Situated a mere twenty-minute drive from downtown Montreal, Kanawaki Golf Club was formed in 1912, with members utilising a new clubhouse and playing on a 15-hole layout the following year. The Royal Montreal professional Charles Murray and his brother Albert set out this initial course and then twelve months later a full 18-hole track was in operation.
Today’s course is much modified from the one that was brought into play over a century ago, though the front nine is essentially the same, apart from changes made to the greens on the 2nd, 3rd and 5th holes in 1970. On the back nine, the two consecutive short holes at the 11th and 12th were lost (hole 12 now plays as a slightly left doglegged short par four) in 1953.
Interestingly, scenes for “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” based on the story of Francis Ouimet and the US Open in 1913, were filmed at the club over a 30-day period in 2004 and all the income accrued from the rights to use the premises was invested in renovating the clubhouse in its original style but with modern building materials.
Venue for the Canadian Open back in 1929, the course has also hosted ten Canadian national amateur championships down the years – only three other clubs in the country have staged more – and the course was back in the national golfing spotlight again when the Canadian Men’s Senior Championship was held here in 2017.
Though a few connected friends I had the privilege of playing Kanawaki today. I admit that I love all kinds of golf courses, but especially love parkland courses with lots of elevation changes and for that I was not disappointed. I also judge a course on its opening and closing holes. Often courses try to create something sensation with 18, but forget that number 1 needs to lure you in and scare you a bit, and not put you to sleep right off the bat. Number 1 here is plenty of par 4 from the white tees at 416 yards, but forgives with a wide receptive fairway. 18 does not disappoint since you have to show the clubhouse how hard it is to hit up hill from 210 in.
A few drawbacks: there are only 2 par fives for the men and for some inexplicable reason 2 thirds of the white tees are played with the forward, women's tees. The only time they're separated is when they are more than 400 yards. What? Very odd.
Very fond of this course and happy to have played it. If it had 4 par fives, I would think about joining.
What a great throwback. I was surprised they let us on. Beautifully restored clubhouse. As it is a very mature course it has a plethora of large oak trees. Thus, you better be driving accurately or you will be blocked out or worse. "The Greatest Game Ever Played" was filmed here. Fantastic finishing hole