Thursday, October 13, 2011

My annual sojourn at Blackhawk.

"Dave's Bunker", greenside left at Blackhawk's 7th hole.
It's always great to return to Blackhawk Golf Club. I could easily be accused of (severe) bias but truly believe Blackhawk has developed into one of Canada's most unique, and attractive golf clubs.

Amazingly, it's been more than 10 years since I first showed up in Edmonton, Alberta to assist Rod Whitman with the design and construction of the course. Since, it seems I've made an annual visit to tweak this and that. Mostly minor adjustments: a couple new bunkers, a few new back tees, revisiting mowing lines. Stuff like that.

Blackhawk's founder and managing partner, Al Prokop - along with golf course superintendent, Duane Sharpe - is uniquely committed to ensuring the golf course is consistently the very best it can be. So, having Rod and I back to take a look at things frequently has become a given I'm thankful for. This fall, a bunker refurbishment program begins. Sand replacement and drainage improvements in the greenside bunkers on the front nine is the start; which presents opportunity to tweak some bunker cavities and do some edging work.

Not surprisingly, one bunker we will not need to touch is "Dave's Bunker". Left of the green at the par-five 7th hole, this bunker is informally named for Dave Axland (Coore and Crenshaw/Bunker Hill), the artist responsible for this creation - Blackhawk's most attractive bunker, in my humble opinion. I wish I had the capacity and time, at the moment, to name everyone involved with creation of Blackhawk Golf Club. It was a very memorable crew. For now, I can say that this type of collection of talented, committed and hard-working individuals is the key to creating golf courses of true distinction and quality.

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