Quebec Golf Enthusiasm
by Scott A. Sumner
The opportunity to travel to the province of Quebec is always something I look forward to doing. There is something about the french people, their language and enthusiasm for life that makes it an exciting place to be. My focus for the trip was to see the NASCAR Busch series race at Ile Notre Dame. In addition we had the opportunity to tour the cosmopolitan city, do some extreme jet boating on the St Lawrence River and of course play some golf.
The famed McGill University built by James McGill was part of our tour. He gave the money and land to build McGill located in the downtown and it has become very famous all over the world for sciences, languages etc starting in 1817.
Also very unique in Montreal is the Underground City. This 33 km long route under the city links buildings with the subway and is the biggest in world. This project started in 1962 beginning at Place de Marie and is worked on continuously each year.
It was our pleasure to stay in the beautiful Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel centrally located in Montreal. Their gold floor service was exceptional complete with private glass enclosed outside the building private elevator.
It was exciting to be able to play the Club De Golf De l’lle De Montreal. This 36 hole development has played host to several Canadian Tour Events recently and has a brand new, richly appointed beautiful clubhouse.
After a 30 minute limo ride from our hotel we were ready to play the most difficult Parcours de Irlande links style course. This course immediately reminded me of another Montreal course I had played several years ago, Le Challenger near the Dorval airport. Incidently Le Challenger will be closed by the Bombardier family this winter to make way for more housing developments. A shame really but Montreal is a growing city. My playing partner Matt, a journalist from New York and I were fortunate to play with Linda and Peter, both members of the course and low handicappers as well. They were able to give us all the inside information we needed to navigate the challenging links layout with out losing too many balls. Well Matt lost more than his share but his game wasn’t golf but more activities like biking, wind surfing or hiking.
When the Canadian Tour was last here only two players in the field were able to break par we were informed by Peter and the starting holes were the most difficult. A straight tee shot in the fairway was critical and I soon found I had to work my fade from left to right well to accomplish this task. .
Parcours de I’Irlande plays to 7180 yards on the champion tees with an evaluation of 75.6 and slope of 136. The architect is Pat Ruddy of Irelande. We played the Blue tees which totaled 6272 yards with an evaluation of 70.6 and slope of 128.
I have always enjoyed playing a links style course. The holes seem to be well framed by grass mounds on each side and you are almost like in a type of tunnel. There were some deep bunkers on the course which added to the challenge. A highlite of my round was Hole 15 where I hit a 7 iron some 165 yards and my ball landed inches from the cup and rolled by the hole to stop some 1 foot away. This has been my closest try for a hole in one in quite some time, something I have never achieved in my 32 year golf career. A birdie was great though and made for a great end of the round. Be sure to visit www.cgimgolf.com for more information on this course.