“Cataraqui” is the original native name for Kingston, the “Limestone City”, where the Cataraqui Golf & Country Club course is located, midway between Toronto and Montreal.
The course came about following the construction of a public road through the property of Kingston Golf Club (which had been in existance since 1886) so a basic, 6-hole affair was constructed when the new Cataraqui club was established in 1917.
More land was quickly acquired to allow an expansion of the original George Cummming-designed course and this 18-hole layout was remodelled by Stanley Thompson in 1931 when he retained some of the existing holes, constructed several new ones and reshaped others.
The course in play today is much as Thompson left it when his course makeover was completed in 1933, featuring, as the club’s publicity says, “bunkers with their sweeping capes and flashes of sand, towering white pines, rolling fairways and small subtly breaking greens that will challenge your shot making skills”. A feature hole here is the uphill, 206-yard par three 15th, played to a green perched near the crest of a rise.
A little on the short side now for holding major compeitions, Cataraqui hosted a number of provincial events in its heydays between the 1930s and 1970s, including the Ontario Amateur Championship (1939, 1952, 1963), the Ontario Ladies' Amateur Championship (1937, 1965, 1973) and the Ontario Open (1955, 1958, 1966, 1973, 1979).
Doug Carrick carried out a complete bunker renovation on the course in 2015.
We played Cataraqui in Mid-September and couldn't have had a better day for it. The green complexes are in fantastic shape and the course can be punishing but fair. Standout holes include the par 4 1st, 10th, 17th and 18th, the par 5 4th, and the incredible par 3 12th and 15th.