'HICKORY ON THE HEIGHTS'
The match between Royal Quebec and Royal Montreal golf clubs
Four years ago Past Masters Old Links Golf were approached by Michel Robert, a Quebec pro golfer, with a dream - to run hickory golf events on the Heights of Abraham to celebrate the 400th anniversary in 2008 of the founding of Quebec City. Just our style!
It hardly seemed possible when, on 14th August, the clubs - all 80 sets plus some spares - were freighted by EMS Cargo of Carlisle to the Royal Quebec golf club to await Hickory Homer's arrival on Friday 22 August.
Hick left a cold, wet and grey U.K. to arrive in sunny skies and temperatures of 34C - what a contrast. The weather stayed like that throughout the ten days of hickory golf which was superb.
From then on Hick's feet hardly touched the ground. Before the event schedule could begin a nine hole course had to be laid out on the Heights of Abraham (Les Pleines d'Abraham as the Quebecoise call it of course). On the night before this was done, the same ground had seen a concert by Celine Dion and two weeks before, by Sir Paul McCartney!
A hundred volunteers, who all wore period dress and distinctive red berets, had given their services for the whole thing and together the course was put in shape in record time, including putting up one and a half miles of safety fencing.
from Tuesday 26 August to Wednesday 3 September, the fun commenced. Each
event was nine holes of hickory and in all over 1200 people played, sometimes
with three separate nine hole events per day. The Mayor of Quebec opened
the proceedings and there were various dinners to mark the occasion. A
spacious marquee was in place and the old clubs were a key attraction for
Trouble a-dressing the ball ?
The French-Canadians really
loved it and entered into the spirit of the events dressing up
was even a piper to give the proceedings a touch of Scottish style!
The hospitality Hickory received was wonderful and everyone was interested in the business and the clubs. He did several interviews for papers and magazines and also did a recorded interview for Canadian Broadcasting which went out throughout Canada on their 'All in a Weekend' magazine show. He became quite the celebrity.
Our thanks and our congratulations go to Michel and the members of the Golf Tradition Quebec committee whose inspiration, dedication and hard work made this possible. Also to the Royal Quebec Golf Club and the Battlefield Commission and all the sponsors and supporters of this great celebration. One thing is for sure, this was not a one-off. There is talk of an annual event, such was its popularity. Hickory golf has found a real home in Canada's French quarter.