50 Inverness Drive,
- +1 519 742 3848
50 km NW of Hamilton
Members and their guests only
The legendary golf course architect Stanley Thompson, who constructed many of Canada’s top tracks between the First and Second World Wars, designed Westmount Golf & Country Club.
Westmount was formed by a number of members from the Grand River Golf Club on 17th June 1929 under the chairmanship of Herbert Snyder. As the course was routed through bush and swampland, much hard work was involved in its construction before it opened two years later in 1931.
The original Thompson layout played to a par of 71 but this was lengthened to a par of 73 when additional land was obtained in 1958, allowing the introduction of three new holes at the expense of the the opening trio, which were turned into a practice facility at the club.
Located in 160 acres of parkland at Kitchener, south west of Toronto, Westmount is a private course that has hosted some of the top Canadian tournaments including the Open in 1957, the Ladies Open in 1965 & 1991 and the Amateur Championship in 1969.
Thomas McBroom and Doug Carrick have both upgraded the layout in more recent times but the course has Thompson’s signature on every hole. Fairways flow with the contours, dipping and rising, seldom allowing the golfer a level lie. Landing areas for tee shots are wide, but flashed bunkers prevail around the greens, making putting surfaces both dramatic and demanding.
The present day Westmount Golf & Country Club boasts a curling rink built in 1962 and tennis courts constructed in 1977 but members still owe a debt of gratitude to the early pioneers at the club like Herbert Snyder and his board of directors for steering the club through its formative years to the position it is now finds itself in as one of the foremost golf clubs in Canada.
Doug Carrick carried out a complete bunker renovation on the course and replaced the 11th and 12th greens in 2015.
Westmount is known as one of Stanley Thompson’s finest designs, opening for play in 1931. According to the club website, much of the course was cut from bush and swamp, something that certainly isn’t evident when playing today – this course is the very definition of a parkland design, with almost every fairway framed by towering maples and pines.
This is a true old-school, parkland golf course…a shot makers delight. You need to be on your game and have all the shots out here to put a score together. While there may not be the ‘options’ available off the tee and in the fairway like you'd see at a more modern design, placement is of paramount importance out here in order to gain access to certain pin positions. There are no forced carries and the fairways offer enough width for all but the most inaccurate players. Everything is pretty much in front of you, with no tricks. A delightful members course, maybe one of the best in the country for players of all skill levels.
This is not an easy golf course but if you're on your game and striking it well, you can score at Westmount. The greens are slick and undulating and there are a lot of different hanging shots you may face on the slopey fairways. Westmount is a true testament of Stanley Thompson’s genius – the routing is almost flawless, with the only blip being the strange walk back to the 16th tee (we had to look for awhile to find where we had to go). It’s truly incredible how Thompson gives the player so many appealing downhill tee shots yet rarely forces unnecessarily long uphill climbs from green to tee. He does that by having many holes slowly climb from the landing area to the green, something that isn’t really apparent until after the round when reminiscing over the course as a whole. There isn’t a weak hole on this entire golf course. Some, of course, are better than others but everything flows beautifully from one hole to the next. You definitely notice how the par fives are front loaded in the round but again, that’s Thompson taking what the land gave him in his routing.
The course lays on a remarkable piece of land right in the middle of Kitchener, with rolling topography and towering trees framing all of the holes. A truly beautiful parkland course. We played at the end of the summer on a perfect day and a perfect week. Conditions were ideal, the greens rolled fast and true and the course is maintained just how you’d expect considering its stature in the top 20 in Canada.
You could tip it up every day here for the rest of your life and not be left wanting more. It’s also a great walking golf course. The land is certainly challenging but again, the routing never forces the player to make excessive climbs or descents.
I certainly wish I had scored better out here but there is no disputing the obvious – Westmount G&CC is one of the very finest golf courses in the entire country.
There isn’t a weak moment to be found anywhere on the property and I truly can’t wait to get another crack at this gem in Southwestern Ontario. This is a course that all Stanley Thompson aficionados must play to complete their education.
For a full hole-by-hole profile and pictorial, please visit my website at https://nowontheteegolf.com/2009/12/29/westmount-g...
Another excellent example of how Stanley Thompson designed golf courses continually stand the test of time. Westmount Golf & Country Club has consistently been ranked in the top 20 golf courses in Canada. It has hosted many prestigious events including the Canadian Open Golf Championship and the LPGA du Maurier Classic.
In 2015 the members reportedly spent $2.6 million up-dating the historic clubhouse to a much more contemporary feel. The service was impeccable. The staff were well-trained, friendly and welcoming.
Westmount was in impeccable condition the day we played it. This is parkland golf at its finest. Almost every hole is framed with tall pines and maple trees. The topography does not have as much dramatic elevation changes as I would have expected but the design is outstanding. This modified Thompson par-73 is tight with strategically placed bunkers but open and groomed under the trees, making it an ideal members course. The large greens are fast with subtle breaks.
The routing on the front nine is a little awkward for non-members since you can get easily get confused trying to find your way to the 5th and 8th tee-blocks.
My most memorable holes were the 3rd , a photogenic par-3 over a fountain pond with a well-forested backdrop and the 8th , a driveable par-4 with out-of-bounds lurking on the left side and a green that is protected by three ominous bunkers.
The only real issue here is that local rules dictate that you can remove any stones from the bunkers since they seem to continuously rise to the surface.
Westmount Golf & Country Club is an historic gem and a must-play if you are fortune enough to get an invitation.
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