Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from OGC.

Historic photo of the 10th hole at The Toronto Golf Club.
There was only one gift I really, really wanted for Christmas this year, and I got it - approval to start our work at The Oakville Golf Club in spring 2012.

Established in 1921, OGC is a private golf club, about 40 kilometers west of downtown Toronto, featuring a neat 9-hole course atop the bluff at the edge of Sixteen Mile Creek. The club's course was originally designed by George Cumming. Who, you ask? The name George Cumming might not attract the same attention as Stanley Thompson here, in Canada, these days, but Mr. Cumming was a fine golf course designer and a pioneer in the field. In fact, he was instrumental in starting Stanley Thompson's now legendary career. 

Cumming and Stanley Thompson's eldest brother, Nicol, were two of the most famous golf professionals in Canada during the pre-World War II era. Mr. Cumming was head professional at The Toronto Golf Club for half a century, beginning in 1900. Nicol Thompson held the same position at Hamilton Golf and Country Club for some 50 years. Both the Toronto and Hamilton courses, designed by the Englishman, Harry Colt, revolutionized golf course architecture in Canada when completed in 1912 and '14, respectively. Messrs. Cumming and Thompson had some involvement with the creation of each of those remarkable courses. Shortly thereafter, with Mr. Colt back in England, they formed a new golf course design and construction firm dubbed Thompson, Cumming and Thompson, which included Nicol Thompson's younger brother, Stanley. OGC is one of many pioneering golf course designs throughout the province of Ontario attributed to Mr. Cumming and/or the Thompson brothers.  

A lot has changed at OGC since Mr. Cumming's days, but the fine structure of his original design is still intact. With a 1934 aerial photograph of the course in hand, our plan is to restore a look, feel and playability reminiscent of early 1920s era golf architecture at OGC. We've been studying historic photos of Mr. Colt's Toronto and Hamilton courses, too. Toronto, in particular, but presumably Hamilton as well, undoubtedly influenced Mr. Cumming's own design philosophy and style.

Having started work on this plan for OGC back in 2009, this is a project we're very, very excited about. First though, it's back to VGC (Victoria Golf Club) in early January to continue with our work there.

Happy holidays, everyone.

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