Whitman, Axland & Cutten (WAC Golf) is developing a golf course renovation plan for Hillsdale Golf Club in Montreal, Canada.
The club, in the Mirabel suburb of Montreal, was founded in 1953 and has two 18-hole courses – the Laurentien, which hosted the Canadian Amateur Championship in 1998 and the Canadian Women’s Open in 2011, and the Woodside – across its 430-acre property. The courses were designed by Canadian architect Howard Watson, who worked with Stanley Thompson in the 1930s.
Local businessman Herbert Black now owns the club and has stated his commitment to a club “second to none in the Greater Montreal area but also beyond those limits of a club recognised throughout North America for the quality of its golf courses, facilities, amenities, and services.”
WAC Golf was hired in May 2022 and are developing a masterplan that will convert the existing two 18-hole courses to a new 18-hole course, a 9-hole course and practice facilities.
“While major adjustments to the general layout and sequence of play will ultimately transform the golf course property, several of the existing hole corridors will be repurposed,” said Keith Cutten of WAC Golf. “Nevertheless, every feature – including tees, bunkers and greens – will be reimagined.”
The redesign will also feature a subsurface drainage system and upgrades to irrigation.
Environmental restrictions mean that all development will take place within the existing golf perimeter on the property. “Any land area on our property, outside of this perimeter will not be accessible for several reasons and constraints, including but not exclusively of wetlands, protected sugar maple growths and restriction on the use of agricultural zoned land which may not be used for other purposes,” said Black in a letter to members of the club. “We are all in agreement that with these amenities, new clubhouse and higher service standards, Hillsdale will become the great club envisioned.”
Final plans are expected to be finalised in summer 2023, with the club closing at the end of the year ahead of breaking ground in spring 2024, and reopening with new facilities in 2026.