Saturday, October 22, 2011

I wish it was my idea: restoration.

VGC: Historic aerial photo, circa early 1950s.
There's a bit of a theme to the work we're currently carrying out at Victoria Golf Club's 1st and 17th holes - restoring multiple greenside bunkers where single, larger hazards had been created about the time of the advent of the riding bunker rake.

VGC's 1st hole had a single bunker on each side of the green when we arrived. We've restored two bunkers left and three right. And, at the 17th, a single bunker left of the green has been restored as two. This work doesn't change the design of these holes fundamentally, but restoration of multiple bunkers is a very dramatic visual improvement.

The other day, one of the kids on the course maintenance crew remarked, "Wow, that looks cool. What a great idea." I responded honestly: "I wish it was my idea." It's not, really.

Much of the restorative-based work we're doing at VGC is inspired by a historic aerial photo taken during the early 1950s. I believe the course was at its architectural peak about this time. Vernon Macan (click here to read more) had been tinkering with the course design for almost three decades by this point in its long history, and most of the work he did prior to his death, in 1964, was complete - aside from signifcant changes to the 12th and 13th holes, which are documented elsewhere. Shortly thereafter, things began to change for the worse, in my opinion - multiple bunkers became single bunkers, other hazards were removed, many trees were planted, etc.

In a nutshell, we're simply trying to restore VGC - one of Canada's most interesting and historically important golf courses - to its architectural peak; a priviledged opportunity, to say the least.

No comments:

Post a Comment