Montreal’s Hillsdale Set To Receive Revamp From Whitman, Axland, Cutten

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The architecture trio of Rod Whitman, Dave Axland, and Keith Cutten begin work on Montreal’s Hillsdale Golf & Country Club in 2023.

Located in Mirabel, Quebec, about 40 minutes north of downtown Montreal, Hillsdale Golf & Country Club houses two golf courses from Canadian architect Howard Watson, who studied under Stanley Thompson. The club hosted the 2011 CP Women’s Open, but has primarily stayed out of the Canadian spotlight. That is, until the work is complete; the goal is to turn Hillsdale into a must-see golf facility:

A property like Hillsdale, with rolling land, natural creeks and streams, and mature trees, allows us to come in and utilize those features to create something Quebec has not seen since the Golden Age. It will be special.

Keith Cutten, architect
Photo credit: Golfpass

Currently split into the Laurentian and Woodside golf courses, the former is ranked 22nd in the province according to Top 100 Golf Courses, the project’s objective is to turn 36 holes into 18 excellent ones, with some smaller-scale golf options also available like a short course and enhanced practice facility to make up the extra space.”The new, reimagined Hillsdale will feature a bigger, bolder golf course than previously seen here, and allow Quebec to really experience creative, fun, and exciting golf,” said Rod Whitman, “as a firm, we are excited to take on this project.”

Rod Whitman. Photo credit: courtesy
Dave Axland. Photo credit: courtesy
Keith Cutten. Photo credit: courtesy

Following the amalgamation of Rod Whitman, Dave Axland, and Keith Cutten into Whitman, Axland, Cutten, the firm has experienced a boom in projects, including Brantford’s renovation, the highly anticipated Cabot Pacific project in Western Canada, pending changes at Mont-Hill, The Tribute Club in Oregon, and more. Prior to the partnership, the trio’s résumé includes Cabot Links, Sagebrush, Wild Horse, Old Taccoa Farm, Blackhawk, and more recently, The Nest at Cabot Cape Breton where all three partners contributed.

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Hillsdale is owned by Québécois businessman Herbert Black, who got into the scrap metal business through his father’s company, AIM, in 1961. By 1970, Black took over the company with his brother, which now employs over 2,500 in 80 locations worldwide. Under the new leadership of Herbert Black, Hillsdale has pivoted to a goal of becoming “one of the greatest golf clubs in the province and country” and a club in Montreal that is “second to none.”

In a letter addressed to the membership from President Herbert Black, he announced the closure of the Laurentian course for 2023, and both courses closing for 2024 and 2025. The grand re-opening is scheduled for 2026.

I have assembled an outstanding team to help us bring my vision of the club to reality. Our team consists of our General Project Manager, Kevin Robinson, Golf Course Architect, Rod Whitman of WAC Golf, Golf Construction Manager, John Cavanaugh, Urbanist, Daniel Raymond of Fahey, Biologist, Dominic Senecal of Evolution Environment, Law team of Simon Pelletier of BCF Business Law, Agronomist, Josée Bédard of UDA Groupe Conseil, Civil Engineer Daniel Houle of Marchand Houle & Associates, Building Architect, Teddy McCarthy of Hart Howerton, Building Contractor, Steve Kaplan of Reliance Construction and of course our Club General Manager, Luc Lapointe, Course Superintendent, Eric Ward and my grandson, Harrison Black.

Herbert Black, “Message From The President”
Old Taccoa Farm in Georgia


  • Andrew Harvie

    Based in Toronto, but having lived in Alberta, British Columbia, Montana, Arizona, and Texas, I have been lucky enough to see over 400 golf courses and counting!

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