The year started slow. After a ridiculously busy year in 2014, I was happy to have some time off for family and golf. But around August 1st the year took off with a number of one month projects coming out of nowhere. 2 set of plans for Green Rebuilding, an expropriation issue, putting two bunker projects out to tender filled my evenings and week-ends. That was because at the same time the Fall Construction Season began and I had lots to do.
|Fall Construction went till early December this year|
By The Numbers
Miles Driven for Work: 22,600 km. (not including rental car miles)
Flights Taken: 56
Flights remaining: 2
Total Miles Flown: 54,359 miles to date
Nights in Holiday Inn: 40
Rental Cars: 27
American Clients: now 33%
Last 10 Clients: 9 are American Clubs
Interviews: 5 - all in US
New clients: 1
Waiting to hear from: 3
Calls about new projects: 2
Interviews Declined: 2
|Springdale's Short Par 3 - 13th|
Springdale Golf Club which is on Princeton University Grounds. It is a course built by William Flynn which remains largely intact except the bunkers which will need restoration. Wayne Morrison and I put together a Master Plan and began to work on the course this year by altering all the grassing lines.
A New Course for Weir Golf Design?
We are currently in talks about a potential new Canadian golf course project. We’ve submitted a proposal after being contacted about our interest, and are waiting till the New Year to hear back from the Development Group. The site is large, quite interesting and the golf course would be part of a much larger development. I wish I could share more, but we have not yet been signed on to do the project.
Openings - Part One - Islington
|Islington's punchbowl style 9th green|
Islington opened all there 18 greens in the Spring. The project was a third restorative, a third minor renovations and a third significant change with some new ideas brought into play. That decision was based upon the fact that only seven Thompson greens remained and the club encouraged me to explore broader ideas. The major work addressed safety, drainage issues and making better use of valley drop off. The biggest change was the relocated 15th green set further away from Kipling and out of the flood plain.
Openings - Part Two - St. George's
|St. George's 3rd hole|
St. George's re-opened in the summer. The work there was green rebuilding and a little fairway re-contouring done in collaboration with Tom Doak. There were a couple of replicated greens, others have minor tweaks for either drainage or speed. But all the Robinson greens were completely renovated to become more like the Thompson greens. The biggest change was the 3rd which was restored to the original design.
Openings - Part Three - Maple Downs
|The Redan - 8th Hole at Maple Downs|
They wisely waited till Fall to open the greens. I was asked to rebuild greens, tees and bunkers. I also took the opportunity to rethink and widen the fairways lines. The golf course has a very clear Seth Raynor influence. The feedback from members has been overwhelmingly good. They are enjoying all the new ground based options.
The 12th may be the best hole I have built in my career
The 12th at Maple Downs
|All the Options|
|The approach from the right|
Fall Construction – Part One – Oakdale’s 5th Green
|5th completed Fall of 2015|
This was a chance to prove a point to many people. The members have been frustrated over the years with most of the renovations that have taken place, so this was my chance to prove I can come through. Where this project was unique was we moved an iconic green site away from a road and rebuilt the exact same green site with a slightly revised backdrop to address the new location and cart path alterations.
Fall Construction – Part Two – Laval-sur-le-lac’s Green Course
|2nd Hole at Laval-sur-le-lac Green Course|
By far the largest project is taking place at Laval-sur-le-lac on the Green Course. I found some 1920’s aerials ad once again pitched my desire to take the architecture back to its roots. The club was supportive this time and we are recreating the grass faced bunkers and square green sites of Willie Park Jr. The intention is to rid the course of the modernizations and return some of the old world elegance that it once possessed. Throw in some large scale tree removal and this course is in serious transition.
Construction – Part Three – Summary of Remaining Work
|Huntington - was a forest behind the green a year ago|
Each time I say bunkers, I’m referring to as few as one and no more than ten. These are all small projects that range from a week to a month’s worth of work.
Cedar Brae – 7th and 17th Bunkers
Glens Falls – Grassing Lines
Huntington – tee work and tree clearing
Huntington Crescent – Grassing Lines
Islington – Remaining 8 Fairway Bunkers
Pinegrove – 15th hole Bunkers
Quogue - Bunker work on 6th green
Spring Brook – 3rd hole Bunker and short grass work
Springdale- Grassing lines
St. George’s – Bunker Restoration on 12th Hole
St. Thomas – 13th Hole bunkers
Wheatley Hills – Bunkers on 11th, 12th 13th, 15th and 16th Holes
The Year Ahead
The only work that I know is going to happen is at Laval-sur-le-lac in the Spring where we will finish remaining bunker and green work. After that, I’m not sure what is to come, but this is pretty typical for me.
I expect to be rebuilding a few greens at Penn Hills and a full bunker restoration project at Park CC in Buffalo.
And if I’m short of work, I plan to play more golf … : )