Devil’s Paintbrush and Pulpit
Ontario, Canada

Eighth hole, 510 yards; The stone ruins of a barn and a 17 foot high sod wall confront the golfer as hazards that he is unaccustomed to seeing. More importantly, the broad fairway gives the golfer a multitude of options and alternative routes, the like of which he has grown – sadly – accustomed to not seeing.

There are all kinds of obstacles at the Paintbrush. Here on the 8th, the golfer must avoid the stone ruins of an old home and further on, the 17 foot high sod wall bunker.

Ninth hole, 385 yards; This fairway is littered with seven bunkers everywhere and it takes the golfer time to get to know the right play given that day’s wind. In a recent game, one of the author’s selected to putt for his second shot … and he was still 84 yards from the green. Such is the joy and the availability of options that only a links offers.

Thirteenth hole, 225 yards; One of the most intimidating one shotters with which the author’s are familiar, this one plays along the properties edge with OB close on the right. Another chasm separates the tee from the green in the far distance. Not content to let the length and those impressive features be the hole’s defense, Fry built a severe two tiered green. Conventional, no, but what great links hole is?

Seventeenth hole, 415 yards; The neatest hole of the 36 hole complex, this par four has the kind of inspiration that Muirfield lacks and that North Berwick possesses in spades. The drive must clear an ancient stone wall some 200 yards off the tee. Past the wall, and obscured from the tee, the 100 yard wide fairway falls down a gentle valley before rising up to the green on the far side. The fairway is dotted with six bunkers: some are hidden and others are not. The green flows off a knoll on the right and is 70 yards deep and full of bold, rolling movement. The hole enjoys a great spaciousness and provides the golfer with heaps of different angles from which to come in.

Lorne Rubenstein’s excellent review of the Paintbrush highlights that thegame is supposed to be about fun and adventure,attributesthat the Paintbrush possesses far and away more thanmost inland courses. The must-read review is found athttp://www.golfobserver.com/features/lorne/devils_paintbrush_111705.html .

Devil’s Pulpit

Fifth hole, 400 yards; Following one of the least distinctive drives on the course is an approach shot of great variety and merit. The long shallow green is an elusive target with a creek and bunkers in front and a wasteland behind. The golfer needs to use the green’s slopes to work the ball back to certain hole locations. For instance, when the flag is far right, the best approach shot comes in from the left side of the fairway and hits a full fifteen yards left of the hole. Don’t worry, the ball will drift ever so slowly down to the far wing of the green and a birdie may result.

The wide but shallow 5th green.

Seventh hole, 130 yards; A real tiddler, this hole plays shorter than its length as it is downhill fifteen feet. This picture says it all and a back hole location proves for the umpteenth time that a hole doesn’t have to be long to be scary.

The cunning short 7th

Ninth hole, 400 yards; A beautiful, traditional hole that gracefully works its way uphill. The far back right tee actually has the golfer driving over out of bounds for the first 180 yards. The green is immensely long and most golfers under-club at least one club in trying to get at back hole locations.

Seventeenth hole, 455 yards; An honest hard par four. The closer the drive finishes to the bunkers on the right the better the angle into the green, which has a eight foot pit across its left front. The green is steeply sloped from back to front so a ‘safe’ approach that well clears the front bunker often results in a tragic looking three putt.

The clubhouses fit their respective courses. The Pulpit has a stylized, elaborate clubhouse while the Paintbrush has a simple large one room facility, complete with a roaring fire and plenty of Kilkenny on tap. Also, this Golf Association deserves credit for selecting the two distinctive course’s names. The Devil’s Pulpit is a famed rock formation, which is seen from the 7th tee and the Devil’s Paintbrush is a small flower that is found on that course.

People talk about Winged Foot, Baltusrol, and Wentworth as having fine 36-hole facilities and of course they do. And yet none have the diversity between each eighteen that can be found at the Devil’s Pulpit Golf Association. This diversity between two courses that are only three miles a part makes it a unique club to which to be a member.

The End