The legend surrounds the introduction of golf in America. Some argue that this sport would have been practiced as early as 1760 on the Plains of Abraham by Scottish soldiers, members of General Wolfe’s troops. However, nothing is less certain. What is indisputable, however, one of the first mentions of the practice of this sport in North America dates back to the fall of 1854 when a Quebec newspaper reported that a young Scottish sailor passing through Quebec, William Doleman, went to hit balls on the Plains. It was not until November 4th, 1873 that the first golf club was made permanent in North America at the Montreal Golf Club.
The founding of the Quebec Golf Club was to follow a few months later. The opinions were shared on this matter and there was no formal evidence as to the extract date of its constitution. Club records prior to 1908 likely had been destroyed in the fire, on June 8th, 1929, of the Club’s first pavilion built in Boischatel. James A. Barclay, drew upon an article by journalist John L. Foote of the Morning Chronicle published in November 1875 in the English periodical The Field and mentions 1875 as the year of foundation of Golf in Canada. However, Ralph A. Benoit, Council Clerk legislative of the province of Quebec and active member of the club, locates the foundation of the Quebec Golf Club in March 1874 in its club history titled “The Historic Background of a Unique Golf Course”. Jean-Pierre Paré also opted for 1874 in his biography of James Stevenson published in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. The two most convincing proofs of the club’s foundation is found on two club trophies, the Memorial Cup and the John Hamilton Cup from the years 1885 and 1899, in which the founding year is engraved as 1874.
Regardless, one fact remains: the Quebec Golf Club is the second oldest club in North America. Bankers, who’s social status was considerable at the time, played a leading role in the founding of the Club. The co-founders, Charles Farquharson Smith, originally from Aberdeenshire, and James Stevenson, a native of Leith, are both bankers, the first at the British North America Bank, and second at the Québec Bank. The same is true of six of the other first members. Stevenson and Smith, at the St Andrews Society meetings, pushed many of their fellow citizens of Scottish and British decent to take an interest in the formation of the club.
By 1875, the club had 20 members, the majority of whom were influential businessmen linked to banking, maritime commerce and to the forest industry. There were no francophones at that time; it wasn’t until the second half of the 20th century that French Canadians took an interest in the sport. The influence of the English-speaking community continued. For example, the club procedures were written in English until the early 1970’s.
According to Ralph A. Benoit, the club did not have a President or board of administrators. The captain, following the British traditions at the time, held the direction and assumed almost all responsibility. It is true that the role of the captain is, in this era, very prestigious and very much sought after. Besides the captain, Charles Farquharson Smith, the club had a secretary-treasurer, printer William P. Sloan, and four committee directors, namely the cashier James Stevenson, Herbert M. Price, manager of the Merchant’s Bank, Peter Macnaugton, partner at A. Gilmour & Co, a company specializing in timber trade, and merchant H. Stanley Smith. This structure survived until 1904, when the position of President was created. Colonel Herbert McGreevy is said to be the last captain to act in British tradition according to Benoit.
The club did not have a president until 1904, if we trust the information from Ralph A. Benoit. This theory accredited by J. M. LeMoine in “Picturesque Quebec: a sequel to Quebec Past and Present”, published in 1882. LeMoine, president at the time of the Literary Society and history of Quebec, does not mention James Stevenson as president of the club, but rather as a member of the management committee. It emphasizes, however, the role of Farquharson Smith, as that of captain. How do we explain that LeMoine does not mention Stevenson as President of the Club when we know he was President of the Literary Society and History of Quebec from 1876 to 1878? The two men had to have known each other well.
This version of the administrative organization of the club does not correspond to that of the brochure published on the occasion of the centenary of the club. It is indicated that James Stevenson would have been the first President, from 1874 to 1879. In addition, the name McGeevy is not on the list of captains but rather on the list of presidents, and according to this document, he would have assumed presidency of the club in 1904.
From the founding of the club, the practice of golf was not the most accessible and admission as a member was a privilege. The annual fee was set at $2 and remained the same until the start of the 20th century. The leaderships’ decision to increase the annual fee to $4 in 1889 threatened its survival. The club did not want to have its own pavilion but rather a small two-story building owned by two members, in which the club rents out during the winter months.
In the spring of 1895, the members of the club decided, after the federal authorities had finally agreed to let them rent the Cove Fields long term, to request legal recognition of the club under the provisions applicable to recreational clubs provided in article 5487 of the Statutes of the Province of Quebec from 1888. These state that ten or more persons who wish to form an association, for the purpose of recreation, can be formed with corporation after having obtained the assent and authorization of the municipal council with a signed duplicate declaration mentioning that name of their association, the purpose for which they wish to be legally recognized and the place where this association will have it’s place of business.
On March 13th, 1895, 17 members of the club signed a request to constitute an association known as the Québec Golf Club to practice the game of golf in Québec City. The municipal council, at a special meeting held on March 22nd, agrees to this request and the Secretary of the province confirms, on March 30th, the incorporation of the club. Did we suspect that we were going to ensure the sustainability of a club in this way, today more than a century old?
Elements to emphasize, the first two signatories of the request are John Hamilton and H. C. Shepard’s who indicate, after their name, the position that each of them occupy within the club, those of captain and secretary-treasurer, while the resolution of the municipal council of Québec City reports the request of the “Captain”. This fact therefore seems to accredit, once again, Ralph A. Benoit’s assertion that the club had no president at the time of its foundation. Why did John Hamilton not indicate his double role as President and Captain while Major Shepard highlights his role of secretary and treasurer?
It is also interesting to note that the Québec Golf Club participated in the foundation, in the mid-1890s from the Royal Canadian Golf Association. John Hamilton becomes president in 1897. Finally, in 1920, the club accepted the invitation to become a member of the Golf Association of the Province of Québec.
Quebec Power’s decision to end its agreement with the Québec Golf Club required one condition: the club must be the owner of its course in the future. The research starts. All eyes are naturally on the other side of the Montmorency river. You can see for kilometres, beautiful and vast grounds. These are however sparsely wooded, but the location pleases. The realization of the project however depended on the financial capacity of the club.
By virtue of its legal structure, the club does not have the legal power to guarantee its loans neither by mortgage nor the power to issue bonds as security for payment. It would have to be incorporated. A private bill, the ‘Law establishing incorporation The Quebec Golf Club” is given to the Legislative Assembly of the province of Québec. Lawrence Arthur Cannon, Member of Parliament for Québec-Center, is the sponsor. The law is assented on December 29th, 1922. The club will be governed by the provisions of the Quebec companies (1920). It now has the legal capacity to issue bonds and to mortgage its property. The club can therefore acquire the land it needs to build a golf course.
An additional question arises: are the fields we covet in Boischatel suitable for building a golf course? Charles Murray was called in to inspect the land on which they want to establish. Murray says he is unable to respond to this request and suggests that they call on W. Park, and entrust him, perhaps, in the making of the plans for the new course.
Willie Park Jr., winner of the British Open in 1889, was then recognized as the authority in the field of golf club architecture. Several clubs, everywhere, requested his services when he visited Canada between 1917 and 1923. In Quebec, the Royal Montreal GC, Mount Bruno GC, Whitlock GC, and Beaconsfield GC are all Park customers. The management of the Quebec Golf Club did not hesitate to hire him. Park’s recommendations are positive. On September 25th, 1922, the members gather in a special general assembly, and accept that the club is to purchase 325 acres of land.
