Royal Montreal Golf Club – the oldest golf club in North America – was founded back in 1873. Originally named the Montreal Golf Club, Queen Victoria gave permission to use the “Royal” prefix in 1884. Today, upwards of 50,000 rounds are played on the course’s 45 holes each year.

Over the years, Royal Montreal has certainly seen its fair share of history. The Canadian Open was played here in 1904, 1908, 1913, 1926, 1950, 1975, 1980, 1997 and 2001. Late in the summer of 2007, the Club hosted The Presidents Cup with the United States team topping the Internationals 19½–14½.

The PGA TOUR returns to storied Royal Montreal next week as the RBC Canadian Open comes to town July 24-27. Brandt Snedeker won the event last year at Glen Abbey Golf Course in Oakville, Ontario.

Heading into the event, I caught up with Greg Greer, course and property manager at Royal Montreal since 2011, to talk about the Club, prepping for a TOUR visit, Montreal’s super sports fans, and a hopeful Tiger sighting.

 

What makes Royal Montreal such a great host for professional golf?

GG: From the Course to Clubhouse we offer a warm and welcoming environment. Our Club has a lot of history being the first to host a Canadian Open in 1904 and with the difficulty of the Blue Course it should be a fun week.

 

What shape is the course in heading into the RBC?

GG: The course is in very good condition. We are working on achieving tournament speed this week and putting the final touches on rough heights.

 

Did the longer, harsher winter impact the course at all?

GG: We had a typical winter in Montreal. Yes the temperatures were below average but the deep snow cover from the end of November until mid-April helps protect the majority of the property.

 

Any plans to try to lure a President’s Cup or other similar event back to Royal Montreal?

GG: I am not aware of any such plans, but from my personal standpoint, hosting a prestigious event such as the Presidents cup would be a lot of fun.

 

What have you been up to in recent months to prepare for the Canadian Open?

GG: For us it has been business as usual. We maintain the courses as close to tournament conditions as possible daily. Taking the next step should be seamless.

 

Perhaps best known for their devotion to a certain Montreal hockey team, how do folks in the Montreal-area take to golf?

GG: Montrealer’s embrace all types of events from sports to music to comedy festivals. We are expecting a great crowd from the casual fan to golf nut.

 

What is the most difficult thing about preparing for a PGA visit?

GG: Finding the balance between day to day play for our membership and the impact PGA events can have on course conditions and making sure that when the event is over the members get back what they gave up.

 

Which players are you most excited to see come play Royal Montreal?

GG: We are hosting the best players in the world. Our job is to provide them with the best conditions possible. All these players will be fun to watch play. That said, the field isn’t final yet, but I would love to have Tiger back.

*Woods won what was then the Bell Canadian Open back in 2000 at Glen Abbey. His effort included some typical Woods magic.

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