Among the 150+ golf courses in the Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec region there are many holes that quickly get your attention. They do so for many reasons. It can be for their outright beauty, their intimidation factor, and maybe for how fun they are top navigate. Whatever the case, as we have profiled just about every golf course in the area through the last 24 seasons of Flagstick, we are shifting directions to pay attention to notable holes.
This month we feature a par five that has one of the most elevated tee shots around and allows for views of two provinces at the same time. Welcome to The Gauntlet at Camelot Golf & Country Club.
Stretching to some 602 yards, when the Cumberland (just east of Ottawa) area golf club hosted the 2012 Canadian men’s Amateur Championship it gave some of the best future pros in the world fits…and high scores.
Long-time Camelot member and former Team Canada athlete Grace St-Germain provided this assessment just prior to the club welcoming the 2018 World Junior Girls’ Championship.
“That one has a narrow landing area, so they are going to have to be very careful with that tee shot and then play that hole as smart as they can.”
That’s fair warning from one of the straightest drivers of the golf ball in Canada who is now a Senior at the University of Arkansas.
The five tee deck options at Guantlet range from 452 to 602 yards but each provides a distinctive test.
It starts with the tee ball where you are presented with a sweeping hillside vista and a ribbon of fairway sitting well below you. The tee shot must be hit long and straight with preference given to the left side of the fairway to avoid a steep gully and trees to the right.
From that point you have to consider your options as the fairway then climbs toward the green and presents you with a blind shot as you execute your second shot, be it a layup or an attempt to reach the green.
Long hitters seeking the putting surface in two shots will need to be precise as architect Tom McBroom crafted a narrow target surrounded by bunkers on each side and a drop-off on the back side, but left an open approach from the front.
The small but tricky green sports multiple levels, meaning even a green hit in regulation does not always convert to an easy birdie.
If you are successful, however, with even a par, you will have done much better than the average score. It might even provide a confidence boost on your way to playing the final six challenging tests.
Above all, Gauntlet is memorable, serves up a tough golf puzzle and is surely one of the most distinctive holes in the area.