First things first - there is nothing 'savannah'
or 'links' about this course. I don't know where
the name came from but other than being catchy
it has nothing to do with the way that it plays.
Overall the course was in excellent condition
and had some interesting holes. The fact is that
the course is a little short - only 6,213 yards
from the tips (whites are 5,463 yards) - par 71.
This leads to a number of par 4 holes that are
rather short. The layout forces you to put your
course management skills to the test - I failed.
At CDN$46 (power cart at $15 is recommended)
for 18 holes it's a steal - the only problem is
that the location is a bit of a hike from Toronto
or the GTA.
While the course is not long, you can get into
trouble fairly easily. In fact, in contrast to
most other courses where trouble is dealt with
and the round moves on, trouble at Savannah Golf
Links seems to get worse and worse. I seldom had
a flat lie unless I was in the middle of a fairway,
fescue and brush seem to gobble up drives off
the tee unless flirting closely with the fairway
and any time the I was off the fairway and able
to find my ball I always had overhanging branches
or thick tree trunks to deal with. The bottom
line is that 'trouble' at this course is going
to cost you at least a stroke and two or three
if you are not extremely humble about your predicament.
The scenery is excellent. There is never a house,
building or man-made structure in view (other
than the clubhouse) and the terrain is pleasing
to the eye. Large mature trees surround the course
and present shier own challenges on most holes.
Cart paths are not paved but this does not take
away from the 'look' of the course. Cart signs
are very good around all the greens and do an
excellent job keeping carts away from the greens
to the point that the grass in front of the green
is among the best we have ever seen. The course
is a member of the Natural Conservancy of Canada
and as such there are numerous naturalized areas
that you are encouraged to stay out/off of. This,
unfortunately is difficult as golf balls seem
to be inherently drawn to these same areas. The
chances of finding a ball in any of the fescue/brush
is slim. There were noticeably more chipmunks
on the course than I have seen in total during
my 34 years.
The fourth hole is somewhat unfair and really
needs to be changed. It is the shortest par 4
on the course at 307 yards from the tips (254
yards from the whites). The problem is the drive
is somewhat blind as you are hitting to a landing
area about 180 yards from the tee that is extremely
small and even if you hit it the chances of getting
a flat lie are very low. The hole then doglegs
right at 90 degrees to a green that is at least
20 yards lower than the landing area. The complaint
is that there are no yardage markers that we could
find anywhere in the landing area to assist with
club selection on our approach shots.
Best Hole: 15
Why: This short par four presents a difficult
decision on the tee as many big hitters will try
for the green from the elevated tee (316 from
golds, 278 from whites). Unfortunately the green
is well protected by water at the front left and
sand on the front right. The entry to the green
is extremely narrow. A higher percentage shot
is to play a mid iron off the tee along the right
side of the fairway and let it feed down the slope
to just in front of the water. The large green
has a significant crest across the middle (left
to right) so be sure to club appropriately into
the green as a poor choice will likely cost you
an extra putt.
Overall rating : Good
Overall value: Excellent