Founded in 1874, Royal Quebec Golf Club is one of the oldest in North America – indeed, only Royal Montreal pre-dates it, by less than six months. Club members originally played on an estate owned by Ursuline Nuns at Cove Fields before downsizing in 1916 to a smaller site at Kent House - a property owned by Prince Edward, Duke of Kent in the 1700s - near Montgomery Falls.
The club spent less than a decade here before moving to nearby Boischatel, where Willie Park Jnr, assisted by his brother Mungo, completed the plans for an 18-hole course measuring around 6,500 yards. It’s thought this may have been Park’s very last design as he fell ill shortly after and returned to his native Scotland where he died in 1925, having never seen the finished course here.
Today, members have the use of a 38-hole golf facility comprising the original 18-hole Royal course and another 18-hole layout called the Quebec, which was constructed in two stages, the front nine opening in 1959 and the other holes appearing seven years later. Two additional holes are used to allow members to play a loop of nine that takes them back to the clubhouse after the 7th hole.
Both par threes on the front nine of The Royal are interesting short holes which are threatened by water hazards: the tee shot on the 155-yard 4th has to carry the River Ferrée and there’s a creek to be avoided on the right hand side of the green at the 190-yard 8th. Connoisseurs will also love the 310-yard 16th, a short par four that doglegs right from the tee to a triangular-shaped green that tilts from back to front.
We played Royal Quebec on a Thursday afternoon in June. One of the first things we noticed was there were more women golfers than men. The next thing that struck me was about half of them were left- handed. Collectively, these women hit the snot out of the ball. Someone may be thinking that I am being misogynistic, but I am just reporting my observations. About a third of the way thru the round I thought I figured it out….hockey. it was great to see so many women playing, playing well and walking.
To the course, the first hole is a welcoming par four. Leans a little right with a fairway bunker right and a greenside bunker left. The 2nd hole is straightaway. However, the fairway runs out about 125 yards from the green as a stream meanders across it. The 3rd is a straightaway birdie oppty. It is the shortest par four on the front, tree-lined, but a decent drive should leave you with an attack wedge. The first par three is the shortest on the course. Most of the trouble is short, a stream and four bunkers. The first par five bends right and the fairway runs out about 225 yards out. The tee shot is over a river and the river then runs down the right side and the hole is tree lined both sides. It is reachable, but it will require two really good shots and the green is surrounded by four bunkers. The 6th bends left, favor right of center off the tee. There are two bunkers right of the green. The 7th is the number one handicap hole. It is just long and tree-lined with two greenside bunkers. The 8th is a long par three with The front ends with a long par four that bends left. There are fairway bunkers on the inside and outside elbow. The green has long bunkers left, right and rear.
The back starts with the longest par three followed by the shortest par five. On the 11th there is a large fairway bunker right and the fairway runs out about 240 yards out, but definitely reachable. The 12th is a long par four with two fairway bunkers left and one right. Favor the right side to set up a long approach. The 13th is the last par three. Mid-yardage with bunkers front right and left. The 14th is a pretty straight par five that can only be reached by the select few. Off the tee aim at the left fairway bunker. Play it as a three shotter and choose your approach yardage. The 15th-17th are your birdie holes. The 15th is short and straight, 16 doglegs right and you can drive thru the fairway and the 17th is pretty straight, aim at the right greenside bunker off the tee. The 18th is the longest par five. Off the tee aim just left of the right fairway bunkers. For your second I would aim just left of the right fairway bunker about 100 yards out to set up an attack wedge.
Good course that I would pay to play again.