Hidden in a beautiful deciduous forest is the 9-hole golf course of the island. Its 150-year-old heritage makes it the oldest golf course in North America. Still partly owned by the original Dunn family of the island, the course began as a private 3-hole course but quickly progressed up to a 9-hole with the development of the Saint-Pétronille municipality.
We spoke to President of the club Pierre Gosselin about the clubs history, uniqueness, and club culture. The “intimacy and comradery” of the small club is like no other, Gosselin exclaimed. With just 170 core members then, he says, it’s sometimes more of a social occasion than a competitive one. Members come to catch up and enjoy their sport with the rest of the clubs family.
The club is primarily run by passionate volunteers which furthers this ‘homely’ and old-school hospitality features that the Dunn family originally run the club with. Being only 9-holes then it’s perfect for golf advocates and beginners alike. Although it may not be as clean cut as newer clubs, in the sense of level playing grounds, members find that this adds to the unique and rustic atmosphere of the club – making it a fun and exciting experience to play on.
If you are coming from far away, then it is not a problem if you do not have all your golf gear with you. The club offers club rentals and has a little pro shop for all your basic needs. They invested in new golf caddy cars this year making the course easily accessible to all level of fitness. You can even request a lesson on the oldest course too – definitely a great story to bring back from your island trip.
Once entering the golf grounds then you can feel the history of the site pulsating through, from the ancient trees that surround it to the vibe once you set out to take a look. Unfortunately, the original clubhouses are no longer standing as two fires over the years destroyed the building themselves as well as a lot of memorabilia and artifacts from the club’s history. However, the feeling stands strong, when taking a look around you can see that Club de Golf Orléans is so much more than just a golf club.
If you don’t have time for a full round then there is also a driving range on-site. As well as some dining facilities with views over the course if you just want to check out what it is all about.
Stop by and chat with the members and volunteers and find out more about the oldest golf course in North America!