Vibrant Past, Promising Future
Golfers in the Ottawa area have had the fortune of being able to play golf courses located along the Upper Aylmer Road in the Aylmer section of the City of Gatineau since early in the 1900’s. The Royal Ottawa (1903 at its current location) and Rivermead (1910) golf clubs were the first to open.
Recognizing a need for public golfers as there was a boom in the industry, the Chaudiere now known as the Chateau Cartier (1922), Glenlea now known as the Champlain (1929) and the Gatineau (1929) golf clubs were constructed and opened for play.
The Gatineau Golf Club, originally known as the Hull Country Club, has undergone many changes since golf professional Gus Mullen designed the first of numerous layouts the club has seen in 1929. Many golfers from Ottawa and throughout the Outaouais, including this writer, played their first rounds of golf on the Aylmer Road Course.
Apart from golf, the Gatineau was also well known for its dancing and entertainment in the night club housed behind the clubhouse. The original clubhouse for golfers was the stone house built for William Grimes, the owner of the property known as The Grimes Farm.
Capable of housing 1,200 guests, the massive barn-like nightclub was open year-round and according to Diane Aldred in her book “The Aylmer Road – An Illustrated History”, featured top entertainers including “Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Carmen McCrae, Sophie Tucker, Oscar Peterson, the Mills Brothers, Carmen Cavallero, the Gaylords, the 4 Aces, the Inkspots, Billy Daniels, Josephine Baker, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Billy Eckstein, Delta Rhythm Boys, the McGuire Sisters, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, and the Kirby Stone Quintet.” That entertainment came to a halt when the Gatineau Club burned to the ground in 1960. The rebuilt Gatineau Club was mainly used as a banquet hall for the golf club and it was demolished in 1990 to make way for commercial development.
Along the way, the Gatineau Golf Club has seen many changes in ownership. The Hull Country Club was purchased from Aylmer Mayor George Nash in 1926 by Gatineau Bus Line owner Alfred Aubrey. Joe Saxe, owner of Saxe Shoes on Sparks Street; Hymie Kurt of Evans and Kurt – stationers in Ottawa; and Harold Copeland of Hull Iron and Steel purchased the club in 1939 and ten years later Mr. Saxe bought out his partners. The Saxe family sold the property to G.J. Simpson Construction in 1970 and in 1984 the Richcraft Group of Companies bought the property to construct a housing development in conjunction with a re-designed, 18-hole golf course and a new clubhouse.
How times have changed.
In 2012, the Gatineau Golf and Country Club officially re-opened after years of transformation with a championship golf course designed by renowned Canadian golf architect and player Graham Cooke and golf course superintendent Stan Brigham along with an upscale 11,000 square foot, state of the art clubhouse located at 160 rue du Golf.
The Gatineau Golf and Country Club clubhouse is certainly impressive and quite functional. It is available year-round for weddings and other receptions, business meetings, conferences and special events. Whether you enter the clubhouse through the pro-shop or the grand entrance from the semi-circular driveway, you will be impressed by the grandeur of the new edifice. It was voted the Best Clubhouse in the region by Flagstick Golf Magazine Readers in 2012.
The grand building features a fully-equipped pro-shop, change rooms with lockers and showers, a restaurant along with complete banquet and catering facilities in the 2,500 square foot Gatineau Salon.
Bistro 19 is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and features daily specials served in a 1,400 square foot lounge complete with large screen televisions, bar and lounge seating, a fireplace and an outdoor covered patio offering comprehensive views of the golf course. It’s the perfect spot for after-game discussions, recaps and payment of wagers.
Golfers who have frequented the Gatineau in the past might recognize parts of the landscape as they play holes 14 through 18. Graham and Stan have used the acreage available to them in building an interesting and challenging course that winds its way through the Richcraft community of La Croisée.
The Gatineau course has a length of 5001-6894 yards depending on which of the four teeing areas you use. Generous landing areas and gentle rolling greens await both tee and approach shots. Take the time to plan your shots as numerous bunkers have been strategically placed on various holes and water hazards abound. The course designers have left enough trees lining the fairways to give definition to each hole.
The five par 3 holes on the course feature water purposefully located near their greens giving golfers just enough pause to reconsider the club in their hands. The 12th hole for example only measures 92-151 yards, but the view from the tee is water, a ribbon of green, sand and trees.
The finishing 18th hole will be a treat to play. Not a tough par 4, but water down the right hand side and a green easily visible from the clubhouse patio. Just the added pressure golfers need to finish their rounds with their friends watching.
The Richcraft Group of Companies, owners of the Gatineau Golf and Country Club, have certainly gone out of their way to enhance their La Croisée housing development with both a championship golf course and a clubhouse that will be utilized for years to come by golfers, members of the community and local businesses.
Richcraft Group of Companies
Golf Course Superintendent
Tees and Course Yardage (Not Sloped or Rated at this time)
Black – 6894
Blue – 6481
White – 6051
Red – 5001
Average Hole Lengths (Blue Tees)
Par 3’s – 158 Yards
Par 4’s – 405 Yards
Par 5’s – 511 Yards
Gatineau Golf and Country Club
160 Rue du Golf
Gatineau (Aylmer), Quebec, J9J 0R1