NOTRE-DAME-DE-LA-PAIX, Quebec, Canada -- No recognizable architect laid his hands upon the Club de Golf Heritage course.
From the road, the clubhouse looks like just another large building with the usual pro shop and restaurant inside.
But this under-the-radar resort has blossomed into a place worth discovering in the foothills of the Laurentian Mountains near the Quebec-Ontario border roughly 100 kilometers northwest of Ottawa.
The hilly 6,768-yard course, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013, plays almost as good as the more celebrated Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello Golf Club, a historic Stanley Thompson design in nearby Montebello. In 2006, the Heritage clubhouse expanded to include four whirlpool suites, four two-bedroom apartments and 22 double-bed guestrooms for stay-and-plays. There's also fine dining and activities such as spa treatments available.
Once players get past the blind second shot on the opening par 5, there's nothing tricked up about the par-71 routing by Stan Brigham and owner Elijah Jones. The five par 3s all play different, requiring multiple club selections. Doglegs and several amazing downhill shots spice up the four par 5s. The bookend par 4s at the ninth and 18th holes rise rapidly uphill off the tee, revealing just how dramatic the terrain can be. It all adds up to great fun.