Summerlea Golf & Country Club celebrates 100 years!
Even though the 2021 season is only about to begin, golf enthusiasts can already add an event to their agenda: the 100th anniversary of Summerlea Golf & Country Club. But what would such a venerable age be without a retrospective look into its history, its trials, and its greatest successes?
Throughout its history, the Summerlea Golf & Country Club has definitely left its mark.
Summerlea Golf & Country Club: A rich and epic history
It all began in Lachine in 1921 where land was purchased, and a foundation laid at the site of a former town called "Summerlea". By the following year, the club boasted 400 shareholders and more than 200 female members. This club had a progressive and family-oriented approach that quickly became its trademark.
The official opening ceremony and golf course christening took place on June 30, 1923 and competitions for men and women commenced. Between 1924 and 1928, several provincial and national competitions were held, giving everyone the opportunity to test their skills at Summerlea.
This prosperous period, however, gave way to the Great Depression, which weakened the financial situation of the club as well as all other clubs and businesses. But Summerlea persevered.
Unfortunately, the Second World War pushed Summerlea to its limits and into bankruptcy. In this difficult period, the club owes its resurrection to Senator Donat Raymond who invested heavily in Summerlea, in particular through the construction of a grand new clubhouse following a fire in 1949 which completely destroyed the entire building. On more than one occasion, Senator Raymond steered Summerlea on the road to success. His passing in 1963 was a true loss, especially as Summerlea settled that very year on a new site in which to re-locate the club to Vaudreuil-Dorion.
The years pass and the successes mount. The club becomes well-known thanks to its championships, its reputation, and dedication to its members.
In 2018, Summerlea is sold to a group of private investors composed of: Raymond Allard, Jean-Marie Bourassa, Marcel Bourassa, Benoit Lefebvre, and Sylvain Ménard. This group of astute businessmen are committed to perpetuating the values of excellence and inclusion for which Summerlea is known. Clubhouse renovations and the hiring of a new general manager, Marco Jetté, perfectly illustrate this desire.
This hilly ride of trials and successes shows, above all, the great passion that continues and always drives those who directly and indirectly contributed to the history of Summerlea.
Notable member: Graham Cooke
Graham Cooke is an accomplished amateur golfer with a highly remarkable list of golfing achievements, some of which are:
- Winner of more than 100 amateur tournaments;
- Being inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, the Quebec Golf Hall of Fame, the Quebec Sports Hall of Fame, and the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame;
- Representing Canada in 7 international team events;
- Representing Quebec in 27 Willingdon Cup Teams;
- Being a member of the Big Ten Golf Championship Team playing for Michigan State.
And also including these fine career highlights:
- Runner-up in 2 Canadian Amateurs
- 7 titles as Canadian Mid-Amateur Champion
- 4 titles as Canadian Senior Champion
- 4 titles as Quebec Amateur Champion
- 5 x winner of the Duke of Kent
- 4 x winner of the Alexander of Tunis
- Runner-up in 2 British Senior Championships
- And, of course, numerous titles as the Summerlea Club Champion
In addition, his own company has won many awards for golf course designs in both Canada and the United States.
We are proud that Graham Cooke has been a Summerlea member for more than 50 years!
Duke Doucet inducted into the Quebec Golf Hall of Fame
Among all the head professionals who have forged the club's legend, Duke Doucet is certainly the one who has taken Quebec golf beyond its simple borders. His swing has shown brightly on the European circuit, the South African Tour and the Canadian Tour.
Winner of more than 35 professional tournaments, his career spanning more than 50 years, we bear witness to an exceptional career. The year 1972, during which he won eight of the nine professional tournaments played in Quebec, attracts particular attention. Often compared to Byron Nelson, aficionados are sure to recall that while the American, Byron Nelson, won 11 straight tournaments in 1945, Mr. Doucet won nine titles in ten starts in his fabulous 1972 season!
His involvement at Summerlea has been limitless since he began his career in 1976. He successively took on the functions of Assistant Professional, then Head Professional, Clubhouse Manager and finally, General Manager.
“Passionate” is not strong enough to describe his relationship with golf especially considering that he won the Beaconsfield Open in spring 1997 (his third victory in this event!) while at the same time celebrating another victory: the one against cancer.
Mr. Doucet also supported a grander vision by serving as Captain and President of the P.G.A. of Quebec. As well, already a member of the Sherbrooke Sports Hall of Fame, in 2020 Mr. Doucet was the 32nd person inducted into the Quebec Golf Hall of Fame. A great way to acknowledge this athlete, to pay tribute to this dedicated man, and to enrich the history of the Summerlea Golf & Country Club which he helped to grow.
Looking forward to celebrating with you soon, dear members, friends, and golf enthusiasts!
Sources : GolfQuebec.org. Membres intronisés au temple de la renommée du golf du Quebec
Association régionale – Golf Cantons de l’Est. Trois légendes intronisées au Temple de la renommée du golf du Québec en 2020 dont le DUKE de Windsor. 2020.