At The Foot Of The Mountain
by Joe McLean
“When he saw the property on Mountain Road, Aylmer, Quebec, with an old stone house that reminded him of St. Andrew’s, Scotland, he visualized not only a golf course, but also a golf museum.”
David R. Gray – The Implements of Golf, A Canadian Perspective, W. Lyn Stewart and David R. Gray
W. Lynwood Stewart was a visionary with a passion for the grand old game. He designed and developed the Kingsway Park Golf and Country Club, operating it until 1992 at which time Luc and Raymond DeCelles purchased the club.
Stewart opened the first nine-holes of his beloved course in 1965 with the remaining nine holes opened for play in 1969.
Mr. Stewart was always interested in golf promotion and his Kingsway Park Golf and Country Club was also the home of the first golf museum in Canada. The Canadian Golf Museum opened in 1967 as an approved Centennial project. When the course was sold in 1992, the museum was closed and over the next four years the Canadian Museum of Civilization acquired the extensive collection of golfing equipment, books and prints.
Nestled on a pastoral plateau at the foothill of a mountain in the Gatineau Hills the course offers up a mature layout, one strewn with stands of trees and accentuating the land’s natural features. This popular 18-hole semi-private course is located a mere twenty minutes from downtown Ottawa in the north end of the City of Gatineau (Aylmer Section) on Chemin de la Montagne.
An impressive list of CPGA professionals have been affiliated with the club through the years including Ernie Wakelam, Harry Mulligan, Ray Parizeau, Barry Laphen, Christian Lavoie, and Marc Peterson. Today the professional duties fall under the domain of Marc Foucault, a fine player and a very respected professional.
The club has always projected a social atmosphere where members, their guests and green fee players have always felt welcome and comfortable. An early arrival for your tee time will allow you to browse through Marc’s pro-shop where a wide selection of golf apparel and TaylorMade and Adidas products are available. Once your pro shop visit is complete you can practice on the putting and chipping greens or warm up on the full-length practice range.
Spread over 175 acres of former farm land, golfers enjoy a multitude of views of the Gatineau Hills on many shots during their round on the 6450 yard course. In the fall, holes number six and nine are breathtakingly spectacular with their impressive array of changing colours amid the backdrop of the mountain.
Mother Nature has been given a helping hand in the conditioning of the golf course with the installation of a state of the art watering system and new drainage in the past few years. Not only does this system assist the growth of grass, it also aids in the growth of the beautiful array of flowers displayed throughout the course.
A tour of the course reveals holes playable by all levels of golfers with individual nuances for each. Care must be taken to gauge the ever-present swirling winds, which will have an effect on both tee and approach shots. Generous fairways, deep bunkers, creeks, hazards, hillside lies and subtle elevation changes await you on your round of golf. Many golfers have been surprised by their scores at the completion of their rounds of golf. What appears to be a benign, easy to play course often jumps up and shows its’ tougher side.
The start to your game is a tee shot on a generous par five capable of being reached in two shots. A tee shot to the centre of the green on the medium length par three, second hole, which plays longer than it appears, is always safe.
Shots on holes three and four are generally to the right side as out of bounds can be found down the left side.
Par is a good score on the par 4 – fifth hole which plays uphill to a large green, which will test your putting skills.
A narrow green situated directly behind a creek will have you thinking about your club selection on the par 3 – 185 yard sixth hole.
Although a short par 4, the seventh hole features OB on the right and a small, undulating green to receive your second shot.
A covered bridge commemorating the 40th wedding anniversary of Helene and Raymond DeCelles is featured on the eighth hole, which is a short par 4 sprinkled with natural hazards in water and fescue and a large bunker guarding the green.
Rated the hardest hole on the front side the ninth hole is a 372-yard downhill par 4. Here you will find out of bounds on the right side and your second shot must be played to a substantial green strategically framed by a creek, a pond and two gaping sand bunkers.
Floral displays define the tee on the par 4 – tenth hole and your drive must avoid the right side for any chance of a good score. The par 3 – eleventh hole plays longer than the indicated 170 yards.
Risk and reward with no guarantee of a good score is the feature on the par 4 – twelfth hole. Cutting the corner on the dogleg will leave you a short approach to a small green, protected by a huge bunker. OB on the right side of the doglegged par 4 – thirteenth makes a precise tee shot imperative and then followed by a long second approach to the green.
With a distance of 222 yards, your utility or fairway wood may be required on the par 3 – fourteenth hole. Sand bunkers, water and trees await you on the fifteenth hole. The centre of the fairway with your tee shot will be of great assistance on this par 5 – 518 yard hole.
Fescue to the left of and behind the green will hurt your score on the relatively short par 4 – sixteenth hole. The seventeenth hole is considered by many to be the signature hole on the course. It is critical on this 486-yard par 5 to avoid trees, creeks and bunkers with the approach shot to the green protected by a creek directly in front of the green and a large sand bunker to the left.
Heading home, you must negotiate a narrow opening protected by trees with your tee shot on the eighteenth just to put your ball in position on the fairway. After you leave the elongated green protected by sand, take the time to admire the floral display to the right of the green and make your way to the newly renovated clubhouse.
The previous cramped quarters have evolved remarkably with the renovations made to the original 1821 heritage stone clubhouse at Kingsway Park. Apart from everyday use; banquets, business meetings, weddings and golf tournaments can now be seated comfortably in the 275-seat clubhouse addition housing a restaurant and reception hall, equipped with large windows and cathedral style ceilings.
Finish off your quality golf experience at Kingsway Park by enjoying the spectacular panoramic views from within the clubhouse or from the newly constructed deck overlooking the first tee. Whether in advance or upon completion of a satisfying round of golf, relaxation is the key at KP. Members and guests of Kingsway Park are also excited about the new facilities, which include new washrooms, showers and locker rooms, equipped with full length wooden lockers.
Golfers looking to play at Kingsway Park will find that there are a wide number of membership and green fee options including seasonal specials for juniors and seniors.
A little of the old – a lot of the new, Kingsway Park Golf and Country Club has a pleasing mix of all. Whether you plan to play here all season long as a member or just visit for a round, golf “at the foot of the mountain”, has a lot to offer.
Mr. Stewart’s original vision of a fine place to play golf has certainly come to fruition.
Ray & Luc DeCelles
Director of Golf
Marc Foucault, C.P.G.A
Blake Smith, C.P.G.A.
Yardage/Ratings/Slope (Par 72)
Blue Tees – 6450 yards
Men – 69.5/125
White Tees – 6073 yards
Men – 68.3/122
Ladies – 68.7 / 114
Red Tees – 5188 (Par 72)
Ladies – 68.7 / 114
Average Hole Lengths (Blue Tees)
Par 3’s – 185 Yards
Par 4’s – 366 Yards
Par 5’s – 495 Yards
Kingsway Park Golf and Country Club
1461 Mountain Road
Gatineau (Aylmer Section), Quebec
Tel: (819) 827-1855