself in the drink.
The short par 3 125-yard fourth hole looks easy enough, but the green is very undulating so you have to read it well in order to make your par here. The fifth is a very long par 4 at 424-yards with a slight dogleg to the left. The water in front of tee box should not come into play but don't go to the left or too long to the right or you'll find yourself in the woods. # 6 hole is a fairly easy par 4 at 369-yards.
There is lots of landing area for your tee shot, but your approach is narrow. The par 5, 506-yard # 7 looks easy until you get to the green. This very undulating green can play havoc with your putts and we felt it was the toughest green on the course. The eighth, a fairly straightforward and easy par 3 is followed by a very tough 511-yard par 5.
The second nine, "RUBY", tests your thinking skills. There are many challenging doglegs and small targets. Back tees play at 3130, middle at 2900 and the front at 2400.
The opening hole is a great warm up. It is a par 504-yard par 5 that beacons the use of your big club. Next is a long par 3 that is their #2 handicap hole. At 187-yards, this hole is very tight off an elevated tee box. Having enough club may be as much a consideration here as hitting as straight as possible. Number 3 is a very interesting 298-yard par 4.
It is short but a dogleg to the left, uphill layout with elevated green that is well guarded by sand forces you to consider every move you make carefully. You'll find water and woods in play on the 144-yard par 3 fourth and the 354-yard par 4 fifth is gentle enough to let you get back into the game if any of the previous holes have beaten you. Number six is a 305-yard par 4 with a dogleg to the left.
Don't fall short on your tee shot, or this hole can go from easy to hard because of the severity of the dogleg. The #1 handicap hole on this course is the 435-yard par 4 seventh. The fairway is undulating and offers uneven landings for your tee shot, while water comes into play on second shot.
The greens are very undulating making this hole very, very tough. #8 is a nice par 5 at 488 yards with water on the left off the tee and again along the left side of the narrow fairway approach to and in front of the green. Your second and third shots will have to be well thought out here. The finishing hole on the Ruby is a pretty 174-yard par 3 that plays over water.
The third nine of Deer Creek North is the "ONYX". If you've played one or both of the other courses before starting your run here, you should be (and need to be) in the groove. The opening hole is a long par 4- 443-yards that travels uphill with a slight dogleg to the right.
The uneven fairways on the second hole make this short 325-yard par 4 a difficult play while the third hole is, perhaps, the easiest hole - a short 261-yard par 4(although the green on this hole is a real challenge to read!).
This is followed by a very tough but picturesque par 5 that has water coming into play on both sides of your approach with a dogleg to the right. Stay to the left off the tee and lay up at about 180 yards.
Your second shot will see water on both sides of the fairway and a bunker guards the front of the green. The fifth hole is a very pretty 167-yard par 3 that doubles back around the water with bunkers protecting the entire right side of the green. The sixth is another par 5 at 514-yards with sand and water on either side of your landing area and a very long approach shot.
The next two holes are a very easy par 3 and par 4 that take you to the short but tough 388-yard par 4 finishing hole.Take a good look at your scorecard here and your yardage markers. If you shoot too long you'll have a downhill lie over the water in front of the green for your second shot. A beautiful finishing hole.
The Deer Creek North Course is part of the Winning Foursome. This property consists of two other courses: Deer Creek South and Glen Cedars, and a Golf Academy that was rated No. 1 in Ontario by the National Post. It is easy to find as it is just off Taunton Road between Westney and Brock.
We found that this course is very well maintained and esthetically pleasing from the tee boxes, to the fairways and onto the greens. Our congratulations go to Stuart Brindle, Director of Golf for Deer Creek , and his staff for providing such great service and such a well-run facility.
At $75 per round w/cart on the weekends and $65 during the week, we rate this course as one of the best deals we've found in Ontario and wish it was in our backyard! We look forward to reviewing the rest of the facility in the spring or summer of 2002.
January 23, 2002