The Gray Rocks resort is familiar to most Canadians who live in the East. It’s reputation as a winter haven for families that love to ski, has become legendary over the years, as the Mont Tremblant area has developed into one of the most recognizable tourist destinations in North America.
But Tremblant is not all about just skiing anymore. It has evolved into a wonderful place to play golf as well. Golfers have seen a number of great new golf courses open their doors to the public in the area. One of the top courses that has opened is Gray Rock’s new La Bete Golf Club.
In 1997 the Gray Rocks resort commissioned legendary Canadian course designer Graham Cooke to build La Bete (The Beast). A magnificent site along Le Diable (Devil’s) River, it uses a wonderful combination of elevation changes, water hazards, waste bunkers and natural waste areas to create a challenging course that fits nicely into its natural surroundings. Oh, and having stellar views of the Mont Tremblant and Gray Rocks ski areas from many of the tees doesn’t hurt the enjoyment factor either.
The fun starts at the par-4 second hole. It requires a well-placed tee shot to the first level of a unique 3-tiered plateau fairway. If you keep it short of the hazard area, you will face a long-iron second shot across the steep valley to a green protected by a deep bunker on the front-right. This hole is dubbed ‘La Cascade’ in honor of the waterfall that can be seen roaring through the hole from the right-hand side.
The 4th hole is a pretty downhill par-5 with a great view of the river and lake below. It is also the first of a number of tee boxes that give you a nice aerial look at the hill and mountains across the area. This hole really forces you to keep the ball to the right hand side of the fairway. This ensures you the best approach to the long, skinny green that is protected on the left by a lake and a large bunker.
The Devil’s River runs all along the right hand side, leaving little room for error. Big hitters can easily take a run at this green, but the landing area tightens up immensely as you get closer and closer to the hole.
The 9th hole finishes the inward nine with an interesting plateau fairway that forces players to lay up short of a steep hazard, or risk landing in on of many local creeks feeding into the Devil’s River.
The back nine features 3 par-5s, the first of which, number 11, is a long dogleg left to a green that sloped steeply from right to left. Another notable hole on the back is the 210 yard par-3 15th. A beautiful marsh to the right of the fairway makes it one of the prettiest and most challenging holes at La Bete.
18 is a dynamite finisher. A long par-4 that drops off steeply to left of the fairway (and green) and is protected on the right by a series of steeply banked bunkers.
Five sets of tees make the course pretty accessible to most players, novice and expert alike. The course plays anywhere from 5150–6825 yards and is a par 72. It does put a premium on accuracy however, most shots that veer of the fairway will find themselves in natural areas that are almost impossible to hit out of (if you can find your ball).
Gray Rocks also boasts a second course, La Belle. The oldest golf course in the Laurentians/Mont Tremblant region, La Belle is ideal for golfers looking for a more leisurely day out on the links. Conditions were very good at both courses when we visited.
Both La Bete and La Belle are located in close proximity to the Gray Rocks resort in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. For more information call 800-567-6744 or visit www.GrayRocks.com.