Has Park sketched out the plans of the course? No document confirms this. One fact remains: he was unable to complete all the work as he fell ill in the fall of 1923 whilst in New York. He therefore decides, at this time, to return to Scotland. His state of health, loin to improve, deteriorates and he passes in spring of 1925. His work had to completed by Mr. Roddick, another architect, but less well known. Indeed, the event notes are in the edition of Monday, June 8th, 1925, that landscape architect, Mr. Roddick, specialist in the preparation of “golf-links”, was responsible of the realization of the plans. And, to highlight the newspaper: “Mr. Roddick’s work is worthy of all the praise, Le Soleil mentions, in its addition of the same day, that the club president, A. J. Welch, “also had a few words of thanks and congratulations to address to the land architect Mr. Roddick”.
The official inauguration took place on June 6th, 1925. The ceremony was said to have been brilliant; all of Québec went to Boischatel to experience “one of the most chic events of the summer”. The members of the club (businessmen, judges, parliamentarians, and professionals) show up in their golfer outfits, looking like schoolchildren on summer vacation in “pale coloured suits with puffy pants” as they all gather around the 1st tee. Guests of honour, lieutenant Governor, the Hon. Narcisse Pérodeau, Premier of Québec, Hon. L.-A, Taschereau, the mayor of Boischatel, and Joseph Trudelle, accompanied by all his council.
Hon. Pérodeau hit the first ever tee shot, the one that marks the official opening of the new Quebec Golf Club. The ceremony is a special one; around fifty young caddies take off as soon as the ball is hit to pick it up as there was a reward promised to whoever brings it back to the president. Roland Huot, who would become to Head Professional of the club a few years later, manages to get the ball, bring it back to Mr. Welch and receives his prize.
The members are proud of their new golf course. Finally, they have a real 6,500 yard championship course; 3,250 yards for the first nine holes and 3,310 yards for the second. This investment is major, the cost of construction amounted to $200,000, a significant amount of money for this time. A lot of improvements still had to be done. The tee boxes, the fairways and greens needed to be seeded consistently, drainage work had to be carried out on several holes, and the fairways needed some serious tree planting.
Added to this is the harsh climate. The year of 1928 was particularly disastrous. The flood of spring waters swept away the two bridges that span the Ferrée river. Sixteen of the eighteen greens are destroyed. The grass is completely dead. They send for Harry, a greens expert from the Golf Association of the province of Quebec, in order to obtain the necessary assistance. 1929 begins in a similar fashion. Again, Simpson’s help is called upon. The greens suffered serious damage, holes 3 and 6 had to be completely sowed. They bought tonnes of fertilizer and the greens keeping committee asked the members to play with a tee on the fairways. In 1931, the club management hired a superintendent, James Saunders, because Simpson was no longer available.
Saunders’ hard work had been paying off. There is obvious improvement on the golf course. The members are delighted and management is pleased and the reputation of the club begins to grow little by little.
The financial situation of the club remains, however, uncertain. The economic crisis of 1929 hits hard and priorities started to change, with the number of members decreasing. The fire of the pavilion in that same year accentuated the difficulties and consolidation of the club debt. The members are brought together in a special assembly; president Léon T. des Rivières formulates a proposal to borrow $150,00 with bonds bearing interest at the rate of 6% per year as collateral for such a loan. The proposal is adopted unanimously.
As the debt issue is being resolved so is the issue of recruiting new members. A recruiting committee is formed but the way to reach the goal is rather challenging. The idea was to offer a golf bag worth $75 to a member that brings in the most interest. One condition is asked: the prize will only be granted if the minimum number of 40 members is reached. The idea elicits enthusiastic participation from members and the objective is exceeded. The club accommodates 46 new members. In 1934, a new campaign for recruitment is put in place. The target figure is 60 new members, if possible 100. Management considers it to be appropriate to reduce the membership fee by $25; it then was only $50 per year to be a member. They bet on an increase in staff and had to be even more diligent with the finances of the club to offset the foreseeable lack of income.
The Second World War, which came after the Great Depression marks a period of time where the club struggles financially; it’s financial situation was deteriorating and the latter no longer managed to respect the commitments made in the fiduciary act of 1931, when its dept was consolidated. The interest to the bond holders were no longer being paid and the club is failing. Bondholders meet and decide, much to the relief of many, that it was not advisable, for the moment, to pursue the club for insolvency.
They must quickly find new avenues capable of regulating a rather precarious financial situation. They negotiate a cooperation plan with the management of the Shawinigan Water and Power Company, parent company of Québec Power, and owner of Kent Golf Club. Quebec Power agrees , subject to certain conditions, the cease operations of Kent for the duration of the war or for a period of five years. The club confirms on March 13th, 1942, the proposed agreement and the Kent Golf Club was to never reopen.
The search for funding continues without an end. They contact the provincial ministry of Tourism and Québec City to acquire financial support by highlighting the potential of golf tourist. They consider presenting a travelling expedition of the club’s trophies so as to interest the population in the playing of golf. One of the board members of administration, Ernest Landry, submits a project for a Frigidaire Contest. It is a question of soliciting, through the members, the public draw for a new refrigerator. The idea pleases and the lottery is launched, reporting a net amount of $886.08. The club secretary, Ralph A. Benoit, proposes a publishing of a brochure, one on the history of the Royal Québec in which he can distribute to Québec hotels. This brochure, the first in club history, was published in 1943. They are also looking to increase the amount of corporate members.
Internal financial management is also the subject of particular attention; all the expenses are scrutinized. The greens keeping committee minimizes the costs relating to maintenance of the course. So when a neighbour, Joseph Doyon, sends the club an invoice of $18.75 for the repair of a fence, Jules Huot is asked to check if the work is well done, then Mr. Doyon would be advised to not make any more repairs without notifying the club beforehand.
They decide to no longer give the winner of the Duke of Kent, a miniature replica of this trophy. They no longer engrave the names of tournament winners on the trophy and they lower the professional’s salaries.
The end of the war rekindles hope, governments end rationing, and prosperity returns. Membership requests are pouring in. Optimism is reborn. The conflict between the club and the two bond holders is settled in court. The regulations provides for the waiver by all bond holders unpaid interest and the conversion of bonds they hold. The bond holders accept the agreement. The clubs finances start to recover quickly and the results are positive.
They immediately begin the renovation of the course according to a three year plan; the surface of the greens are to be redone, sow the fairways, build new tee boxes, but they do not change the architecture of the course. The only real charges to this point had been made during the 1935 season. In fact, that year, the length of the eighteenth hole had been reduced from 595 yards to 555 yards. We also had, in the same year, a suggestion from the Golf Association of the province of Quebec, to increase the par on the first nine holes to 35, and the ninth hole going from a par 5 to a par 4.
From 1946 to 1951, the club allocated more then $100,00 to improve the work. These expenses, however, do not undermine its finances. 1951 financial statements show an increase in budget of $35,498.44, while the obligation of $108,000, contracted in 1944, is no more than $59,000.
The craze for golf and the attraction of the Royal Québec, however, came at a price: traffic. The club reaches its maximum capacity with nearly 600 members. Thus establishing a new waiting list. They hire a starter for weekends and holidays. Rumour has it that the club was set to build an additional nine holes. On January 31st, 1952, Howard Watson, landscape and golf course architect, offers his services, pointing out that this project had been brought to his attention. A few months later, the council of administration authorizes the club professional to consult an architect, however, the idea was forgotten for a while.
