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Golf Quebec’s Eastern Townships

BROMONT, QUEBEC — Just an hour south of Montreal, the Eastern Townships offer the highest concentration of golf courses in Quebec. Situated in the Appalachian foothills surrounded by mountains, rolling hills, river valleys and lakes, these naturally beautiful courses offer some of the best golfing deals in Canada with low season/twilight rates from $20 — rarely topping $70 in high season.

Here are five of the best courses in the region:

1. Golf Château-Bromont

Serge, a local golf fanatic, says Golf Château-Bromont is his favourite course in the region. “The mountain views are spectacular and the greens are always in great shape and mosquitoes and black flies are rare.”

This par 72 course, opened in 1964 sports wide fairways, easy par 5s, and great views of the Townships. The back nine plays easier than the front and the best holes start with an elevated tee shot to a green far below. The greens play fairly slow with challenging undulations and large breaks compliments of nearby Mount Bromont. The intimidating signature 15th demands a long drive over water.

Tips: Take a cart — usually included — to combat serious uphill climbs.

A design quirk on the 13th hole requires golfers to approach the tees from the green — note the hidden water hazard behind the hole as you approach the tee boxes.

Rates range from shoulder season specials of $45 per person including golf, cart and a light lunch. Regular walking rates range from $40 to $50 with twilight/early mornings from $20 to $30.

Bring your bathing suit to the course for an après golf swim in the outdoor pool adjacent the clubhouse, which is less crowded than the hotel pool.

One-night packages per person including full breakfast, golf and cart start at $136.00 with four-course meal in superior accommodations.

Apres golf activities: Take advantage of a wide range of Château Bromont Spa treatments and an oriental-style hammam surrounded by landscaped gardens, waterfalls and a whirlpool bath — the only one of its kind in Quebec. An adjacent bike trail joins the 3,000-kilometre Route Verte. Dining options include the popular Les Quatre Canards restaurant with signature Lac Brome duck and an extensive wine list.

 

Address/contact info:

  • 95, rue de Montmorency, Bromont, Quebec J2L 2J1
  • Telephone: 450-534-1199 (toll-free, 1-888-276-6668)
  • Website: www.chateaubromont.com

2. Le Royal Bromont

While Golf Château Bromont scores points for scenery, Le Royal Bromont takes top marks for course conditions. “The Royal is better groomed, better maintained and has faster greens than Château Bromont,” Serge says.

Le Royal Bromont, a public course designed in 1992 by Graham Cooke, hosted the 1994 Canadian PGA Championship and appears on Golf Digest’s 2012 Best 100 golf courses in Canada. A par-72 track, Le Royal Bromont ranges from 5,181 to 7,036 yards and features bent grass greens, fairways and tee areas and white silica bunkers. As with most Quebec courses, pesticides are banned. Green fees from $26 to $71.

Address/contact info:

  • 400, chemin Compton, Bromont, Quebec J2L 1E9
  • Telephone: 450-534-4653 (toll-free, 1-888-281-0017)
  • Website: www.royalbromont.com

3. Le Parcours Du Vieux Village

Another 18-hole championship course, Le Parcours Du Vieux Village sits in the shadow of Mount Bromont on the banks of the Yamaska River. Since 1994, this Score Golf favourite (9/10) with the pretty Victorian clubhouse has been attracting locals and visitors with bargain green fees from $20 to $44.

Address/contact info:

4. Manoir des Sables Golf Course

Facing Mont Orford, the Manoir des Sables Golf Course includes 27 holes sitting on a private lake. The par-71,18-hole championship course starts with an uphill par 5 followed by three holes of excellent mountain views.

On the 5th, aim further right than what your eyes suggest, otherwise your curving downhill tee shot will hit the woods on the left. The 6th, 10th and signature 16th all feature elevated tees.

You’ll have an audience as you approach the 9th green, which sits below a balcony at the Hotels Villegia. Shorter hitters should play up to avoid a difficult second shot around the dog leg left access to a green protected by an overgrown, garden-like hazard from which balls are impossible to retrieve. Shooting uphill under the watchful eyes of curious onlookers can make for some messy approach shots.

Greens fees are a reasonable $38 to $42 but do not include cart. Best to go for the golf/cart/three-course dinner package for $79 or a Stay and Play package in one of 117 rooms and suites with mountain or lake views.

