Cataraqui Golf and Country Club
Early golf in Kingston
Cataraqui G&CC was established in 1917. Its founding followed the World War I-era construction of the LaSalle Causeway and provincial highway, across the Cataraqui River as it feeds into Lake Ontario. The new highway also crossed the property used by the Kingston Golf Club, disrupting the flow of play there. Kingston had been a military centre since its founding as Fort Frontenac by French explorers in 1673, on the site of an aboriginal settlement known as Cataraqui, and the military base was being expanded with the world war, necessitating the causeway and highway construction. The Kingston GC, located on the Barriefield Commons, just north of the Royal Military College of Canada and Fort Henry, and just east of the Cataraqui River, was the first golf course in the area; it had operated from 1886 to 1888 and then again from 1892, eventually with 13 distinct holes, and was a charter 1895 member of the Royal Canadian Golf Association. The first Canadian Amateur Championship winner in 1895, Thomas Harley, a Scottish immigrant carpenter and stevedore, employed on the dockyards at RMC, represented the Kingston Golf Club. The Kingston Golf Club operated until 1925, with a modified layout, but the area's golfers gradually switched to Cataraqui.
Early years of Cataraqui G&CC
The original course at Cataraqui was located past the western edge of the city at that time, on Lake Ontario. It had six holes; the club gradually acquired more land and expanded to 13 holes by 1921; by June 1925 the course had 18 holes. One of the original designers may have been George Cumming, a top Toronto golf professional, Canadian Open and Canadian PGA Championship winner, and golf course architect, who is a member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.
Thompson redesigns the course
In 1931, Stanley Thompson, already a world-famous golf course architect, was hired to redesign the course. The club was selling some land (and losing several holes, to facilitate the construction of grain elevators) near Lake Ontario, while acquiring new land to the north and west. The western boundary became the marshlands around the Little Cataraqui Creek. Thompson used the new, much larger property to design and build several new holes, including most of the present back nine. He kept several of the existing holes, and reshaped several others. Thompson had left Kingston before the new course was completed; his work was finished by the club's professional, Richard H. (Dick) Green. The new course, opened in May 1933, drew acclaim from the beginning. Cataraqui began hosting important events soon after its redesign, and was ranked #57 on the list of Canada's top courses in 2006 by Scoregolf magazine. The 15th hole, a very challenging 206-yard uphill par 3, christened 'Plateau', has often been ranked among the top holes in Canada. The routing plan from Thompson's 1931 redesign has remained intact. From the back tees, with new tees having been constructed on holes 4 and 13, the course currently plays to a maximum length of 6,544 yards, par 70.
Curling; 1973 clubhouse fire
The original clubhouse burned to the ground in 1973, destroying virtually all of the club's archives. A photo of the fire was published in many newspapers around the world.
The club's curling program began in 1961 with six sheets of ice installed in an addition to the clubhouse. With curling's arrival, the club became a year-round operation. Curling was retained in 1975 in the new clubhouse, again with six sheets of ice.
Tournaments, champions, and notable players
Cataraqui has been a frequent host site for national, provincial and major local events, including the Ontario Amateur Championship (1939, 1952, 1963); the Ontario Ladies' Amateur Championship (1937, 1965, 1977, 1996); the Ontario Open (1955, 1958, 1966, 1973, 1979); the Canadian PGA Championship (1936, 1938); the Canadian PGA Seniors Championship in 1997; the Ontario Junior Match Play Championship in 2009; and the Ontario University Athletics championship on several occasions, including 2011. Major annual local events include the elite Kingston Whig-Standard men's tournament, and the elite Eastern Provinces women's tournament. Notable champions from events staged at Cataraqui have included Sandy Somerville, Marlene Streit, Moe Norman, Warren Sye, and Jerry Anderson.
Notable golfers from the club include Richard H. (Dick) Green, the club's professional for nearly 40 years, who assisted Stanley Thompson with the 1931 redesign; Mark Siemonsen (1974 Ontario Juvenile champion and 1977 Ontario University champion); local legend Ronald G. Brown; 1981 Ontario Junior champion Barry Wood; Canadian Professional Golf Tour event champion John Colwell; 2002 Willingdon Cup players Craig Revell and Jeff Crowe; two-time Ontario Junior champion Brad Revell; Ontario University Athletics women's champion (2006 and 2008) Danielle Green; 2011 Ontario Women's Mid-Amateur champion Patti Hogeboom; and current Canadian Professional Golf Tour event champion Matt McQuillan. McQuillan, who earned PGA Tour playing privileges in December 2010 for the 2011 season, set a new competitive course record of 62 in a Pro-Am tournament in July 2008, breaking the mark set in 2003 by Chris Barber (a former Cataraqui member and several times Ottawa Zone CPGA champion) by one stroke. McQuillan's achievement was celebrated by the Club on December 21, 2010; he received an honorary membership; he will split the 2012 season between the PGA Tour and the Nationwide Tour. Current Cataraqui Club professionals include former Canadian Tour players Malcolm Trickey and Kevin Dickey, and 1998 Ontario Ladies' Amateur champion Kristen MacLaren.
Notable curlers include Ted Brown, third on the Ontario Tankard champion (Dr. Alex Scott, skip) rink 1975-76, and also skip of the Ontario Mixed champion rink that same year.
- Cataraqui: The First 70 Years 1917-1987, by Lyndon Jones, 1987, Belleville, Ontario, Mika Publishing Company, ISBN 0-921341-10-5
- The Evolution of Cataraqui Golf Course, by John D. Smith, 2002, Heinrich Heine Press at Grass Creek, Kingston, Ontario, ISBN 0-919234-03-8, p. 1
- Barclay, James A. (1992). Golf in Canada: A History. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. pp. 41, 97. ISBN 978-0-7710-1080-4.
- Barclay, pp. 96–7, 105–6
- The Evolution of Cataraqui Golf Course, by John D. Smith, 2002, Heinrich Heine Press at Grass Creek, Kingston, Ontario, ISBN 0-919234-03-8, pp. 1-27
- The Evolution of Cataraqui Golf Course, by John D. Smith, 2002, Heinrich Heine Press at Grass Creek, Kingston, Ontario, ISBN 0-919234-03-8, pp. 37-75
- The Cataraqui Golf and Country Club: The First Seventy Years 1917-1987, by Lyndon Jones, 1987, Belleville, Ontario, Mika Publishing Company, pp. 61-74
- History of Golf in Canada, by L.V. Kavanaugh, 1973, Fitzhenry and Whiteside Ltd., Toronto, ISBN 0-88902-014-0, pp. 170, 186-193.
- Kingston Whig-Standard, July 22, 2008.