The project resurfaces is 1958, they receive an estimate from the architect Watson, and the cost of construction would amount to $60,000. The board of directors requests the shareholders borrowing authorization to carry out the plan which is accepted on July 22nd. A Boischatel engineer, Éric Gourdeau, owner of a company specializing in forest real estate, takes charge of construction at the request of the club professional, Rodolphe Huot, two directors, Messrs Fortin and Poulette. He stets up tents and a kitchen to house and feed the workers who are staying there. The work begins immediately, the first step is to deforest the site. Construction is going smoothly, despite some problems encountered on holes 1 and 5 (current 12). On the first hole, an abnormal presence of water raises questions. The source seemed to be coming from underground. Hole 5 was a real swamp, the clay soil retains the water flowing from the hill next to the driveway which meant that they had to install multiple French drains. June 9th, 1959, construction is almost complete. The official inauguration took place on September 12th, 1959 with the cost being $128,000.
Four years later, they decided to build a forth nine hole course with Watson still being the architect. They redesign certain holes; hole 5 becomes hole 12, 6 becomes 16, and so forth. The course was ready to welcome players in March 1968. Royal Québec then had two 18-hole courses, the oldest which is called the Royal, and the other the Québec. The configuration of the Québec course does not allow you to play a single nine holes, since the ninth hole is found at the edge of the property. And so, in 1971, they decided to build two additional holes after hole 7, an 8A and 9A, which brings golfers back towards the pavilion.
The club’s board of directors maintains the same concern over the years: improve the course while keeping the club in good financial health. In the mid-1980s, the club made major deposits: more than $1,600,000 over a six year period. Drainage works were carried out, an irrigation system was installed throughout the course, new tee boxes were built, they completely redid some of the greens, and they even built a pumping plant to ensure a constant supply of water. The investments paid off. The members praise the excellence of the golf course and flocks of visitors come to play at the Royal Québec.
The centenary of the Royal Quebec / 1874-1974
1974 marks the centenary of the founding of Royal Québec. This anniversary must be highlighted. The board of directors therefore does everything they can to ensure the success of the celebration. They however want to be reasonable with their expenses. “The party philosophy will be one for our members” says Guillermo Piette, president of the club, when Roland Sabourin interviews him. They were planning different events throughout the season. Among the activities planned to commemorate the centenary, they included the publication of a history of the club and the construction of a fountain. They form the committees and get to work, they must not forgot the members however, they organized several tournaments including a Calcutta, the Calcutta of the centenary.
The festivities began in June with the inauguration by the lieutenant-governor, Mr. Hugues Lapointe, for the fountain. It was marked as a moment of glory of those who had built Royal Quebec. It would all be followed by a banquet at the magnificent Château Frontenac. The Minister of Finance of Québec, Raymond Garneau, as well as the president of the club, Guillaume Piette, addressed the guests. The evening pays tribute to the founders of the club and to those who subsequently succeeded in maintaining the standards of quality and distinction.
On June 25th, Canadian champion Bob Panasiuk and Marleine Stewart-Streit arrive at the Royal Québec as part of National Golf Week. The purpose of their visit is to determine the score to be beaten during the week by the amateurs who take part in the “I beat the pro”. Professional Raymond Huot and Estelle Boucher play in their company. Bob Panasiuk finishes with a 70 while Marleine Stewart-Streit finishes with a 76.
The party spirit is in full swing starting July 27th, it is the Captain’s Calcutta Day, which marks the beginning of the week devoted entirely to golf. The Calcutta was a huge success. Over 100 teams registered which meant the tournament had to be played on both courses. Monday July 29th, there was a special tournament; they invited three members of the board of directors from every other club in Québec City, press representatives and directors from the Golf Association of Québec. A women’s competition takes place the next day, in the format of the captain’s tournament. The centenary tournament is held on August 1st and is followed by the senior and junior championships. The week ends with a “father and son” and “husband and wife” tournaments.
The centenary celebrations are a real success, member participation exceeded all expectations. The decision to focus activities on the complicity of the members rather than on expensive attractions, such as the demonstration of professional players was a great idea. The publication of the history of the club, the first since the brochure of Ralph Benoit published in 1943, revived the feeling of belonging to a club whose past combines prestige and grandeur. We thank Alphonse Proteau and A. E. P. Scott, who are joined by Abbots Noël Baillargeon and Rémi Giroux, for the historical brochure. The the end of the festivities, President Piette pays special tribute to Gérard Gignac; “He is definitely the best captain ever seen in the history of the club”, he says. And Roland Sabourin notes: “This is a point where he has no difficulty making a unanimous decision”.
An exceptional case: the “Royal Montreal Golf Club”
The social element of golf has always been one of its main characteristics. That is also true at the time of its introduction to North America. Played by an elite Anglo-saxon , golf is a gentlemen’s sport. The rules that govern it are evidence and ethics play an important role; honour and camaraderie are basic qualities.
There were not many golfers at the end of the 19th century and most of them came from the same socio-economic backgrounds. They are business people. Interclub meeting came very early as a means of professional exchange.
North America’s first interclub meeting took place a few years after the inauguration of Montreal Golf Club and the Quebec Golf Club. Over the years, many competitions were added, both against local Golf Clubs, as well as out of province Golf Clubs. These meetings were therefore highly sought after and were often the subject of detailed reports in the newspaper at the time. Among the main competitions between the Quebec Golf Club and outside golf clubs, those against Grand-Mère and Laval-sur-le-Lac were ones to take note of. They had even organized a meeting with Brea Burn Golf Club in Boston. The first competition between the two clubs takes place in October of 1920 in Boston. Today, the only annual competition that still stands is that between us and Royal Montreal Golf Club.
Royal Québec can be proud to have been the host of the first interclub tournament played in North America. Indeed, it was in May 1876 that this completion was held after four players from Montreal Golf Club had accepted the invitation to play against the golfers in Quebec. The Montrealers were not accustom to playing in the rugged and swampy grounds like that of the Cove Fields; they experienced defeat. They desired to no doubt save their honour, they hastened to invite their opponents to a rematch held on the Fletcher Field Golf Club for them to experience unexpected difficulties. Quebecers are this time defeated. As the two clubs are tied, they decide on a decisive meeting which took place in Montreal the following month and unfortunately the Québec Golf Club experiences defeat again.
The experience had pleased all the players and from then on they continued the annual competitions. The management of the two clubs responded positively to their wishes, and it is decided that there will be a limit of two meetings a year. One will take place in the spring and the other in the fall and would be the same until 1914. After the first Great War, there would be only one annual competition.
From the first year of competition, players from both teams have no shortage of highlights of the event. It is then customary for the captains of the two clubs to hit the first tee shot for their team and wear white gloves as tradition. Note that professionals from both clubs also participate in these meetings.
The conquest of the Challenge trophy is the stake in this friendly competition. This trophy was acquired at the end of the 1870’s for $100, and it was paid for equally by both clubs. The winning team is highlighted on the trophy with a silver golf ball dedicated to the name of the winning club.
Until regular travel between Québec and Montreal occurs, travelling by boat was the preferred means of transport for competitors. The host club always welcomed their guests as soon as the ship docks at the port of Québec or the Port of Montreal. Even though the end goal for each team is victory, the competition embodies that of camaraderie. The evening of the first day of competition is finished with a banquet which brings together members of both teams. The Garrison Club was the chosen place for the banquet until the club was to have its own.
The format is a match play format. The first day is marked by an individual completion and the second is a team competition in which they follow the “2 ball best ball” format. Three points are at stake in the individual matches and six points in those for the team event. One point for a player who wins the first nine holes, one point for the player who wins the second nine holes and one point for the competition who wins the most number of holes during the two sets of holes. Points are doubled for the team event. Since the start of these annual meetings, the Royal Montreal team has won 81 times while the Royal Quebec has only won 67. The year 2000 would mark the 125th anniversary of the existence of this meeting between the two oldest golf clubs in North America.
