MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec, Canada -- Thrilling mountain golf makes this vaunted ski destination in the Laurentian Mountains roughly 75 miles northwest of Montreal one of Canada's premier summer getaways, too.
The signature experience comes at Le Maitre, a private club accessible by staying at high-end hotels such as the Fairmont Tremblant.
Le Maitre (translated "The Master" from French) was created by Fred Couples with an assist from Graham Cooke, Gene Bates and Darrell Huxham. Wide fairways provide ample driving room, although water and wetlands squeeze at least half the holes on the 7,025-yard layout.
Gray Rocks owns two courses, La Belle (the beauty) and La Bete (the beast). La Belle is the region's original 6,330-yard course, a playable routing created 80 years ago by horse and plow. La Bete offers quite the opposite, a 6,825-yard modern monster that came online in 2001. Cooke created a handful of tough holes.
Intrawest operates Le Geant (the giant) and Le Diable (the devil). The 6,836-yard Le Geant opened first in 1995, a Thomas McBroom creation where flat lies rarely exist. The 7,051-yard par-71 Le Diable opened three years later in 1998, decorated by Ohio architects Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry with countless bunkers and sandy waste areas that torment a golfer's soul. They do give back on the scenic par-5 15th hole, which plays so dramatically downhill a birdie should be the goal.
For the quickest, and most affordable round, stop by Golf Manitou, a unique 3,355-yard, par-58 short course opened in 2002. Huxham created 14 par-3 and four par-4 replica holes from famous courses such as Turnberry Resort's Ailsa Course in Scotland, Ballybunion Golf Club in Ireland and others. It's a perfect complement to the area's tougher tracks, catering to juniors, families, couples and the better player who wants to sharpen his or her short game. These 108 holes, all within minutes of one another, keep golfers busy all summer long.