– 100% Natural –
Are you looking for that golf destination in the area that’s far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but still close enough for a short day trip?
Look no further than the Algonquin Golf Club.
The Algonquin Golf Club, celebrating 50 years of operation this year, is located ninety minutes north of Ottawa on highway 105 in Messines, Quebec and is well worth the short scenic trip through the Quebec countryside to enjoy both its mountain course flavour and welcoming hospitality.
Brothers Leo and Alderic Jolivette opened their nine-hole Algonquin Golf Course in 1962 and after many years of successful operation sold the course to Robert Morin and his wife Madeleine Martel in 1985. Mr. Morin had a vision of an eighteen-hole operation and with the assistance and advice of professional golfer Carlo Blanchard his vision had turned to reality by 1994.
On August 4, 1994, Algonquin members and guests played for the first time on the newly transformed 18-hole course on the 600 acre property and came away with rave reviews.
But rather than this scribe try and tell the story, let’s let Ottawa resident and local cottager Paul Murray tell us a little about Algonquin Golf Club.
“As an area cottage owner, I have always enjoyed having the Algonquin as a near-by golf course. With the new investments and upgrades made by current owner Dominic Morin, the course has truly become one of those hidden gems that we often hear about, but seldom find.
It’s a mountain course with lots of elevation changes that provide both interesting course management challenges and some sweeping wilderness vistas. The view from the elevated eleventh tee is stunning — nothing but trees as far as the eye can see. Standing there you feel like you’re on the edge of the world. And you almost are. Looking northwest from that point, the next community is Rouyn-Noranda some 400 kilometres away.
The course is on rugged terrain but its well maintained and in good shape. Nicely groomed tees and greens offer a good quality golf experience. Success at the Algonquin requires well placed drives and careful approach shots to get into the often well bunkered greens.
Other newer features of the course add to its visual appeal. For example, an artfully constructed stone wall greets arrivals coming to the first tee. The stone work is repeated at various tee boxes around the course and a fountain sprays in the pond near number two green and is visible from other parts of the course.
My favorite holes are numbers one and eighteen. Number one is a short par 4 that offers a good birdie chance to get your round underway. A well placed drive leaves a pitch into a sloping green. However a thirty-five foot high spruce tree stands like a sentinel in the middle of the fairway about 180 yards out and can deflect an errant drive well away from its intended target — the hoped for birdie can quickly become an opening bogey.
The distinctive feature of number 18 is the green. It’s surrounded on three sides by water and is overlooked by the clubhouse verandah. A well placed drive to the left centre of the fairway sets you up for a good birdie chance, but the second shot from the higher level fairway into the lower level peninsula green has to be just right. Long enough to get there, but high and soft enough to hold the green and not roll off into the surrounding water. The cheers and/or moans of disappointment from the gallery on the verandah will let you know how you’ve done even if you can’t see your ball finish. It’s a great closing hole, both for the golfers and those watching.
All in all, I’d say that although the Algonquin might not be so well known in the city (Ottawa), it sure is a favorite of Maniwaki area residents as well as many cottagers in the upper Gatineau region who appreciate a quality mountain golf experience.”
During this writer’s tour of the golf course, I can say that I was impressed with the views from the elevated tees on the par three holes and can only image the tee shots on holes 15 and 17. Both of these holes are par 5’s requiring lengthy and accurate tee shot placements.
Algonquin has it all with 18 holes, a full-length driving range, and an abundance of power carts for those not wanting to walk the hilly terrain. After a fire destroyed the previous clubhouse, a new building housing a fully-equipped pro shop and food and beverage facilities with an abundance of seating was opened in 1995. As previously mentioned, the outdoor verandah seems to be a favourite gathering spot to watch golfers finish their rounds hitting their approach shots onto the peninsula green while avoiding the unforgiving waters of Lake Bouileau.
An added attraction to the Algonquin Golf Club is the opportunity to purchase a lot in the residential project underway at the club.
Dominic Morin is the owner and operator of the Algonquin Golf Club and at the age of 40 has to be one of the youngest owners in the golf course business. When asked about the secret of his success, he replied, “I have a great team of employees, most of who have been with me for over 10 years. That says a lot. It also helps that when I ask someone to do a job I’ve already done the same job on the golf course since I was a teenager.”
A great combination with an owner who has worked every position at the golf course and a property that brings accolades from golfers who have visited and enjoyed the experience of playing the Algonquin Golf Club.
If you haven’t played the Algonquin Golf Club, maybe you owe it to yourself to try its mountain flavour and welcoming hospitality.
Owner & Golf Course Superintendent
Course Yardage / Rating / Slope
Blue: 6409 / 70 / 125
White: 5994 / 69 / 120
Red: 4917 / 69 / 120
Average Hole Lengths – White Tees
Par 3’s (4): 161
Par 4’s (10): 344
Par 5’s (4): 478
Algonquin Golf Club
6 Chemin du Golf
Messines, Quebec, J0X 2J0
819-449-2554 / 1-800-935-2554