Established in 1891, the Ottawa Golf Club – as it was known up until 1912 when King George V granted the club its Royal title – was a founder member of the Royal Canadian Golf Association in 1895, the year that the club also hosted the first Canadian Amateur Championship.
Founding members played on a 9-hole course then a 12-hole layout before the club moved to its present site a decade after its formation, with Tom Bendelow setting out a course for play. Willie Park Jr. later revised the layout, which still retains much of its authenticity, even after a major bunker renovation in 2004.
Feature holes at Royal Ottawa include the 520-yard 4th, a fine par five that double doglegs from tee to green and the two short par fours at 7 and 10, either of which just might throw up the opportunity to putt for a birdie.
Undoubtedly, the stars of this particular golfing show are the back-to-back par threes at the 167-yard 11th (“Little Misery”) and 154-yard 12th (“Bide a Wee”), where the two-tiered putting surface of the former and domed green on the latter rarely ever yield a “2” on the scorecard.Royal Ottawa hosted the 28th edition of the Canadian Women’s Open in 2000, an event won for the first time by Meg Mallon. This was the last year that duMaurier sponsored the tournament and, indeed, it was the last time the competition was considered as one of the four ladies major championships as it has since been replaced by the Women’s British Open.
I grew up playing the Royal Ottawa. It's a classic course, with both big and small hills that can cause some stress in the game. While #1 is a shorter par 5, it is very tight entry hole. The 8th hole is one of the tougher holes I've played. On the back 9, the 13th and 15th are fantastic par 4s. And the finishing hole with that clubhouse is one of the most beautiful anywhere.
The course could use a few more traps or water hazards. It could benefit from some added length.