The Huot Brothers
While induction into the Québec Golf Association’s Hall of Fame is reserved for individuals, the Association thought it would be apropos to recognize groups, clubs, special events or moments that have contributed significantly to the development and traditions of the game.
Today, we are honoring the Huot Family.
Throughout the annals of golf, there are certain family names that have achieved a prominence in the game and in Québec golf circles, the name Huot has reached that pinnacle. Theirs’ is a story of good fortune that parlayed into successful careers both on and off the golf course.
In the early days of this century, golf was still in its infancy. Its popularity was limited to a select group of businessmen, mostly of Scottish and British origins, who had brought the game to his country from their native lands. They were an affluent group who, in 1915, chose to locate their club – the Royal Québec Golf Club – in MontmorencyFalls.
The club was conveniently located across the street from Joséphine (née Côté) and Nicolas Huot’s family home, who were raising a family of 13 children, eight boys: Emmanuel (1906), Jules (1908), Maurice (1909), Ulric (1910), Rodolphe (1912), Roland (1913), Benoit (1914) and Antonio (Tony) (1922), and five girls: Emilienne (1916), Rita (1917), Cécile (1919), Marguerite (1921) and Pauline (1924).
The close proximity to the club provided an opportunity for the boys to gain employment. In turn, each of the eight boys worked as caddies to earn money, which was a great relief on the family budget. Hard work provided its own rewards and the fact they were helping the family took much of the toil out of the jobs. It wasn’t all work either. There were plenty of opportunities, when out of the watchful eyes of the members, they would swing clubs.
Spending time at the club became an interesting pastime. Watching and learning when golfers came out was to serve them well. The familiarity of the members and subsequent fondness helped the boys in their pursuit of jobs at and away from the club.
Emmanuelwas the first to stray from caddying. He began by caring for the gardens at the club, before expanding into the neighborhood – mowing lawns and doing landscape jobs for many of the members. It wasn’t long before he earned enough money to join the Club. Today, is one the elder statesmen and longest living member of the Club.
Emmanuel was a class “A” amateur, competing well in many provincial and club fixture events. One of his most proudest moments was teaming up with his son to win the QGA’s Parent-Child Championship. Each of his 13 children learned to enjoy the game and over the past 19 season, have staged a family tourney that regularly brings together four generations of his family.
Jules, a father of four, whose brilliant career is evident by his induction into the Hall, was the “craziest about golf” among the family members. As a youngster he was constantly in search of tree limbs that he could fashion into clubs.
One of the greatest professionals in the province, Jules entry into the pro side of golf was somewhat a stroke of luck. He was standing outside Frank Locke’s pro shop one day, when he overheard an argument between the pro and his assistant. When the assistant left in a huff, Locke asked Jules to mind the store, this lead to his moving permanently into the pro shop. Although, the salary was half what he was earning at the Dominion Textile’s factory, his father accepted and supported his decision, which in retrospect set the stage for his many successes.
Maurice, who raised seven children, was considered one of the province’s top ranked amateurs in his day, having captured the highly coveted and prestigious Manoir Richelieu Sheild (1942), which in terms of championship play ranked second only to the Canadian Amateur crown. He also won the Duke of Kent (1943) as well as many club fixtures at his home courses of Kent and later Royal Québec.
As a youth, he went from caddying to working in Jule’s pro shop at Kent and was adept at both golf and hockey. Destiny seemed almost to draw him toward his professional career as a lawyer, for when he was on the blades; he was often considered the team’s “policeman”.
Ulric typified many of his golfing compatriots who reached their prime during the “Dirty Thirties”. It was paramount for anyone with a job to work long hours providing limited time for golf.
Ulric, a father of four, might never have garnered national or provincial recognition compares to his older brothers, but that didn’t stop the Huot clan from regarding him as the best on the greens, among them. The lifelong amateur and Royal Québec member is probably best remembered for his ability to hit the long ball, recording drives that travelled well over 300 yards.
Rodolphe, who past away in 1980 at the age of 69, was a dominant force on the Canadian professional golf scene during the 1940’s with his two brothers’ Jules and Rolland.
Rudolphe worked as assistant at the Kent Golf Links (1934-1937), and Royal Québec (1937-1944). In 1944, he moved to the Tadoussac Golf Club for one year, before returning to Royal Québec as the head professional. In 1968, after serving the members for nearly 30 years he retired with his son Rodrigue, one of his eight children, succeeding him.
Among his many accomplishments include: the CPGA Assistant professional Eastern Canadian finalist in 1936 and winner in 1938; Canadian PGA champion in 1947; Maritime Open 1947; three time winner Lachute Open (1966, 1969 & 1971); winner of the Levis Trophy and Rawdon Open; twice runner-up Québec Open; and Millar Trophy finalist (1948). He also served two years as president of the Canadian PGA (1972-1973).
Roland, the third to join the professional ranks, began as an assistant to brother Jules at Kent (1930-1934). His next stops in series included: Lingan Golf Club in Sydney, Nova Scotia, (1935-1936), Royal Québec (1937-1941), Chaudière (1942), Summerlea (1943-1945), Moncton Golf Club, Moncton, New Brunswick (1946-1947) before heading to Lorette in 1948. For 29 years, he served the membership at Lorette and was instrumental in the club developing a second nine holes.
Among his many accomplishments include: runner-up to brother Jules in the Canadian PGA championship (1939); Maritime Open winner (1935-1936); Nova Scotia Open champ (1936); won Sorel Open (1955); and a third place finish in the 1953 Labatt Open.
Benoit’s golf career suffered a devastating blow just as he was getting started. At 15 years old, a cycling accident resulted in the loss of his leg. Despite the gargantuan prosthesis he wore, courage and a love of the game kept him playing.
Benoit, the father of four, might have been hindered in his pursuit of provincial titles, but his determination propelled him to be a leader at the club. Many times he amazed people by beating players better than himself and he was victorious in many club events at Royal Québec.
Tony, the youngest of the boys, was the only one to sparkle in both the amateur and professional ranks. He won the Duke of Kent twice (1946 & 1947), the City and District Match-play (1946 & 1947) as an amateur and the Orleans championship (1954) as a professional.
Tony’s career took him to Levis Golf Club (1949-1953), Orleans (1953-1961); the Lac Beauport Golf Club (1962-1972); Baie Comeau (1973-1982) before returning to Levis in 1983 from where he remained until his retirement.
Over the years, golf in Québec has greatly benefited by this extraordinary family. Their devotion and dedication to the game inspired many generations of golfers to take up this pastime, contributing immensely to the sports popularity.
Inducted Members of the Québec Golf Hall of Fame
Graham Cooke (1946 - ) inducted in 2008
Judy Darling-Evans (1937 -) inducted in 1998
Pat Fletcher (1916-1985) inducted in 1998
André Gagné (1944 - ) inducted in 2016
Damien Gauthier (1913 – 1999) inducted in 2000
Christopher Howard Gribbin (1921 - 2012) inducted in 1996
Mary Ann Hayward (1960 -) inducted in 2011
Stanley Horne (1912 - 1995) inducted in 1996
Jules Huot (1908 - 1999) inducted in 1996
The eight Huot brothers - inducted in 1996
Karl Kaspar Keffer (1882-1955) - inducted in 2016
Bill Kerr Sr. (1911 – 1997) inducted in 1997
Albert Henri Murray (1887 - 1974) inducted in 1996
Charles Richard Murray (1882 – 1939) inducted in 1996
Jacques Nols (1945 - ) inducted in 2012