Thursday, January 5, 2012

In retrospect: 2011, and onward.

With some luck, this'll be a golf hole some day.
I'm always looking forward, but am happy to look back on an interesting 2011. It was a good year. A lot of excellent progress was made with existing clients, including our continuing restorative-based work at Victoria Golf Club, in British Columbia. It's a joy to work at VGC - great people, at one of the world's most uniquely beautiful places for golf.

We also got through approval of a very exciting plan to renovate The Derrick Club, in Edmonton, Alberta, in 2011. I look forward to presenting this plan to the club's membership this year then, hopefully, getting to work implementing it in the very near future. The Derrick is a very well-established and respected club right in the middle of one of Canada's most prosperous cities. Its course simply needs a refresh to match all of the other fine amenities at the club.

I was disappointed that more work wasn't carried out at Overlake Golf and Country Club, in Seattle, in 2011. But I'm very pleased to report that I did establish a new relationship with York Downs Golf and Country Club. York Downs is one of Canada's most historic golf clubs. Established in 1922, its original 18-hole course was laid-out by the great Englishman, Charles Hugh Alison. That course has since become the City of Toronto's Earl Bales Park, though. The current York Downs, which features 27-holes, was designed by Geoffrey Cornish and his then partner, Bill Robinson, during the late 1960s. There are some very interesting opportunities at York Downs as well. I'll spend time in 2012 working on a plan for golf course improvement there, up in Unionville, north of Toronto. 

I was also involved with three potential golf course developments in 2011. I completed two preliminary layouts for new courses in Saskatchewan, over pieces of ground that most Canadians - actually, anyone who knows anything about Saskatchewan - wouldn't believe exist in that province. Beautiful sites for golf, both. With nothing to gain from making such a bold statement, one of these properties could easily be home to one of Canada's best courses. The other is nearly as good. The third project is on the other side of the country, in the Maritimes. Unfortunately, this one's been a victim of the times (so far). With financing hard to come by at the moment, we've had numerous 'false hope' commitments but nothing secured just yet.

I'm off to Victoria and Seattle next week then back to Ontario to prepare for the beginning of our work at The Oakville Golf Club, which is scheduled to start as soon as the weather breaks. There will also be a stop in Edmonton in spring, where we're continuing with refreshing bunkers at Blackhawk Golf Club. This reminds me, I'm also in discussions to write a book on the making of Blackhawk this year. The book is planned to celebrate the club's 10th anniversary, in 2013. I look forward to revisiting the creation of what has become one of Canada's best courses, and most successsful clubs. As the first big golf course project I worked on with Rod Whitman a decade ago now, my affection for Blackhawk never wanes.

1 comment:

  1. Jeff, it's always a pleasure reading your blog. Hopefully it continues for a very long time. Congrats on your assignment with Oakville. I hope that 2012 is a great year for you, and with any luck, Saskatchewan sees a "Jeff Mingay" design on the (near) horizon!