Laurentian Foothill Playground
When autumn arrives there is hardly a better place to be than in the mountains and foothills of Quebec. That rings doubly true if you happen to be a golfer.
Golf course owners have long recognized the aesthetic appeal of this property and within a short driving distance from Eastern Ontario and the National Capital there are plenty of offerings. Among that grouping is the Heritage Golf Club. Technically, it is the Auberge et Club de Golf Heritage as a hotel is among the complete amenities and that is a part of the places well-rounded appeal.
Often overshadowed by the famed Chateau Montebello Resort (and Tremblant area resorts as well) just down the road from its location in Notre-Dame de le Paix (conveniently very close to the new Highway 50 extension), in fact Heritage would likely never have gotten its legs if it had not been for that “club down the lane.”
Heritage founder Elijah Jones was a proud member at Montebello (The Seignory Club) but he had a little issue – it was a little busier than he hoped and when he wanted to golf…well, he wanted to golf. So the self-made businessman did what many golfing entrepreneurs dream of – he built his own golf course.
A fan of the local topography that gave the course at Montebello so much character Jones did not wander far to find property for his creation. Along route #323 he found and purchased more than 270 acres of Laurentian Mountain foothill property and got to work. Literally.
What makes this more astonishing was that Jones was 79 years of age at the time. Three years of hard, hands-on work later, some of it even during the snow filled winters, Jones debuted his vision to the public. Today, their eighteen holes remains a fitting tribute to the passion of a golfer who would not let any barriers stand in his way.
In crafting the course at Heritage Jones did seek out some assistance on the design, but primarily it was his work, and he did a marvelous job.
One interesting feature of the course is more about what it is not, rather than what it is. “Most people think, because of our location, that we are a mountainous, hilly course,” General Manager Ron Teoli explains as we chat in their comfortable hotel lobby, spectacular view and all. “Mr. Jones did a great job in using the land between the hills for most of the holes. You get all the advantages of the beautiful hills without having to play off them on every shot.”
In fact, unlike many golf courses built on similar property Heritage might be one of the best designs by an amateur I have witnessed. A lot of thought was obviously put into the work. Although carved through dense forest there is still enough room to play for even most novice of golfers.
At over 6700 yards (from the longest of five sets of tees) Heritage is beefy enough for even the best golfers to test their games. Teoli tells us that many of the local pros make regular visits to hone their skills. While the length is one factor, this course is far from defined by its yardage.
In my mind the greatest asset of Heritage (beyond the friendly and helpful service) is the way the golf course flows and fits with the land. The result is a number of dramatic holes (the par three 11th is a fine example, playing uphill and over a gorge) followed by those where you need to execute the proper shots to score well (the par 4, 12th with a well defined landing area off the tee comes to mind.). Each and every hole is an individual test of the varying skills necessary to be a complete player. The variety of hole shapes alone keeps you continually stimulated.
Another key feature of the entire course is the putting surfaces. Grand in scale, they present ample opportunity to hit greens in regulation and afford birdie and par chances. The bent grass surfaces are epitomized by the 6th hole. This lengthy par three sports a green that spans 45 yards across, with ample undulation to boot. Putting well is a key to scoring here but that is made easier by the fact the greens run very true and smooth. Manicuring is a priority, according to the management, and the exemplary work of Superintendent Stephane Perth and his staff shows throughout the property.
Overall the course is well balanced with a number of outstanding par three, four, and five holes. The land was used wisely and affords the golfer a great opportunity for spectacular views of the surrounding hills from several elevated tees (a fall visit is a must), efficient use of the topography, and golf holes that challenge but do not beat you into submission. It’s more than suitable for the resort golfer or the elite golfer.
Completing the scene at Heritage are amenities that take it far above being a charming destination for golf alone. Rather than a traditional clubhouse, Heritage was built to accommodate the visiting golfer. Currently the log-themed hotel boasts forty-four rooms of varying style. Traditional hotel rooms are interspersed with “club” style rooms more suitable for a visiting foursome. An abundance of packages are offered, whether you are a couple on a romantic retreat or have a large group looking for a tournament getaway. Value pricing makes them even more attractive.
When speaking with Ron Teoli, it is clear he has a deep pride in the operation at Heritage and from what we witnessed during our visit, it is more than justified. The ambience in the clubhouse was first rate, from comfortable expanses in the lobby and bar, to the treatment in the pro shop. Heritage also boasts a renowned restaurant that gets much critical acclaim.
You can go just about anywhere for a golf game but Heritage seems to want golfers to have a little bit more than that. They are happy to reward golfers who make the effort to visit (it is about an hour from downtown Ottawa) with an outstanding experience both on and off the golf course.
For what they offer compared to resorts in their surrounding area, they provide a quality alternative in both amenities and pricing.
Still relatively unknown for what they offer, I am confident in stating that it won’t be long before that changes.
Assistant General Manager
Tees / Yardage / Rating / Slope
Gold – 6712 / 72.1 /127
Blue – 6506 / 71.5 / 125
White – 6155 / 70.1 / 122
Green – 5840 / N/A / N/A
Red – 5129 /69.9 / 112
Average Hole Lengths (Gold Tees)
Par 3’s:182 Yards
Par 4’s: 415 Yards
Par 5’s: 518 Yards
Auberge et Club de Golf Heritage
70, Road #323
Notre Dame – de – la – Paix,
Tel: (819) 522- 6622 (Main Office)
Toll Free: 800-561-4707