February 24, 1953, Château Frontenac, the annual meeting of the shareholders of the club barely comes to a close before the newly elected board of directors meet. Few questions are on the agenda; one however, deserves the attention of administrators. It’s about a letter dated on February 1st from the Canadian Professional Golfers Association. Mr. Jos Lemay, manager of the club reads it; the association expresses the wish to be able to host the thirty-eighth annual Professional Golfers of Canada Championship at the Royal Québec. The dates proposed were July 3, 4, and 5. The discussion did not last long, the request was accepted. The club’s professional, Rodolphe Huot is no stranger to this request.
About fifty players sent in their registration, including Stan Leonard. The coming of this last file of amateurs. The fight for the title would be between him and Pat Fletcher. Brothers Huot, Jules, Radolphe, Roland and Tony, however, may surprise. If reason dictates Leonard, his heart leans towards the Huot’s. Other players may also cause surprise; Henry Martell, who became a professional after a brilliant career as an amateur, shot a 68 the day before the tournament. Bill Kerr of Beaconsfield shoots a 32 on the back nine.
The day of July 3rd was devoted to a pro-am round. Brothers Jules and Rodolphe Huot give hope to their admirers as they record the best two scores of the day, Jules with a 69 and Rodolphe with a 71. Pat Fletcher doesn’t impress too much as he shoots a 76. For amateurs invited to participate in the tournament, two members of the Royal Québec, Alfred Chouinard and Clermont Vézina amaze with their scores of 71.
Saturday July 4th marked the start of the tournament. It was a beautiful sunny day but the winds were blowing strong, 15 to 30 kilometres an hour. Pat Fletcher took the lead with a 68, four shots under par and he had a two stroke lead over his closest rivals, including Stan Leonard and Bill Kerr. They revise the predictions of the day before; Fletcher may very well keep his lead in the championship. As for the local favourites, Jules and Rodolphe Huot, they have respective rounds of 72 and 79. The next day participants arrive at the club early; they have to play 36 holes. Kerr and Leonard both shoot a 70 for the morning round which have them tied for the lead. Fletcher shot a 75. Martell then occupies third place, tied with Al Balding. Both have a cumulative total of 142. Once the afternoon round approaches, the majority of the players become very nervous; Stan Leonard is not able to make any putts, and Baldings front nine was disastrous with a score of 42. He comes back on the front nine, shooting 5 under par but it was too late; Martell, despite some difficulties, shot a round of 69, which ensured victory and the Canadian Professional Championship.
The tournament ended and all the players had nothing but praise for the state of the course. They thanked Rodolphe Huot, who knew how to organized such a magnificent tournament, promising to one day come back. The promise was kept in 1961. The professionals returned to hold another championship at the Royal Québec. The tournament took place in August, from the 17th to the 20th.
In addition to the 54-hole tournament where the professionals compete for the Seagram Plate, there was also a special meeting between Al Balding and Stan Leonard. The Rivermead Cup, awarded annually to the Canadian Professional who ranked the highest at the Canadian Open is the stake of this eliminatory match between the two golfers who finished tied at the Canadian Open, held in Winnipeg the previous month. The Royal Canadian Golf Assciation agreed to break this tie the day before the start of the championship.
The tournament attracts 140 players which exceeded the anticipated number of entries. The tournament committee was delighted but there were some headaches along the way. They needed to start looking for more amateurs to participate in the pro-am tournament and recruit additional caddies as well as fifteen more supervisors. Fortunately, the organizers were up for the challenge.
Shortly after the last tee time of the pro-am tournament, which was won by the duo of Bill Thompson, from Vancouver and Alfered Chouinard, from the Royal Quebec; Balding and Leonard made their way to the first tee at 3:30. Several spectators follow the two players; at the fifth hole Balding had a double bogey, which was the result of a bad tee shot hit into the river. He however did not give up the fight. At the 18th hole he is only 1 shot behind Leonard. He hits his tee shot first, hitting a 250 yard drive straight down the middle of the fairway. Leonard pushes his drive down the side of the 9th hole in the rough, very close to the tree line. Balding has an excellent second shot, which put the pressure of Leonard. Leonard pulls off an impossible shot, putting him 60 yards from the green and he successfully makes his up and down. He records his birdie which puts him two strokes ahead of Balding. Leonard wins the Rivermead trophy for the ninth time in his career.
Victory gives Leonard the hope of possibly winnig his eighth Canadian Professional Golf Championship. He is aware that he is one of the favourites. People are asking themselves what score will be enough to bring home the honours of this tournament. Some professionals put up a total of 210. Roland Sabourin and Rodolphe Huot doubted that a player would be able to put up a score lower than 206. “I may be to conservative but the players will see that the course at our club is not easy” he says to a journalist from L’Evenement-Journal and the Soleil. The course is in excellent condition: “Difficult to be more beautiful”, said by many professionals.
The first day of the tournament seemed to prove that those who favoured Leonard were right. He shot a 67. Balding was not far behind, however, Gary Proulx, of Montreal, finished with a 69. Balding again experienced difficulties at the fifth hole, making another double bogey. Rodolphe Huot knew he had difficulties on the fifth hole as well but manages to shoot a 73, thanks to five birdies.
The second round confirms Leonards superiority, another 67 added to the of the previous day. Al Balding is unable to follow the pace of the golfer of 46 years. Despite a round of 72 he found himself seven shots off the lead. Garry Proulx also played well, shooting a 73. The same however, could not be said for the Huot brothers. Jules groans because of the crowds only had eyes for Balding who was in the threesome behind him. At the 8th hole he finally had enough, making it known to the spectators. Regardless, the players who were finishing their putts on the 18th green were approached by the crowds waiting to see Baldings ball arrive at the green. He wasn’t able to do better than a 78. As for Rodolphe, his putter abandons him. He misses putt after putt, and finished with a disappointing 80.
Victory could not escape Leonard unless there was an extraordinary turn of events. Would he be able to shoot under par his third round? Opinions were split 50/50. The day before he was sick and on that day of August 20th, the day was gloomy, the sky was covered with clouds, a sprinkle of rain was falling and the wind was still blowing. To top it all off the temperature was 10 degrees colder than the previous day, only 18 degrees. The conditions did not seem to bother Leonard, he birdied the first hole of his final round. He plays an impressive final round with eight birdies, including four in the last four holes, putting up a score of 69. He finished the tournament with a seven stroke lead over Balding, who finished second. His cumulative score is a 203, a new record for the CPGA.
1983 marked the return to Royal Québec for a major professional competition, the International Labatt. This is an international tournament which brings together players such as Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Bob Charles. Champions from 19 counties. The Canadian professionals are also invited. It is a privileged opportunity for the club to show off its beauty and excellence. However, a particularly harsh winter and difficult and gloomy spring struck fear among the directors of the club. The fairways and greens had suffered from severe frost damage, the necessary work was trying to be done but the relentless rains continually prevented any improvement. They were in panic; the condition of the course was certainly not at its best but the professionalism of the organization and the warm welcome would hopefully make up for the conditions.
Some 150 players registered for the tournament. Jim Thorpe seemed to be a favourite, he did not win the tournament the year before which was played at the Cherry Hill Golf Club in Ontario. Trevino, Barr, Halldorson, and even Daniel Talbot should not be overlooked. As for the final score, the officials opt for a result of 16 below par.
The first players show up Monday July 4th with a pro-am planned for the next day. Arnold Palmer arrived in Quebec on his private jet an hour before the start of the tee times for the pro-am. He only had time to roll a few putts before it was time to head to the first tee. His late arrival did not affect his game in any way, he handed in a score card of 66, a better score than Dan Hallderson, who was said to be from Victoriaville, Quebec. They knew that he was an honorary citizen of that municipality of Bois-Francs from his last appearance at the Quebec Open.
