Course Review: The Country Club of Montréal

logo1The third stop of my vacation to Montréal a couple weeks back was a round at The Country Club of Montréal, a private course on the south shore in St.Lambert, QC.

I have played the course a few times and have always been really impressed with it.

Getting There

The club is located in St.Lambert, QC on the south shore of Montréal. If you live on the south shore the course is pretty easy to get to, if you have to cross a bridge from the city, not so much.

Once on the south shore, the course is conveniently located off highway 132.

Lucky for me, my in-laws live only a couple of blocks from the course, so it was a quick 5 minute drive over.

The Course

While the club was formed in 1910, the course was completed redesigned by Roy Dye of Pete Dye Designs in 1974.

The course is situated right in the community of St.Lambert, with the club house, practice area, 1st, 9th, 10th and 18th holes west of Queen Blvd, while the remaining holes sit on the east side of Queen. While the course is surrounded by residential and a fairly major highway, you rarely notice outside of a few instances along the perimeter holes.

As one would expect of a course in the middle of the city it is a park lands style course with tight tree lined fairways, holes falling in close proximity to each other and small greens. I am told that the course started as a links style when first built and that all tress on property are not original but rather planted when the club first opened. I suspect the redesign was necessary in 1974 due to the 65 years of growth the trees had undergone.

Country Club of Montreal from above. Photo Credit mongolf.ca
Country Club of Montreal from above. The 3rd hole is on the left and the 6th hole on the right. Photo Credit mongolf.ca

The course features 5 tee decks that play as a par 72 between 5286 – 6725 yards. From the blue tees (second from back) the course is rated 71.8 with a slope of 133.

There are no fairway bunkers on the course and little water (comes into play on maybe 4 holes), but the greens are small and well protected by green side bunkers.

The overall conditions are what one would expect from a private course (i.e. really good), but the greens are some of the best I have ever played on and probably the closest I have ever come to playing what I would call perfect greens. They were soft enough that balls checked up so you could hit at flags, and yet they rolled quick and true (normally you get firm quick greens or soft slow greens in my experience). On the day I played they were easily rolling 10.5.

From a difficulty perspective the course can play tight and the small greens can be a challenge. Once on the greens they are pretty flat, you get a lot of straight putts.

The only knock against the course is that the holes can be really close together. It would not be unheard of for an errant tee shot to end up on the green or fairway of another hole, or an overshot green to end up on the tee box of the next hole.  Also, the walk from the 9th green back to the club house and the 10th tee takes you down a path in between the 1st fairway and the driving range, I am not sure how someone doesn’t get hit daily.

The most memorable holes are the par 3 8th and the par 4 18th. The 8th is a mid length par 3 with an elevated “island” green. The island in question does not sit in the middle of a pond, but rather the middle of a large bunkers. Miss short, long, left or right and you are on the beach.  The par 4 18th is a really great finishing hole. From the blue tees it plays 446 yards straight away, there is a green side pond on the left that sits only a few feet from the left edge of the green. Needless to say the 18th requires two really good shots for a GIR.

The 1st tee on the left and the 18th green and green side bunker on the right with the club house in the background. Photo Credit unknown, but I don't own this image.
The 1st tee on the left and the 18th green and green side bunker on the right with the club house in the background. Photo Credit unknown, but I don’t own this image.

Practice Facility

My home course has a putting green and some hitting nets, so I tend not to get all bent out of shape about a courses practice facility. With that said, for a private club the Country Club of Montréal’s practice facility is really lacking.

The course does feature a nice big putting green behind the first tee, but that’s the highlight.

The chipping area is a small area squished between the driving range and the putting green. With only a small patch of fairway, two bunkers and a small green with 3 flags, the area is pretty beaten up, it was tough to find any fairway to use that wasn’t a divot.

The driving range was an iron only driving range that topped out at 175 yards. To the left of the range is the 1st fairway, to the right the residential neighbours and long is the 9th green.

Giving the location of the club they are really maximizing the space they have and I doubt they could really increase there practice facility space even if they wanted.

Bits and Bites

David Mulligan's plaque
David Mulligan’s Plaque

See you at the turn,

Brewcee

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