Apres golf activities: Enjoy great drink specials — $12 pitchers of premium beer anyone? And $2 steamies (hot dogs) on the sprawling verandah of the Albatross Bar as you watch weary golfers struggle on the 18th green. Alternatively, head into Magog a few minutes away for a cooling dip in Lake Memaphremagog or a meal on the many terraced bars and restaurants lining the main street and Cherry River.

Address/contact info:

5. Owl’s Head Golf Course

Not far from Mordecai Richler’s Eastern Townships watering hole sits an award-winning, Graham Cooke-designed championship course at the foot of the western slopes of Owl’s Head Mountain.

The Owl’s Head Golf Course offers panoramic views, bent grass tees, fairways and greens, and strategically placed white silica bunkers and water hazards on six fairways. Most holes offer a view of Jay Peak in Vermont.

The course is well laid out so that each hole, including a signature island green, play quite differently from all the others thanks to the good use of woods, water and elevated tees. Prevailing left to right winds and optical illusions around the slope of the greens and fairway directions require a close study of hole-by-hole descriptions available online.

The par-5 12th offers the best shot at birdie or eagle but only if you avoid the fairway bunker on the right and hidden greenside bunker on the left. On the signature 16th island green, aim straight at the pin.

Rates range from twilight/off-season specials of $30 to weekend high season rates of $60.

Apres golf activities: Be sure to check out the impressive clubhouse complete with 45-foot ceilings of British Columbia timber and five fireplaces of native fieldstone, which houses an award-winning dining room specializing in classic French dishes.

Address/contact info:

  • 40, chemin du Mont Owl’s Head, Mansonville, Quebec J0E 1X0
  • Telephone: 450-292-3342 (toll-free, 1-800-363-3342)
  • Website: http://www.owlshead.com/

The Players Championship

When The Players Championship first moved to Ponte Vedra in 1982, Pete Dye’s Stadium course wasn’t an instant hit with the players. When then asked if  TPC Sawgrass suited his playing style, Jack Nicklaus quipped,

“No, I’ve never been very good at stopping a 5-iron on the hood of a car.”

Dye returned to tweak the course, softening the rock hard and lightning fast greens and replacing several bunkers. After the changes, TPC Sawgrass became far more playable.

Every May, the best golfers in the world return to Ponte Vedra Beach for The Players Championship, now considered the unofficial 5th major by golf writers and players alike.

Memorable moments from The Players include Rickie Fowler’s three birdies on 17 for his first Players win in 2015, Hal Sutton’s “Be the right club today” 6 iron into the eighteenth for a 1 shot win over Tiger Woods in 2000 and Tiger Woods “Better than most” 60-foot putt on the island green at 17 for his first Players title in 2001.

If you’re hungry, stop by Nineteen in the clubhouse for lunch.  And don’t miss seeing the Champions clubs. Every year since the inaugural Players Championship in 1974, the TPC Champion has donated a  club from their winning bag to a collection on permanent display in the TPC clubhouse.

Where to Stay

If you want to watch the PGA Tour tee it up at The Players, stay where the pros do, at the updated Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa.  

Lobby of Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa

The lobby provides a beautiful and expansive golf course vista with indoor /outdoor bar seating. You can even see the 13th tee box of the TPC Stadium course from the hotel.

Mini 17th island green at Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa

Sawgrass Marriott has created a mini-replica of the 17th hole at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass for guests to test their game. While only 65 yards away, if you can land a ball on this postage size green, you belong on the PGA tour.

Open for both breakfast and dinner, the Marriott’s signature restaurant, Vernon’s specializes in innovative dishes with a local flair. The many breakfast buffet options include a custom omelette station.

There’s also an onsite spa and a private beach club to relax on Florida’s Northeast sandy coast. The restaurant 619 Ocean View at the beach club is a short shuttle away from the hotel. The hotel also offers guests a complimentary shuttle to the TPC Valley and Stadium course. If you like, you can have your clubs sent over from the hotel.

If golfing TPC Sawgrass is on your bucket list, please note the course is closed for prep one month prior to the tournament.

THE PLAYERS Championship
May 9-14th, 2017
TPC Sawgrass, 110 Championship Way, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida