The articles on this website, which are the copyright of the Yorkshire Post and Chris Stratford, may NOT be reproduced in part or whole without permission. All rights reserved.
Central Park, New York
The Rocky Mountaineer
Johanna Beach, Australia
Hluhluwe Reserve, KwaZulu Natal
Tecina GC, on La Gomera island
Portuguese cakes, bought by weight
Kingsbarns’ entrance and clubhouse
Killeen Castle, just outside Dublin
Slieve Donard hotel, N Ireland
Nefyn GC, North Wales
Return to Home Page
to the Czars
Upcoming events on
the calendar in
Quebec and Montreal
ANYONE who has played the Royal & Ancient game will at some stage have heard a joke beginning, "A golfer dies and goes to heaven…" I managed to reach the destination without the inconvenience of travelling via the mortuary.
Golf in Canada in the autumn was an experience which I have filed away in my memory banks to be retrieved at moments when the British climate is at its greyest, coldest and wettest.
I should confess I may have embarked for a week's golf in Montreal and Quebec City without packing my usual supply of objectivity. Autumn is my favourite time of year for playing, so a visit to Canada in early October was always going to appeal.
Even so, I underestimated the visual allure and sensual delight of golf in an environment for which the word breathtaking might have been created. From standing on the first tee on day one at the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu's course in Charlevoix overlooking the awesome St Lawrence river, to attempting to hole out on the last hole in moonlight at Saint Raphael, close to Montreal, there was seldom a moment when the senses were not stunned.
Quebec, the province, is spread over 650,000 square miles – that's seven times the size of the UK – and half is covered with forests. Pictures and words can provide an idea of the stunning backdrop of gold and red which the turning leaves thus provide, but will only do it partial justice.
Mark Twain's comment that "golf is a good walk spoiled" for the first time had some resonance to this devotee of the game, for it did seem folly to concentrate on hitting a golf ball from A to B, normally via points C to Z, when there was so much more to assimilate than whether a putt broke from the left or the right.
As if to admonish me for possibly failing to properly acknowledge my surroundings, a fox accosted my partners and me on a green at Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, striding to within a few feet, staring us down and then attempting to make off with a club left at the side of the putting area. The point was well made: there were more things to admire than just my companion Jeff Wallach's immaculate iron play.
As they are at the second course played, Le Diable at Mont-
The holes are named and the appellation for the 12th, a 195-
The last is called Satisfaction and that perfectly sums up the feeling of having played this challenging but gratifying and spectacularly splendid course.
Gray Rocks, also in Mont-
Heading back to Montreal, the fourth and final course played was at Saint-
So we know the golf in the Canada is great, but how, you ask, does one sustain the body through such a physical onslaught of four rounds in five days? Well, you could try a diet of sugar pie which is exactly what it says on the menu. This is pastry crammed with sugar, a culinary experience not to be missed but a dessert order to be shared with at least half a dozen fellow diners. Or while on the road, snack at Tim Horton's, a chain of doughnut coffee shops which provide a vast selection of both commodities – the former colourful, enticing and surprisingly light.
That's the in-
Food in Canada appears to reflect the Canadians' thinking on life; they want it to look good and be enjoyed, so I obliged. Eating duck on three consecutive days may not have been helpful to either my waistline or the neighbourhood's web-
I was also grateful to a fellow guest at Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu at breakfast one morning who gently chided me when I closed the lid on a tureen without taking any maple syrup-
“No, no – you must," she urged. I showed her I already had waffles on my plate. "You must," she said, more insistently but still charmingly. I did as I was told – and was grateful.
So I leave you with one tip: take some golfing trousers with expandable waistbands. You might need them by the end of your stay.
Published: December 8, 2007
top of page
For Quebec &
Montreal picture gallery click here