A duffer's guide

Chris Quigley
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Île Perrot a tricky delight for golfers of all stripes

A duffer's guide

Starting off on the first tee at Île Perrot Golf and Country Club last Monday gave me a sinking feeling; not the least of which was perpetuated by the presence of a number of club members watching, all waiting for my playing partner, colleague Phillippe Boisvert, and I to vacate the tee box and get to playing.

Of course, as so often happens with 'developing' (i.e. learning how to play) golfers, both Phil and I hit terrible drives off the tee and had both hit three shots before ever getting halfway down the 326-yard par-4.

As I leave the tee box following my majestic 75-yard worm-burner drive that died in the damp rough slightly to the left of the fairway, a member I had been making idle small talk with earlier says 'have a good game.'

I wish. Here's the thing, though. I've started to fall in love with golf. So, no matter how badly it goes (and it can go pretty badly, believe me) it's always a good game, because any day on the golf course is a good one. I'm convinced of that.

So, off we went, in our cart after saving triple bogey on the first hole with nice final (mercifully) putts to the second hole, a 544-yard par-5. It's long, but if you stay in the fairway and hit a decent second shot, you can birdie or make par if you stay clear of the bunkers on either side of the green.

Another word to the wise: stay out of the rough, especially on days after it rains cats and dogs. It's thick and if you keep topping shots as I did, that 544 yards can seem like an awfully long way.

Still, it's a beautiful golf course, and if you have a few minutes to stop and admire the scenery, as we did on the third hole, having caught the group in front of us, you should definitely do so.

That chance to breathe helped me relax, and even though my par putt on the par-3 third hole lipped out, now I was starting to have some fun.

Phil was starting to hit the ball well, and we both managed to figure out how to get the ball off the tee on the par-5 sixth hole, where we dropped 200-yard drives within about nine feet of each other's ball in the middle of the fairway, and followed it up with second shots that a) went far and b) stayed on the fairway.

Four, five and six were all nice holes with some interesting water features, but the par-3 seventh hole has a special place in my heart. The tricky 185-yard par-3 has a cascading fountain in the middle of the hazard in front of the green. In other words, while it's relaxing to look at, that fountain can be diabolical if you come up short of the green.

Which, of course, I did.

Phil managed to play around the hazard, and a nice approach gave him a par putt that he couldn't sink. I carded a six and went about my business.

Midway through our round, the sun came out and helped us finish things up nicely. Île Perrot Golf and Country Club's course was in great shape considering the monsoon-like rains of the day before, and the place looked and played great.

The greens were tricky, but not overly so, and frankly, I can't wait to go back.

On a day when the rough is dry, preferably, but Île Perrot was so nice, the members so welcoming, that it doesn't matter what the weather would be. Île Perrot Golf and Country Club is located at 1717 Don Quichotte Blvd. in Notre Dame de l'Île Perrot. They can be reached at 514-453-7177, or online at www.ileperrotgolf.com

Organizations: Île Perrot Golf and Country Club

Geographic location: Île Perrot, Notre Dame

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