CPGA leaders are concerned, however, for the state of the course. They hesitate on which format to in force; summer rules or winter rules? They opt for the latter. Players would be able to lift, clean and place their ball without any penalty. However, this decision lead to a misunderstanding. On the seventh hole, an official notes that Richard Dupras moved his ball with his club and is given a three stroke penalty. Jim Thorpe, admits that he had done the same thing on the first hole; the same penalty is given to him as well. Dupras, one of the committee members who decided on this local rule is said to have disagreed with the interpretation given. He had been given another 12 penalty stokes for having allegedly violated the rule three other times. The confusion took over, and penalties fuelled discussions. Disgusted, Thorpe forfeits and leaves Quebec.
The performances of the participants however pleased the amateurs. The quality of play met the expectations. Lee Trevino and Daniel Talbot were tied after the first round. They each shot a 67. Talbot had a smile on his face and said he does not remember a better start to a competition. He had all the hope in the world, he knew, however, that the completion was going to be fierce. Dan Halldorson and Tommy Nakajima followed with a 68, while Dave Barr and Bob Charles were only two stokes back from the leaders. The second round took place under some unrelenting rain. Trevino continued to entertain the crowds, his play on the greens were breathtaking. He made putts on several occasion that were over 25 feet. Soaking wet, with his sleeves falling onto his hands, he manages to finish with a 64, just one shot more than the record of 63 set by George Knudson in 1968. He took a two shot lead over Halldorson.
They retained the top 70 scores from the last two rounds. Four professionals from the region of Quebec were among them. Yves Tremblay, assistant professional at Royal Quebec, Benoit Boudreault, Jean-Guy Gendron and Pierre Gaumont. Arnold Palmer avoids the cut but was still 15 shots behind the lead. The third round was still the Trevino show, he again succeeded at shooting under par. Nothing seemed to be stopping the “happy Mexican”. He increased his lead once more, the crowds were growing in a hurry for the last round of the Labatt Invitational. There were more than 8000 spectators. Nakajima tried to reduce the margin that separated him and Trevino but without success. The popular American golfer wins the tournament with a cumulative result of 271 or 17 under par. The prediction at the start of the tournament turned out to be right.
The Labatt Invitational was a complete success. The completion attracted more then 15,000 people. The organizers congratulated themselves and Charles Tessier, President of the Tournament said he was delighted and noted that the organizers had received nothing but praise. The fame of the Royal Quebec is growing once more.
The establishment and development of golf in America has undoubtably enabled golf professionals to acquire respectability and notoriety. In Scotland, they get little consideration. Anyone who earns a living from this sport is a professional, manufacturer of golf balls, clubs, or a superintendent. The distinction between them and the other golfers is one of expectation. We compare them to the working class by comparison to golfers who belong to a higher social class, gentlemen golfers. In fact, it is not uncommon to see them participate in competitions for extra income. The financial gain is therefore not what distinguishes professionals from other golfers, but rather the kind of work they do. The term “amateur” would only appear after the early 1860s. The arrival of many professionals in North America would however change this perception.
The first golf club professional in North America was Willie F. Davis, native of Carnoustie in Scotland. He was hired by the Montreal Golf Club, and only remained at this club from 1881-1882 as he disagrees with the conditions imposed, inspired by Scottish clubs, and resigned. The Montreal Club direction felt obligated to him as they brought him over from Europe so they offer him a position at the Quebec Golf Club, which he refuses. The low number of members within the club can not justify the hiring of a professional.
It was not until 1906 that the Quebec Golf Club hired its first professional. It was Albert Murray, bother to Charles Murray, the head professional of the Royal Montreal Golf Club. He was employed by the club during the 1906 and 1907 seasons. In 1908, he left Quebec to join the Outremont Golf Club. The members of the Quebec Golf Club then asked their management, at their next annual meeting held on November 21st, 1908, to hire a new professional, but only under the condition that the income is sufficient to pay his salary.
Scottish professional Willie J. Bell immediately informs club management of his interest to fill the vacancy left by Murray’s departure; a few months later, he informs the club that he accepted the offer of another club, the Waterloo Country Club, in which he would be professional from 1909 to 1912. Despite Murray’s departure, the Quebec Golf Club always kept in touch.
Even if, still in 1909, Murray doubted the ability of the club to find a good professional, we end up finding one, Fred Rickwood, who immediately steps in. He was deemed to be a powerful hitter. The club granted him in, September 1909, a sum of $20 in order for him to participate in the Canadian Open Championship, which was being held in Toronto. We granted him with further financial assistance in order for him to participate in a tournament in Montreal. He that time received $10. Rick knew how to be attentive to the needs of the members, and on September 13th, the management sent him a warm thanks for donating a set of clubs, which were given to the winner of a certain competitions, including those of juniors.
Rickwood’s services were appreciated and the club management renews his contract for the season of 1910. In June 1910, Rickwood receives, once again, a sum of $20 to participate at the Canadian Open Championship in Toronto. However, the uncertainty related to the fact that the club had to eventually leave the Cove Fields for a place that was still unknown, lead him to accept, in 1912, a head professional position at the Riverside Club in Saint John’s New Brunswick. He acted as such until the start of the war in 1914. He then became the first professional to join the Canadian army. Rickwood was one of the founders for the Professional Golfers Association of Canada in July 1911.
Rickwood’s departure forces the club to once again turn towards Charles Murray in cue of finding a replacement. It is made know to Murray that his salary could not exceed $25 a month for a seven month contract. The search is in vain. The club had to resort to not having a professional during the 1912 season.
On April 4th, 1913, at the time of the annual meeting of members, the honorary secretary read two letters. One of them was the service offering of Harry Hanmpton, a Scottish Professional. The other is from Charles Murray, who recommended the hiring of Lee Quesnel. The club opts for Quesnel. We offered him a salary of $35 a month with a six month contract, starting April 15th. On April 26th, Quesnel meets the members of the grounds committee; some of his roles were specified and one included the supervision of the caddies and the cost of cleaning the members’ clubs for $2 a season.
Quesnel’s contract is renewed under the same conditions for the 1914 and 1915 seasons. In 1916, Quesnel was however dissatisfied with them. In response to a letter from George Van Felson, honorary secretary of the club, he informed members of the administration council that he required a salary of $50 a month, which he said, corresponds to that of the smallest clubs. He also informed them of an offer he received for $60 a month. He was however ready to stay at the Quebec Golf Club if we were to accept his offer. As his offered did not seem exaggerated, we grant his wishes. However, the club imposes a condition; he had to take on certain tasks that might not related to his professional status.
Note, that the first professional competition held at the Quebec Golf Club took place in 1917. On August 23rd, 1917, the club agrees to host a professional tournament for the benefit of the Red Cross. There was an entrance fee for spectators, and profits from this tournament by four professional golfers was $82.50.
Dissatisfied with Quesnel’s work, the board of directors decided in February 1919 that his services were no longer required. We immediately started looking for a new professional. Less than a month later, on March 14th, 1919, we appointed Frank E. Lock, who would receive a salary of $75 a month. However, he must assume the salary of his assistant with his salary. In addition to being responsible for making, cleaning and repairing clubs, he also had to take charge of the caddies and ensure the maintenance of the course. Also in addition, only members were able to benefit from his teaching. The coast of a lesson was $1 an hour, $0.50 for a half hour and one $1 for a round of 18 holes. Funny fact, we thought about hiring Quesnel as Superintendent in April 1919. Lock was understandably opposed to this idea. Quesnel moved to Nova Scotia at that time, where he continued his career at the Brightwood Golf Club. He would go on to win the Maritime Open Championship on three occasions, in 1921, 1923 and 1926. Frank E. Lock remained at the club until 1925.
