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Notable Holes – #18, Renfrew Golf Club

The Renfrew Golf Club, 18th hole (Photo: Scott MacLeod, Flagstick.com)

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 to navigate. Whatever the case, as we have profiled just about every golf course in the area through the 25 seasons of Flagstick, so now we’re spotlighting specific holes.

The closer at the Renfrew Golf Club can be significant to each golfer in a different way. Sometimes it is just the final gasp of a day spent on a historic Ottawa Valley layout (est. 1929), and other times, it presents an opportunity to close a round with a birdie, or even an eagle.

The 18th hole flows some 476 yards from tee to green at its full length and 431 from the forward tees. The much-elevated perch from which you hit your tee shot provides a panoramic view with the open arms of the Tudor-style clubhouse easily in sight.

Architects George Cumming and Melville Millar were responsible for the hole’s creation, the last chapter of the club’s original nine tests. The entire course (all green surfaces and several fairways) received a facelift from Steven Ward in late 2000.

Through it all the 18th has remained the “signature” hole for the course, a lasting impression not to be equaled.

A healthy drive often leaves many golfers with an opportunity to reach the putting surface in less than regulation. But to do so, they must navigate protective bunkers at the front. Those who pitch long will face a daunting downhill challenge to their short game skills, while even landing on the green is no guarantee of two-putt success due to ample size and slope.

Notable is the fact that the tentative card from the original designers had the hole marked as a par four of some 440 yards. Wisely, it has become a friendlier resolution as a par five.

An early news clipping about the course’s creation states, “Messrs. Cumming and Millar have taken advantage of every topographical feature that the site provides, the consequence being that there is not an uninteresting hole on the course.”

They opinion was not flawed. Especially when relates to the 18th at the Renfrew Golf Club.

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