The French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec is perhaps not as well known as many other places for its outstanding golf. But it is worth taking a look. Quebec is not only the home of several outstanding traditional courses, but like the rest of North America has seen a boom in resort and “destination” golf course development.
And a trip to Quebec offers something you can not easily find anywhere else this side of the Atlantic: an alternative to the fast food strip mall culture we’ve come to expect along every highway.
La province de Quebec is a very large place, with a number of distinct tourist areas. It stretches from Ontario and the Ottawa River in the west all the way to Labrador and the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the east; from the Eastern Townships and Gaspe bordering on New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine in the south, to the cold and rugged expanses of Hudson’s Bay and the Arctic in the north.
In this article I feature Quebec City and the Charlevoix district.
Quebec City and Charlevoix (east of Quebec City)
Le Grand Vallon – This long and gently rolling layout is nestled at the base of magnificent Mont-Sainte-Anne, and part of the extensive ski resort. The course was originally built in 1976 and recently upgraded, earning it a silver medal for Best Improved Golf Course from Golf International magazine. Le Grand Vallon is beautifully conditioned, with tree-lined fairways and a plateau at mid-course. ($50-$80cdn/round. A wide range of accommodation packages are available, from as low as $80 cdn pp for one night/one round of golf.)
Richelieu Golf Club – It’s been called one of the finest golf resorts in Canada. Perched high above the majestic St. Lawrence River, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu Golf Club (Charlevoix) follows the scenic lay of the land, creating a superb, thinking golfer’s course. Inaugurated in 1925 by former American President William H. Taft, Le Manoir Richelieu is a rambling, tumbling 18-hole creation that offers an unpredictable par-71 layout—you’ll need a cart to cover the 6,225-yard course. Grandiose vistas can be savoured from every tee. ($65cdn + cart. Example 2003 summer package: $555 usd/person, including 3 nights, car rental, and air flight from New York. Golf extra.)
Le Grand Portneuf – about 20 minutes from Quebec City, offers 36 holes of golf amid spectacular scenery. The Blue Course tests golfers’ strategy, strength and accuracy. The eye-pleasing stretch from holes 5 to 7 runs along the Rivière Portneuf, where the music of the falls adds to the charm of the setting. The Red Course features dramatic elevation changes, forests, hills and ravines. The White Course is edged with maple trees and threads through undulating woodlands. (no rates available)
Mont Tourbillon – Nestled on a mountainside overlooking Lac Beauport, this is part of another ski resort and is one of the most scenic golf courses in Québec. It opened in 1961, and has become an established favorite with golfers who enjoy the mountain vistas as much as the challenging play. The lovely Lac Beauport area is a popular getaway location, offering a variety of recreational activities, accommodations and scenic attractions. ($30-$75cdn per round.)
Royal Quebec – Founded in 1874 and located in Boischatel since 1925, the Royal Quebec is a first-class semi-private golf club. With its 36-hole course and country club atmosphere, it is one of the oldest golf clubs in America. Even older than many Scottish clubs.
Located a stone’s throw from the Montmorency Falls and only minutes away from the Old Capital, the Royal Quebec is one of the most prestigious clubs in the region.
The club is located on a 186 hectares piece of land with majestic pine trees growing since the beginning of the century.
The club house, overlooking the 18th green of the «Quebec» course, is a true architectural jewel. Its panoramic windows offer a spectacular view of l’Île d’Orléans and Quebec city.