The club does not appear to have a professional in 1926, since Harry K. Hotchkiss does not take over until 1927. The first year goes by without any problems. Hotchkiss, however, has a difficult time collecting the money that was owed to him by the members. The situation becomes so painful that he complains to the board of directors. The issue is even brought up at the annual meeting. The board of directions investigates the situation in order to protect their professional; in 1931, the members owed him more than $500 and it was decided that the names of these members were to be given to the club.
However, Hotchkiss’ work was subject to criticism, particularly with regard to the pro shop opening hours. Management makes him aware of the dissatisfaction; we inform him that the professionals in Montreal start their day at eight o’clock and the assistants are at work by 7 o’clock. As for closing hours, he could not close the pro shop before 7 o’clock. Hotchkiss must therefor respect the members and answer to their needs.
In December 1933, the board of directors decide to terminate Hotchkiss’ contract unless the new council elected for 1934 judges otherwise. Hotchkiss is hired for the next two seasons. However, in the spring of 1936, rumour had it that his contract was to end, as the Murray Bay Golf professional, Rodolphe Huot, assistant to his brother Jules at Kent Golf Links, all submitted their candidacy to succeed Hotchkiss. Several other professionals were in the running: Roland Huot, Harry Black and Loch McLean. In October 1936, the management offered the position to Roland Huot and assistant to Rodolphe Huot. We offered them a salary of $800 and $600 per year respectively which they accepted. They Royal Quebec opened a new page in the history of golf in Canada, that of a large family of French-speaking golfers.
The Huot family, like the majority of French Canadian families at the time, were large. The Huot family had 13 children, 8 boys and 5 girls. The boys learned golf early. Native to Boischatel, they lived very close to the Quebec Golf Course, so it was not a surprise to see them curious about the sport. The oldest of the family were Emmanuel, Jules, Maurice and Ulric. Despite their imposed ban, they often found themselves on the other side of the Montmorency river playing with young people their age. Sometimes they leaned on the fence that separated the Quebec Golf Club, they watched golfers play their favourite sport. On a beautiful late afternoon, some golfers noticed them along the first hole. As they could not find a caddy, due to the time of day, they asked them if they would be interested in carrying their clubs. The Huot brothers immediately accepted and jumped the fence. This experience was going to have a significant influence since they would be training their younger brothers, Rodolphe, Roland, Antonio (Tony) and Benoit to do the same.
Their father Nicolas Huot, a machine technician at the Dominion Textile, liked sports and did not object to his children working as golf caddies at the Quebec Golf Club. This work of being club bearers taught them the basics of golf; they observed the players approach technique as well as their putting stokes. Lock called on their help when he gave lessons. The task of the young Huot was to pick up the balls, both from the fairway and around the green. They were also allowed to play golf between 7am and 9am.
Frank E. Lock soon offered work to one of them, Jules. He accepted. He had the responsibility of cleaning and repairing the golf clubs. He continued to practice tirelessly; impressed by his talents, Lock enrolled him in 1924 at the age of 16, to the Quebec Open. Despite his young age, he impressed. Five years later, he became the assistant professional to Rex Batley at the Kent Golf Links and then head professional. His brother Rodolphe follows a year later as superintendent of the club.
In 1937, Roland was hired as a professional at the Royal Quebec. He had just turned 23. He arrived from the Lingan Golf Club in Sydney, Nova Scotia. He won the Maritime Open Championship both of the years prior. He had the required qualifications. We renewed his contract the following year; his salary in 1938 was $1,400, but he was forced to hire his brother Rodolphe and had to hire competent employees for the shop. The quality of their play brought honour to the club; in its report presented at the annual general meeting of members, the captain, Ronald A. Carr, mentioned that the professional and his assistant had a great season. Rodolphe broke the course record by shooting a 68 and he and his brother also had hole in ones just a few days apart from each other. 1n 1939, at the CPGA Championship, Roland finished second, tied with Stan Horne, while Rodolphe finished fifth. The winner was Jules Huot.
Roland’s career with Royal Quebec ended in the spring of 1942. The closure of the Kent Golf Links explained his departure. Indeed, the agreement made on March 13th, 1942 between Quebec Power and the Royal Quebec Golf Club required the club to hire Jules Huot, the Kent professional, as our club professional for five years. This was one of the seven conditions for the Kent Golf Links to cease operations. Due to the financial situation of the club, Royal Quebec wished to see the neighbouring club cease all activity. He could not refuse these conditions. They told Roland that his contact was going to end the following month. He tried to get one more months salary but the club refuses; they say for financial reasons, his contract was only for one year. Roland did not remain unemployed for long, the same year he was hired as professional at the Chaudiere Club in Aylmer, Quebec.
The arrival of Jules Huot does not displease; he had an impressive track record across the North American continent. Since the start of his admission as the Kent Golf Links professional in1930, he participated in all the championships in Quebec. He always qualified for the Canadian Open Championship. He won the Spring Tournament in 1932, and again in 1934 and 1935. In !934 he was the winner of the Quebec Open Championship., held at the Kanawaki Golf and Country Club. He played a remarkable front nine, shooting 6 under par. The same year, he won the CPGA Championship, held at the Montreal Country Club.
Jules Huot is again the winner of the Canadian Professional Golf Championship in 1939. Note that he finished second in the same championship the year of 1945, 1947 and 1952 and won the Quebec Professional Golfers Championship in 1945 and 1948. In 1944, he secured second place at the Ontario Open Championship, tied with Stan Horne. He won this same tournament in 1955, prevailing over Gordon Breydson, the same player he defeated 11 years prior. His most impressive victory, however, was that of the General Brock Open in 1937, when he defeated the best American professionals, including Ben Hogan, Jimmy Thompson and Byron Nelson. We now understand why the Royal Quebec called him “little Jules” with joy.
Jules Huot’s stay was however short lived. On November 24th, 1944, the administrative council takes note of his resignation letter as club professional; he accepted an offer from Laval-sur-le-Lac Golf Club. Rodolphe, Jules brother, had known of his intentions as he submitted his candidacy to succeed his brother during the same meeting. Rodolphe had been employed by the club for eight years already. Without hesitation J. V. Perrin and Leon T. DesRivieres offered him the position. He is offered an annual salary of $1,500, payable monthly with an additional $300 in order for him to find an assistant. The latter was also required to act as the head caddy. Rodolphe Huot, 32, began his long career as Head Professional as the Royal Quebec.
Like his brother Jules, Rodolphe had an impressive record. A two time winner of the Quebec Assistant Professionals Tournament, he won both times in a playoff, one against Gerry Proulx and one against Len Herman. At the national level, he had success identical the the Assistant Professional Championship and he finished second in other occasions. In 1939, when he participated in his first CPGA tournament, he took fifth place. His best year was in 1947 when he won the Championship of Professional Golfers of Canada finishing with a result of 291, outplaying his brother Jules and Bob Gray of the Scarborough Club in Toronto, who both shot a 296. He finished first at the Maritime Open held at the Riverside Golf and Country Club in Saint-Johns, New Brunswick the same year, ahead of Bob Gary again. Many more victories came his way, including the Lachute Open and the O’Keefe Tournament.
