MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec, Canada -- The first stop is Gleneagles in Scotland.
Next is Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania. The following holes are from Pinehurst Resort in the North Carolina Sandhills, Ballybunion in Ireland and Medinah Country Club near Chicago.
The logistics of chasing down all these great courses in one trip remains a pipe dream. But you can play them all -- and many more -- in a single round at Golf Manitou , a fun replica course in this mountain golf getaway 75 miles northwest of Montreal. Playing Manitou's unique par-58 routing of 14 par 3s and four short par 4s provides a nice change of pace from the tougher full-sized courses of the region. Your score will be lower, it's walker-friendly and, maybe most important, your round will be much quicker.
"It's nice out there. There are some nice challenges," said Harm Duzink, a recent visitor from Montreal. "I played in less than two hours."
Golf Manitou: The course
Golf Manitou opened in 2002, designed by Canadian architect Darrell Huxham, who also created arguably the two best courses in the area, Le Maître and La Bête. The par-3s at Manitou range from 120 yards to 240 yards from the back tees. The four par 4s play much shorter than a traditional layout, the longest being 360 yards from the tips.
Some of Manitou's replica holes aren't exactly spot-on, although there's not a bad hole in the bunch. The short par 4s require more thinking than brute power. Quite frankly, some of the par 3s might play tougher. A handful of them require shots over wetland and water.
The par-3 10th hole drops from an elevated tee to an island green surrounded by sand, made to mimic the setting of Desert Highlands in Arizona. The ninth hole, a tribute to Turnberry Resort in Scotland, and No. 18 climb back uphill toward the clubhouse. A three-tier green makes par tough to attain on the finishing hole.
"It's a short course that seems easy, but it is not," said Samuel Latreille, who works afternoons in the pro shop. "If you are not on the green (on certain holes), you are in the crap."
Golf Manitou: The verdict
Golf Manitou fits into a nice niche in this golf mecca. It's a great place for couples, families and beginners or as a way to sharpen up your short game.
The layout sits hidden off the main road in a peaceful, natural setting surrounded by dense woods. It's certainly among the top par-3 courses in all of North America.