Friday, December 07, 2007

The Year in Review – Part 5 - My Business














No New Course

Wednesday night I learned that the new course I had been pursuing had been awarded to a golf contractor as a design/build contract.

I had been in talks with a development group about a new course to be built next spring near Grand Bend, Ontario, as part of a housing development. Most of the site was as flat and wide open and this would have taken some effort to make interesting. I had decided to use an approach based around Mike Strantz’s Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula, California. The idea was to use expansive bunkers and large lateral movement to fill the wide open space. I was going to lift the fairways, tees and greens to make them standout and avoid the use of containment mounds.

The developers had approached me for a proposal on the project, in spite of the fact that they had acquired a design from a golf contractor they had been working with. The contractor has surprisingly suggested that my involvement was unethical since he had used a golf designer to do the routing. I find this a curious allegation, since nothing on the plans shows his name. If they did - I would not have agreed to become involved.

















The Renovation Business

The strength of my business will always be with my renovation and restoration work. This year was a banner year from the start through to the finish. It began with five new Master Plans, moved onto working drawings in the summer and final three major renovations in the fall. August brought the start of a Stanley Thompson renovation to the Cutten Club using the old aerial as a guide – it was fun to work with the flashes and high faces. September brought a restorative-based project of re-establishing the grass face bunkers that A.W. Tillinghast had created at Scarboro. It was fun to work with Gil Hanse on this project and interesting to work with full grass faces. October brought the start of a Walter Travis renovation where once again I was building grass faced bunkers but this time with really small shape mounding complexes around the fairway bunkering. Having to continuously change between styles proved to be exhilarating.

This spring will see me a quick finish to Scarboro’s bunkers. The Travis work will continue through the spring and re-start with some greens this fall. The fall will bring at least one Thompson renovation with the possibilities of a second Thompson course or a new Travis bunker renovation. I’m not too worried about next year – I’m quite certain that I will have enough to do – if not I will enjoy some golf.

















Nine New Holes at Saskatoon

The coming year will be an important year for me and Saskatoon Golf & Country Club. I am quite certain that this project will be the key to showing people that I am more than capable on my own – and will eventually lead to that new 18 holes.

The work has quietly started this fall with some clearing and drainage being done while the weather co-operates. I’m certain about the plan and the design for the holes and now its time to build them. While the work will be done in the style of Bill Kinnear (at Saskatoon) I will still be building holes that fit comfortably within my own preferences in design. I have managed to avoid almost everything on my expanded list of 20 things that I don’t like and there is not a single containment mound or target bunker to be found!

In The Works

This fall featured three of the most interesting calls that I have received so far. I will say that a significant Thompson course has approached me about a major restoration in a few years time. I’ve also talked to clubs about courses ranging from Ross to Alison to Travis. I was even recommended for a Raynor project by a peer that I admire.
It was a fascinating year for sure.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ian,the no new course thing sounds like a blessing to me. Who wants their first course to be built on a flat piece of land?

Vic Ferrari said...

Love your blog Ian, esp. all of the articles about Saskatoon Golf & Country Club. I look forward to the work being completed, along with your commentary of it.

Are there going to be any more video previews of the new SGCC holes?

Ian Andrew said...

I think so - I had friends of mine I saw last nights ask why I had not done more of them.

Ian

Vic Ferrari said...

Great news that more video previews are on the way! I have a request: I know that your previous videos focus on your newly designed holes that will be located on the west property, but could you please do a video commentary of the new par 5, on the current East Course, in which you play from the current #8 hole to the current #2 green. This new hole looks like an incredible par 5and it's generating lots of conversation (all in a positive way I might add) from the membership. Personally, I can't think of a more challenging/demanding par 5, anywhere, than this one.

Thanks

Jordan Magnuson said...

Just wondering if theres been any progress on the SGCC Renovation im anticipating the golf season and just wanted to know what was going on?


thanks Ian

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