Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mixing it up.

As a follow-up to yesterday's post, which touched on the importance of creating distinctive golf courses, below is a collection of photos illustrating a variety of architectural styles I've been involved with implementing over recent years, at select projects (click on all photos to enlarge) ~

Blackhawk Golf Club ~ Edmonton

Blackhawk was the first project I worked on with my mentor, Rod Whitman. I was fortunate to work on the design/shaping of a majority of the course's 'naturalistic' bunkers under the fine tutelage of Dave Axland and James Duncan (Coore and Crenshaw), and continue to consult at Blackhawk. Pictured above is a bunker short-right of the home green that golf course superintendent, Duane Sharpe, and I 'freshened up' this spring, as part of the comprenshsive bunker 'refresh' project that's currently underway at Blackhawk.
Victoria Golf Club ~ British Columbia

Victoria is a fascinating project. The course wasn't so much designed by an individual (though, Vernon Macan is largely responsible for its current configuration) as much as it's evolved over the past 119 years since golf was first played over VGC's spectacular seaside tract, at Oak Bay, in 1893. As a result, VGC features an ecclectic collection of bunkers, built in different eras throughout the course's existence, which presents a very unique aesthetic that we've faithfully preserved as part of our restorative-based work there. Pictured above is the par 3 2nd hole, shortly after my colleague, George Waters, and I remodelled its bunkers in winter 2009.
Sagebrush Golf and Sporting Club ~ British Columbia

Working with Rod Whitman, Richard Zokol and Armen Suny on the design/construction of Sagebrush was a wonderful, educational, rewarding, and unforgettable experience ~ appreciated more so now, in retrospect, than on those long days while building the course when 35C heat and 50km winds consistently tried to beat us down. I'm not sure I'll ever be involved with another project on a scale comparable to Sagebrush, either. Laid out over a 300+ acre tract that was formerly part of the Quilchena Cattle Ranch, the course features a couple greens that measure some 25,000 square feet, incomparably wide fairway areas, and hundreds of massive, 'blow out' style bunkers that beautifully fit the rugged, desert landscape there, in interior B.C. Pictured above is the approach to the par 4 17th, from approx. the centre of the fairway, where a few of those aforementioned 'blow outs' beautifully decorate a hillside along the left margin of the hole. The par 4 18th hole can also be seen in the distance.  
Overlake Golf and Country Club ~ Seattle

Overlake was also originally designed by Vernon Macan (during the early 1950s). Located on the eastern shore of Lake Washington, the course features a fine routing and an excellent collection of greens, but its suffered typical affects of aging. Unfortunately, there's a lack of historic materials to clearly illustrate Mr. Macan's original design intent; but still, the goal is to restore a 'Macan sensibility' throughout the course. So, we've made a study of Mr. Macan's work elsewhere and have tried to implement looks and strategies throughout the course consistent with his design style and philosophy, at Overlake. With great assistance from my colleague, George Waters, the bunker pictured above was installed short-right of the green at the par 3 12th hole in fall 2010. It's style was inspired by historic photos of a bunker at nearby Inglewood Golf and Country Club, which was also originally designed by Mr. Macan.
The Oakville Golf Club ~ Greater Toronto Area

Tucked away, along the eastern bank of 16 Mile Creek, some 40 kms west of downtown Toronto, The Oakville Golf Club is another distinctive and interesting property. This 9-hole private club course was originally designed by pioneer golf architect, George Cumming ~ who was also head professional at The Toronto Golf Club for half a century, and at one time partnered with Stanley Thompson. The course had been remodelled in piecemeal fashion on several occasions since it opened for play in 1921. As a result, Oakville featured contrasting styles prior to implementation of a comprehensive bunker renovation project earlier this year. The goal of our bunker work at Oakville was to restore a style consistent with the course's unique design heritage. Along with restoring design continuity, our aim was to design/build bunkers to match that '1921' the club proudly displays on its logo. Pictured above is a greenside bunker at the par 4 1st hole, exhibiting this 'old time' style ~ relatively simple and classy in shape, with grass down and a flat sand bottom.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful description of the different styles and reasons for the use of each. I have seen all but Overlake. The work is great at each.