Drummondville Golf Club is celebrating its 99th anniversary this year, but will officially cease operations on Oct. 15 for at least two years while the course is completely rebuilt to make it one of Quebec’s most beautiful golf courses. At least that’s what Soprema, the manufacturing company that bought the club in 2019, which was facing serious financial difficulties, wanted.
“We’re going to cryogenically freeze the golf club for at least the next two years and we’re going to celebrate the 100th.e Anniversary in 2025 or 2026 as if nothing happened. But it will be a brand new course designed by Jack Nicklaus and it will be one of the five most beautiful golf courses in Quebec,” assured Richard Voyer, Executive Vice President and CEO of Soprema.
Soprema is a French multinational specializing in waterproofing, insulation, soundproofing and greening products for the construction sector and operates four factories with deep roots in Drummondville.
The company purchased the Drummondville Golf Course from its members in 2019 with the intention of converting it fully into a prestigious golf course and adding an academy for young golfers as well as a boutique hotel with 60 high-end rooms.
I already told you about this project two years ago, but it will be in the autumn, after the season is over, that it will really start to see the light.
Soprema’s mission is to provide Drummondville with the high-level recreational tourism infrastructure that the region has economically been able to do for the past 30 years.
As my colleague Andre Dubuque recently reported, Drummondville just achieved the rank of a census metropolitan area, a status it gained thanks to population growth that allowed it to pass the 100,000-resident milestone.
Quebec has six other CMAs: Montreal, Quebec City, Gatineau, Saguenay, Trois-Rivières and Sherbrooke. Drummondville and the surrounding area of Centre-du-Québec are a real economic engine with hundreds of dynamic SMEs, which become a real force of attraction.
“We want people in the area to enjoy prestigious amenities, but we also want the golf course and hotel to be destinations for customers and suppliers of Drummondville businesses,” continues Richard Voyer.
The project is taking shape
The redevelopment of the golf course was supposed to begin last fall, but specific details still need to be worked out and, in particular, approvals from the Ministry of the Environment.
“We’re redoing the entire course, and at the time we had to eradicate the old greens where we used a lot of pesticides. We want to do it right,” explains Soprema’s VP and General Manager.
The course takes another angle, running along the Saint-François river and the golf course, but now the paths are perpendicular to these two axes to open up the view of the river.
Nicklaus Group’s architects will use the site’s 3 million unused square feet to expand the course and enlarge the landscape, making it one of the five most beautiful golf clubs in Quebec.
The Club Chalet is a new boutique hotel located at the intersection of the Saint-Germain and Saint-Francois rivers, a natural site currently hidden in a golf parking lot.
This will be the first Nicklaus course in Eastern Canada. The new route will meet all current environmental standards, although there will be some delays waiting for permits.
“We are going to do the project in phases. We start with course development, construction of maintenance buildings and a golf academy where young players can train virtually 12 months a year.
“We will continue to build a hotel that will have a restaurant with a French chef from Strasbourg, who will organize exchanges with Quebec chefs who can do internships in France and vice versa. We want to create a destination where people want to spend a weekend in Drummondville,” explained Richard Voyer.
If Drummondville Golf Course again this year exhibits benchmark prices at $60 per round, we should expect a certain index of prices after work is completed to ensure the profitability of the site.
But we don’t offer high prices as some clubs in tourist areas hesitate to do. We want the area to shine and become a destination where one of the five most beautiful courses in Quebec is accessible.