I have spent a fair bit of time over the last decade on the south shore of Montreal where my in-laws live. I have played a bunch of golf over the years in the area, but only recently did I venture over to Club de Golf La Prairie , which sits a mere 10 minutes from my in-laws place. I didn’t know much about the course before playing it, had no clue what type of conditions I would find, but the website looked nice, so thought I would check it out.
It turns out Club de Golf La Prairie is a pretty nice facility, really nice actually, althoigh it is the only golf course I have ever played with a parkade and an entrance that looks less like a golf course and more like a shopping centre or the entrance to the downtown of a small town.
Originally built in 1964 it went through major renovations between 2002 and 2009 to become the course it is today. I imagine in the 60s and 70s the course was “out in the country” but today its definitely in the city with houses, condos, shopping plazas and a major roadway all close by.
The 18 hole par 72 course plays between 6006 and 6732 yards and features 72 bunkers and water on 16 of 18 holes. It is rated quite hard from the back tees at 72.3/130, and mildly difficult from the middle tees at 70.6/127.
Club de Golf La Prairie is conveniently located on the south shore of Montreal in the community of La Prairie, which is essentially directly south of highway 10 just off highway 134, otherwise known as Boulevard Taschereau.
I got a very banquet hall mixed with shopping centre feel from the clubhouse, which may be a result of the parkade.
The clubhouse is very modern, with high ceilings and a big foyer and staircase leading to a second floor restaurant. The proshop was very small, almost as if it wasn’t the main reason for the clubhouse.
I was pleasantly surprised by the course. For whatever reason I wasn’t expecting much, but the layout was very enjoyable and challenging, with a lot of risk reward opportunities, especially from the middle tees. The course wasn’t tight and for the most part you could grip it and rip it, but the risk of water on most holes made you think twice about the wide open fairways. The layout did make for some long walks between holes, but nothing too excessive.
Course conditions were impressive. I played in mid June and the course was very lush. The rough was thick, which made hitting fairways a priority. The only complaint I had about the course conditions were the bunkers, which had too much sand and very fluffy, making hitting out of 1 of the 72 bunkers a challenge.
The greens were medium to large in size, relatively flat and in god shape. They rolled true, but the speed was somewhat inconsistent. almost as if some had been cut and others not. With that said, they were very receptive to approach shots, which was good.
The back 9 is shorter and should play easier than the front as there a couple holes that you can hit driver and be left with a wedge into the green. But, there are also a couple of holes that can get you on the back 9, mainly 16 which seems short and harmless, until you get to the green. I hit an uphill putt from the left side that more or less came back at me the green is slow slanted from right to left.
The par 3 17th is without a doubt the signature hole of the course. While part of me thinks the condos ruin a great looking hole, another part of me thinks they add a unique element of nature meeting civilization. Regardless of whether you like the visual of the hole, it is a tough golf hole. Downhill, over water, with a bunker right smack in the middle of the bail out area. The green slopes towards the water, so getting it close requires a shot to the right side of the green.
Club de Golf La Prairie has a really nice practice facility. Not overly large, but big enough and nice and close to the club house.
The practice area consists of a large putting green, a short game area with bunker and a driving range.
Bits and Bites
- I think Club de Golf La Prairie really deserves a closer look when we talk about top courses. It is definitely in the underrated category for me, considering I knew nothing about it and had been a regular in the area for a decade.
- I didn’t have a particularly good day, making a birdie on 18 to shoot 83.
- I booked the first tee time of the day as a solo, but ended up getting paired up, which was ok. I had asked when I called if I would be able to tee off before the first time of the day, which I was told I could. However, upon arrival I was told I would have to wait for the starter to open the tee for the day. It was a little disappointing to have to wait, but even in a foursome we played in under 4 hours, which was nice.
See you at the turn,