Rodolphe has power power than Jules, he even managed to find the green in one of the 17th hole of the Royal course. He did not however have his brother’s skill on the greens, putting was his weakness. He often heard: “It is with the most beautiful drives that we make our most beautiful bogeys”. He excelled at golf but he was also an outstanding teacher. His advice was strongly researched; he knew how to analyze the strength and weaknesses of his students. His students were very grateful.
Rodolphe Huot had shown, during his career, his devotion to the well-being of the club. Omnipresent, he gives the club the benefit of his experience. He monitored the condition of the course, supervised all the work, advised management and took care of the members. He was proud to belong to Royal Quebec and constantly defended the interests of the club. He even goes so far as to run as mayor of Boischatel to counter the difficulties the club faced with the municipality. His colleagues appreciated him just as much. In 1972, he was elected as President of the Professional Golfers Association of Canada. Rodolphe Huot retired in 1975. Golf was his life, the Royal Québec his home. Just minutes before his death, while he was in a coma, his thoughts still turned to golf. His relatives hear him whisper, "Jos, give me my iron 5". These last words, he addressed to Josaphat Doyon, a childhood friend and a constant companion. Rodolphe Huot is remembered as a professional who devoted his career to the club, an excellent golfer and a man who was sometimes gruff and uncompromising, but always just and generous.
1976 marks the arrival of Rodrigue Huot, Rodolphe's son, as a club professional; he already had a lot of experience by being assistant professional at Royal Quebec for 10 years, Rodrigue, no doubt influenced by his father, showed more interest in teaching than in competition. Times had changed and the profession became more specialized. Clubs prefer to see their professional focus on the needs of members rather than competition. Professional tournaments require not only special skills, but also constant training and extended absences. There is a choice. Faced with the risk of uncertain victories, Rodrigue preferred devoting his efforts to his work as a club professional. The education and services he knows made him a highly valued professional; with the members telling him, the board of directors noting it and all are delighted. Eager to see Royal Quebec remaining present at the level of professional competitions, he will ensure that his son Nicolas, an assistant professional at the club, represents Royal Quebec with dignity at the various professional tournaments around Quebec and throughout Canada.
Since 1935, the Duke of Kent, one of the three (3) major amateur golf tournaments in Quebec has been held at the Royal Quebec Golf Club.
At the end of the 18th century, the Quebec region was still very underdeveloped. With the exception of Quebec City, which surmounts Cap-aux-Diamants, as this area is sparsely populated. The grounds at the top of the cliff, very close to the Montmorency falls, are something to dream about; they allow, all at the same time, to admire the splendour of these falls, to see the magnificence of the Saint-Laurent river and to benefit from the rural character of the Côte-de-Beaupré. No place offers more attractions for Governor General Haldimand. In 1778 he built a magnificent and sumptuous residence. It is precisely this residence that will house, from 1791 to 1793, the loves of the Duke of Kent and Mrs. de Saint-Laurent. The residence then found a name: The Kent House.
Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent, is the fourth son of King George III. His father, throughout his life, hated him and keep him away from him and from England. A deep love bound the Duke to Mme de Saint-Laurent, who was his companion for 27 years. The couple had to, however, with difficulty, separate in 1818 as there were Royal duties to oblige to. The Duke had no choice but to marry to ensure the succession of the Royal family to the throne of England. From his marriage to Victoria Mary Louisa, widow of Prince de Leiningen and sister of King Leopold I of Belgium, was born a daughter, Princess Victoria, the future queen. Succession of the throne was assured. The title of Duke of Kent ended with the death of Edward Augustus in 1820. It would take 114 years, in 1934, before it was again granted to a member of the royal family. George V's fourth son, George Edward Alexander Edmund, was the one to inherit it. He was killed on August 25, 1942 in the crash of a Royal Air Force bomber in Scotland.
In 1927, George Edward, then 25, visited Quebec, accompanied by his brother, the Prince of Wales, who was crowned King a few years later under the name of Edward VIII. On this occasion, he went to the Kent House, where his ancestor had lived almost a century and a half earlier. He and his older brother took the opportunity to play on both the Kent Golf Links and the Royal Quebec Golf Club courses.
The prince has such fond memories of his time in Quebec that he himself sent from England on March 8, 1935, a trophy reserved for "British amateur golfers" from Canada. The silver trophy is 35.56 centimeters high and 30.48 centimeters in diameter. Flattered with such an honor, the administrators of Kent Golf Links meet and decide to appoint three trustees, WJ Lynch, club president, Brigadier-General TL Tremblay and Alfred Collyer, former president of the Royal Golf Association of Canada , who had complete custody of the trophy and the authority necessary to enact the regulations applicable to its entry into play. On June 18, an agreement confirms the donation of the trophy to the trustees. The tournament takes place for the first time on Saturday, June 22, 1935.
The President of Kent Golf Links, WJ Lynch, sent special invitations to the five other clubs in the region, namely those of Royal Quebec, Lévis, Lorette, Donnacona and Sainte-Pétronille, Île d'Orléans, as well as to all the member clubs of the Golf Association of the province of Quebec. For players in the Montreal area, they made special arrangements with the Canada Steamship Lines: $15 round trip, all inclusive, and $3.50 for those who wanted to return by steamer on the Sunday evening, by boarding their cars. The competition was 36 holes, 18 were played in the morning and 18 in the afternoon. Only players with a handicap of less than 15 were eligible to win the trophy.
On June 22, the weather was gloomy, heavy rain was falling. Despite these conditions, 100 players were lined up at the first tee, and 52 of them managed to complete the second round. Former Canadian champion Gordon B. Taylor of the Kanawaki Golf Club, who arrived from England the same morning, had the honour of winning the tournament, with a score of 159. The trophy is awarded at the Kent House dance pavilion, located near the club. Alfred Collyer presented the trophy to the winner and gave him a silver replica; it was 25.40 centimetres tall and was set to be given annually to the winner until the late 1940s. President Lynch then addresses the participants. He does not fail to mention that 60% of the group had a handicap of less than 15.
In November 1937, the trustees decided to lower the handicap required to participate in the tournament to a 10 and with this participation dropped. Only 28 players entered the competition in 1938. There were only 18 in 1943, and the overwhelming majority were members of Royal Quebec. Thus, in 1946, 16 of the 28 participants were from Royal Quebec, while the following year there were 14 out of a total of 30. It was not until the 1950s that participation increased and, therefore, that of the club dropped.
Starting in 1942, the tournament was held at the Royal Quebec Golf Club. The agreement between the Kent and Royal Quebec provided that the latter club would now hold the tournament on its course. The trustees endorsed this choice, given that Kent was no longer in operation. Royal Québec therefore became the permanent site of the Duke of Kent tournament. In 1949, the trustees decided to transfer the complete management of the tournament to the Quebec Golf Association. A new page in the history of the Duke of Kent was opened.
