There’s often discussion about what exactly is Canada’s most exclusive golf course. Some say St. Thomas’ Redtail, while others point to Mount Bruno, Magna or Oviinbyrd. Turns out it is none of those. According to T&L Golf, it is the Desmarais’ Domaine Laforest, the exclusive haunt in Quebec that typically only has 500 rounds per year.
For Desmarais, that deal was straightforward: Build me a work of art to
hit balls on. For McBroom, it was similarly clear-cut: Listen to the land. There was no need to move a lot of dirt and, given the stunning mountain vistas, no need for gratuitous framing devices or other tricks of the architect’s trade. “This isn’t Trump National with a fake waterfall,” McBroom says.
Each hole has been designated a name on the scorecard. Some pick up on the physical poetry of the place, like the par-three seventh, Le Gouffre (the Chasm). Others are more personally prosaic; the long downhill par-four first forms Desmarais’s grandkids’ winter sledding grounds, hence Le Toboggan. The tenth tips a tam to Desmarais’s impressive collection of sculpture: McBroom added a pair of Henry Moore boulders to a fairway bunker down the right side of the fairway.
Of the fewer than 500 rounds played here annually, a chunk come through hosted charity functions. More quietly, the first and second Presidents Bush have made the trek to tee it up, as have former President Bill Clinton and former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien (his daughter is married to the younger of Desmarais’s two sons).
Did everyone catch Thomas McBroom’s dig at Tom Fazio in that? “This isn’t Trump National with a fake waterfall,” McBroom says. Priceless. McBroom, as some know, has been pretty outspoken about the decision by the Royal Canadian Golf Association to use Fazio to build their new course for the Canadian Open on the outskirts of Montreal.
While T&L may well be right on this one, there’s one glaring ommision from their piece — telecommunications barons the McCaw family has a Jack Nicklaus designed course on James Island in British Columbia. According to one individual I know who played the course, workers must sign a waiver before starting at the course stating they will not discuss the property or those who come to play.
The entire T&L piece can be found here.
- Thanks to the overwhelming response I received regarding the golf blogs story from yesterday. Of course, some blogs were inadvertently left off the list, like engolfed.com; ncgolf.silkblogs.com; and some newbies beginnergolfing.com; showtimegolf.com and the terrific golfpunkonline.com.
There’s also a fellow Canuck blogger at GolfLogic.
And if you thought Peter Jacobsen was the only singer/guitarist who writes material about golf, check out Atlantic Canada resident Royce Aube who has recorded an entire CD about golf. It may not be Leonard Cohen, but his site can be found at royceobgolfsongs/ and you can listen to clips of his country oriented golf sagas.