Review for L'Ile de Montreal (Ireland)

Reviewer Score:


The Club de Golf de l‘Ile de Montréal, at the northern tip of the city’s island, is full of surprises. The clubhouse is the first one: a modern structure complete with panoramic tower, the architectural style of which may please some people’s sense of aesthetics. Then the large terrace facing an artificial waterfall and huge synthetic, colorful logo built on the slope leading to the first tee of the Irlande course, one of two on the property. The third surprise was, in my view, the greatest one and the best one: the course itself.

L'Ile de Montreal (Ireland) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer

At the top of the hill facing the clubhouse, we entered a different world. Instead of the very flat land we had driven across to reach the complex, we were looking at a terrain of rolling dunes, open to all winds and with few trees to shelter from them, a convincing reenactment of an Irish links locale.

Even though the course was far from its top condition at the time we played it (mid-May) due to a warm winter and late cold spat, the experience was exhilarating. It was probably colder than at most times of the year on the Emerald Isle, and the traffic noise from the major highway running along the course could be heard on a good half of the holes. But none of that mattered, because the illusion of a links was almost perfect, wind included. We had to deal with blind shots, bumps all over the narrow fairways, uneven lies pretty much throughout, large greens (some double on the back nine). The greens held their lines very nicely even though they were kind of slow (but this was no doubt a temporary condition).

L'Ile de Montreal (Ireland) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer

Quite a few holes stood out: the par four 1st with its uphill tee shot, then a dogleg right and downhill approach; the par five 2nd, with its fairway studded with sort of pot bunkers and a narrow, long green; the long par four 4th, definitely the hardest hole on the course where the landing area for the drive is fraught with bunker hazards, especially on the right; the second par five of the first nine, the 5th hole with its surprising lone tree sticking out of the middle of the big bunker inside the dogleg turn at the top of the slope; the par four 7th and its huge bunker barring the fairway, complete with railroad links; and then the suite of par fours starting the back nine, three long and narrow holes sunk between dunes and bumps. The last par three, the 16th was also probably the nicest, slightly downhill with an elevated green defended by a trio of deep sand traps and a green bunker in the middle.

No wonder this golf club is so popular with golfers, both from Montreal (315 members, a very good number in these parts) and elsewhere (many thousands of green fees yearly despite the short season)! The course type “uniqueness” is excellent, the golf itself is seriously good, so the feeling of “come back” was strong when we reached the 18th green (serving double duty for the 9th hole as well).

Date: June 05, 2016

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