|Year||Name||Royal Québec||Golf Club|
|2019||Émile Ménard||*||Royal Course||Pinegrove|
|2018||Julien Sale||Royal Course||Rivermead|
|2017||Émile Ménard||*||Royal Course||Pinegrove|
|2016||Francis Berthiaume||Royal Course||Laval-sur-le Lac|
|2015||Vincent Blanchet||Royal Course||Pinegrove|
|2014||Raoul Ménard||*||Royal Course||Pinegrove|
|2013||Mathieu Perron||Royal Course||Laval-sur-le-Lac|
|2012||Sonny Michaud||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|2011||Raoul Ménard||*||Royal Course||Le Blainvillier|
|2010||Jean-Philippe Paiement||Royal Course||Le Blainvillier|
|2009||Mathieu Richard||*||Royal Course||Royal Bromont|
|2008||Mathieu Rivard||*||Royal Course||Royal Bromont|
|2007||Kevin Fortin-Simard||Québec Course||Royal Québec|
|2006||Stéphane Pellerin||Royal Course||Ki-8-Eb|
|2005||André Roy||Royal Course||Rosemère|
|2004||Claude Charpentier||*||Royal Course||Golf Milby|
|2003||Lee Curry||*||Royal Course||Rideau View|
|2002||Lee Curry||*||Royal Course||Rideau View|
|2001||Maxime Barré||Royal Course||Farnham|
|2000||Dave Kelly||Royal Course||C. G. de Beauce|
|1999||Claude Charpentier||Royal Course||Golf Milby|
|1998||Craig Matthews||Royal Course||Royal Montréal|
|1997||Denis Hénault||Royal Course||Royal Bromont|
|1996||Michel Giroux||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1995||Tom Moore||Royal Course||Ottawa Hunt|
|1994||Graham Cooke||*||Royal Course||Summerlea|
|1993||Steve Davies||Royal Course||Royal Montréal|
|1992||Michel Alary||Royal Course||Beloeil|
|1991||Graham Cooke||*||Royal Course||Summerlea|
|1990||Pierre Trépanier||*||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1989||Stéphane Houle||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1988||Graham Cooke||*||Royal Course||Summerlea|
|1987||Éric Mercier||Royal Course||Golf Milby|
|1986||Graham Cooke||*||Québec Course||Summerlea|
|1985||Jacques Gravel||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1984||Rémi Bouchard||Royal Course||Hemmingford|
|1983||Pierre Trépanier||*||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1982||Mickey Batten||*||Cap-Rouge Course and Royal Course||Beauchâteau|
|1981||Raynald Paquet||*||Royal Course||Orléans|
|1980||Mickey Batten||*||Royal Course||Beauchêteau|
|1979||André Gagné||*||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1978||Raynald Paquet||*||Royal Course||Orléans|
|1977||Yves Tremblay||Royal Course||Sorel|
|1976||Jirka Denek||Québec Course||Cap-Rouge|
|1975||André Gagné||*||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1974||Pierre Archambault||*||Québec Course||Laval-sur-le-Lac|
|1973||Graham Cooke||Royal Course||Summerlea|
|1972||Daniel Talbot||Québec Course||Beloeil|
|1971||Paul Pouliot||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1970||Paul Pouliot||*||Québec Course||Royal Québec|
|1969||Mickey Batten||*||Royal Course||Beauchâteau|
|1968||Don Davidson||Royal and Québec Courses||Chaudière|
|1967||Don Brock||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1966||André Gagné||*||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1965||Roger Charbonneau||Royal Course||Montréal Municipal|
|1964||Claude Clément||Royal Course||Valleyfield|
|1963||Bob Stimpson||Royal Course||Ottawa Hunt|
|1962||Ed MacLaine||Royal Course||Summerlea|
|1961||Guy Rousseau||Royal Course||Orléans|
|1960||Henry Setlakwe||Royal Course||Thetford|
|1959||Dave Hardie||Royal Course||Hampstead|
|1958||Alfred Chouinard||*||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1957||Les Palmer||Royal Course||Donnacona|
|1956||Alfred Chouinard||*||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1955||Georges Ospapiuk||Royal Course||Summerlea|
|1954||Eliot Godel||Royal Course||Elm Ridge|
|1953||Jack Innes||Royal Course||Whitlock|
|1952||Clermont Vézina||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1951||J.M. Guthrie||Royal Course||Royal Montréal|
|1950||Gordon-B Taylor||*||Royal Course||Kanawaki|
|1949||Roger Vézina||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1948||Antonio Huot||*||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1947||Joe Poulin||Royal Course||Marlborough|
|1946||Antonio Huot||*||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1945||Guy Rolland||*||Royal Course||Laval-sur-le-Lac|
|1944||Gaston Amyot||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1943||Maurice Huot||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1942||Léo Bourgault||*||Royal Course||Royal Québec|
|1941||Léo Bourgallt||*||Kent Golf Club||Royal Québec|
|1940||Adjutor Dussault||Kent Golf Club||Kent|
|1939||Caroll-M. Stuart||Kent Golf Club||Grovehill|
|1938||William-D Taylor||Kent Golf Club||Summerlea|
|1937||Phil Farley||Kent Golf Club||Malborough|
|1936||Guy Rolland||*||Kent Golf Club||Laval-sur-le-Lac|
|1935||Gordon Taylor||*||Kent Golf Club||Kanawaki|
Presidents from 1874 to Today
|2||1879-1883||C. Farquharson Smith|
|3||1884-1886||H. Stanley Smith|
|5||1900||George H. Thomson|
|7||1904||Herbert S. McGreevy|
|10||1907-1908||Herbert S. McGreevy|
|12||1910||Frederick Webber Ashe|
|13||1911-1917||A. R. M. Boulton|
|14||1918-1919||W. G. Hinds|
|15||1920||Sir George Garneau|
|17||1922-1926||A. J. Welch|
|18||1927-1930||W. Gérard Power|
|19||1931-1934||Léon T. DesRivières|
|20||1935-1936||Herbert S. McGreevy|
|21||1937-1938||Léon T. DesRivières|
|23||1941||Le Très Honorable Louis St-Laurent|
|24||1942-1943||James V. Perrin|
|26||1944-1945||E. D. Hyndman|
|27||1946||Léon T. DesRivières|
|28||1947||John J. Marnell|
|30||1949-1953||William L. Bennett|
|33||1965-1967||L. G. R. Poulette|
|44||2014||Jocelyn F. Rancourt|
Presidents for the Ladies League from 1930 to Today
|1||1930-1931||C. M. de R. Finnis|
|3||1934‐1935||A. M. Boulton|
|4||1936‐1938||Mrs. W. Dobbell|
|5||1939‐1940||Mme R. Turcot|
|6||1941‐1942||J. de R. Tessier|
|7||1943‐1944||Mrs. John Sheehy|
|8||1945‐1946||Mme Paul Desrochers|
|9||1947‐1948||Mrs Alph. Muth|
|10||1949||Mme Ernest Roy|
|11||1950‐1952||Mrs. J. Gordon Ross|
|12||1953‐1954||Mme Maurice Royer|
|13||1955‐1956||G. R. Patterson|
|16||1961‐1962||Marguerite F. Bourgouin|
Captains from 1874 to Today
|1||1874-1883||C. Farquharson Smith|
|2||1884||W. D. Campbell|
|3||1885-1886||H. Stanley Smith|
|4||1887-1888||W. A. Griffith|
|6||1897||Edward L. Sewell|
|9||1902||William Molson Macpherson|
|11||1904||Edward Graves Meredith|
|15||1910||Frederick Webber Ashe|
|16||1911||D. D. Wilson|
|18||1913||William Charles John Hall|
|20||1916-1920||T. G. Leonard|
|21||1921||H. F. Mills|
|23||1928-1934||Arthur H. M. Hay|
|24||1935-1936||Ralph A. Benoît|
|32||1950||E. A. Murphy|
|33||1951||Émile A. Cusson|
|37||1958-1961||J. R. Florent Roy|
Ladies Captains from 1932 to Today
|5||1940-1942||Mrs. B. Fleming|
|7||1945-1946||Mrs. T. Handsombody|
|14||1961-1962||Berthe B. Racine|
|33||2002-2003||Louise V. Houde|
From 1874 to 1905 there were no professionals
1906 - 1907
1909 - 1910
1914 - 1918
1919 - 1925
1927 - 1936
1937 - 1941
1942 - 1944
1945 - 1975
1976 - 2005