Ten in the Great White North: Canada offers lots of good PGA Tour-tested golf layouts

And you thought Jack Nicklaus had won everything.

Close -- but not quite.

Nicklaus' collection of 73 PGA Tour titles doesn't include a single triumph at the Canadian Open, and it wasn't for lack of trying -- the Golden Bear was runner-up seven times in the Great White North.

Thing is, Nicklaus continues to leave his mark at Canada's marquee event. His first and still his most famous design on Canadian soil is Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ont., a 7,253-yard test that plays host to the PGA Tour stars for the 28th time this week.

The list of past Canadian Open champions at Glen Abbey is headlined by current title holder Jason Day and World Golf Hall-of-Famers such as Mark O'Meara, Greg Norman, Nick Price and Lee Trevino.

And on a soggy Sunday in 2000, Tiger Woods hit one of the greatest shots of his career on Glen Abbey's finishing hole -- a gutsy six iron from a fairway bunker that carried 200-plus yards over the water and stopped on the fringe, just past a sucker pin on the back-right corner of the green. Shortly after, Woods was celebrating a one-stroke victory.

Glen Abbey is a public-welcome setup, so you can be sure countless amateurs have attempted to recreate Tiger's spectacular shot, although most of the evidence is buried at the bottom of that pond.

Beyond Glen Abbey, here are 10 more tour-tested golf courses in Canada that you can play without a trip to Q-School:

Northview Golf and Country Club (Surrey, B.C.)

It's been a long, long time since a homegrown golfer hoisted the hardware at the Canadian Open (the answer to this particular piece of trivia is Pat Fletcher in 1954). But beloved lefty Mike Weir gave fans across the Great White North reason to celebrate with a win at the 1999 Air Canada Championship at Northview Golf and C.C. Designed by Arnold Palmer and open to the public, Northview's Ridge Course was a PGA Tour venue for a seven-year stretch.

Grey Silo (Bloomingdale, Ontario)

U.S. Women's Open champ Brittany Lang notched her first LPGA Tour title at the 2012 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic at Grey Silo Golf Course in southern Ontario. No word on whether she was referred to as "Bethany" during the trophy presentation. If you don't own a tour card, you'll be shaking in your soft-spikes as you peg it on no. 7, a 324-yard test with water on both sides.

Royal Quebec (Boischatel, Quebec)

The late Billy Casper ranks seventh on the PGA Tour's all-time wins list, with 51 crowns to his credit. He claimed the first of all those trophies at the 1956 Labatt Open at Royal Quebec . You can add Trevino and George Knudson to the list of past winners on Willie Park Jr.'s design at this historic haunt near Quebec City, where limited public play is allowed.

Angus Glen (Markham, Ontario)

Ever wandered into the pro-shop at a 36-hole hangout and asked which half hosts the big events? The answer at Angus Glen is, simply, "Both." The South Course welcomed the Canadian Open in 2002, with John Rollins finishing atop the leaderboard, while Jim Furyk triumphed on Angus Glen's North Course five years later. Located just north of Toronto, Angus Glen was also the divot-digging venue for the 2015 Pan-American Games.

Bear Mountain Resort (Victoria, B.C.)

Technically, Bear Mountain hasn't hosted a major tour event just yet. That'll change in September, when the PGA Tour Champions stars arrive on Vancouver Island for the 2016 Pacific Links Championship. Perhaps Fred Couples can provide a scouting report -- he competed in a skins game on the Nicklaus-designed Mountain Course in 2010, although Boom Boom was skunked in that exhibition. Bear Mountain's Valley Course is also a beauty.

Dakota Dunes Golf Links (Whitecap, Saskatchewan)

You might not recognize any of the names on the current leaderboards on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada, but you will someday. The always-growing list of alumni on the minor-league circuit dates back to Weir and Steve Stricker and also includes rising stars such as Tony Finau. Another graduate, Graham DeLaet, is now the de facto host of an event at the linksy Dakota Dunes Golf Links near Saskatoon.

Sirocco (Calgary, Alberta)

Want proof the up-and-comers on the Mackenzie Tour are really, really good? Book a round at Sirocco Golf Club and just try to imagine finishing your business in 59 strokes, which is what Brady Schnell -- now a Web.com Tour regular -- accomplished on this challenging loop in 2014. Jason Bohn once signed for a 58 (!) at Huron Oaks in Bright's Grove, Ont., but several holes have changed since then.

Islesmere (Laval, Quebec)

Asterisk alert! Islesmere is not a public track, but members of the ClubLink family should add this tight track to their list of must-sees. Islesmere's hosting history includes both Canadian Opens -- men and women -- and a slew of other top-notch tournaments. During his mind-boggling string of 11 straight Ws on the PGA Tour, Byron Nelson triumphed at Islesmere at the 1945 Montreal Open.

Links of GlenEagles (Cochrane, Alberta)

Links of GlenEagles , a hillside setup, hosted the Web.com Tour -- it was the Nationwide Tour back then -- for the 2003 Alberta Calgary Classic, with winner Tom Carter earning a battlefield promotion to the biggest stage. The signature hole is no. 16 on your scorecard, a stunning par 3 that ranks among Alberta's best holes. If you really want to test your mettle, it's a terrifying 251 yards from the tips.

Ledgeview (Abbotsford, B.C.)

Ledgeview has never hosted a big event, so how did this tree-lined track score a spot on the list? Simple. Both Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor -- that's two of the four Canadians with full-fledged playing privileges on the PGA Tour this season -- logged hundreds, maybe thousands, of rounds as junior members at this 6,131-yard layout in B.C.'s Lower Mainland.

Wes Gilbertson covers the NHL’s Calgary Flames and writes golf features for Postmedia in Calgary, Alta. When the snow melts, he's living proof that thin mountain air doesn't turn everybody into a long-drive specialist. Follow Wes on Twitter at @WesGilbertson.
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Ten in the Great White North: Canada offers lots of good PGA Tour-tested golf layouts
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