Golf in Canada began earlier than in the USA due to Canada attracting the first Scottish immigrants. Unsurprisingly then, Royal Montreal’s beginnings in 1873 can be traced back to a small group of Scots who got together and recreated their national sport. Royal Montreal is therefore a monumentally important golf club and the eldest in North America.
Naturally, the first 9-hole layout was a rudimentary affair which was laid out on part of Mount Royal Park and, in 1884, royal patronage was granted by Queen Victoria. Royal Montreal Golf Club then moved to Dixie in 1896 and remained in the parish of Dorval until the club’s final move to its present location at Ile Bizard in 1959.
45 holes were constructed at Ile Bizard in the Lake of Two Mountains, the Blue, Red and Dixie courses but the Blue course at Royal Montreal is head and shoulders above the other two. Dick Wilson designed all three courses but he was the second choice. The Royal Montreal Golf Club had first sought the services of Robert Trent Jones, but he was otherwise engaged.
The Blue Course is not only one of the greatest courses in the world, but it is also one of the toughest. Dick Wilson built enormous greens (averaging 12,000 square feet) and consequently with so many possible pin positions, three putting is commonplace here at Royal Montreal.
Host to ten Canadian Open championships, most recently in 2014, Royal Montreal is quite rightly proud of its heritage and the club also hosted the Presidents Cup in 2007 when the USA beat the International team by a margin of 19.5 to 14.5.
Fantastic! Hard to get on, but worth the effort. Do not be lulled to sleep on the front, the back will reach out and grab you. Really demanding finishing holes, other than 17 which is short par 3, which I did manage to double. Three of the last four holes require long accurate to have a shot at par.