Sure, the Presidents Cup owes its existence to a boom of interest in the Ryder Cup, but this biennial competition between the top-ranked U.S. and non-European pros transcends Johnny-come-lately status. In fact, it has produced more drama of late than the Ryder Cup—highlighted by the Tiger Woods-Ernie Els playoff in South Africa four years ago that ended in a tie as darkness fell. This year's matches will be played in September at Royal Montreal Golf Club, founded in 1873. They're likely to provide some of golf's most riveting theater of the year, particularly for the galleries on hand. Pair that with Montreal's old- and new-world charms, and you have the makings of an ideal autumn weekend.
Tickets and Viewing Tips
Tickets Although tickets are sold out, you can purchase them from online brokers such as greattickets.com. As of press time, prices start at $160 for a single-day ticket and $425 for a full week's pass. Ticket-and-lodging packages are available from tour operators including Golf Holidays (golfholidays-online.com).
Format The tournament is played over four days. The first day consists of alternate-shot (or foursomes) play; day two is better-ball (four-ball); day three is a combination of both; and the final day comprises twelve singles matches.
Royal Montreal offers many great vantage points, including at the tricky par-three seventeenth, which is sure to decide a few matches. From left of the fairway on the par-five sixth, you can watch players go for the green and also tee off on seven, a short one-shotter.
When September 25-30, 2007
Where Île Bizard, Quebec
Playing Greater Montreal has some five dozen public courses, a number of them designed by the prolific Canadian architect Graham Cooke. Two fine examples of his work are the Falcon Golf Club (thefalcongolfclub.com) and, just down the street from Royal Montreal, one of the two eighteens at Golf Saint-Raphaël (golfstraphael.ca). Across town is the Club de Golf de l'Île de Montreal (golf-de-montreal.com), designed by Irishman Pat Ruddy of Ballyliffin and European Club fame.
Staying Despite the traffic you'll likely face getting to and from Royal Montreal, it's worth it to stay in the center of town. Old Montreal is a walkable mélange of beaux arts, Gothic and neoclassical buildings, with street-level bars and restaurants to suit all tastes. It's home to boutique hotels like Le Place d'Armes (hotelplacedarmes.com) and the Hotel Gault (hotelgault.com). For a grand-scale hotel, try the stately Fairmont Queen Elizabeth (fairmont.com).
Dining Montreal has proportionately as many restaurants as Manhattan, so no concise list will do the city justice. But there are hot-bed areas, including Boulevard Saint-Laurent north of Sherbrooke Street.