|Hitting at ther 5th hole|
In the Press
Robert Thompson, Going For the Green, July 11th, 2012
“In creating Laval Andrew has proven that he’s more than just a renovation/restoration designer — he’s developed his own vision, bucking trends and displaying his own take on what makes great golf. Weir, for a pro/designer, actually brings benefits beyond just his name. The pairing works well and the course they’ve developed looks like a hell of a lot of fun to play.”
|10th, 16th, 17th and18th from the air|
Lorne Rubenstein, Globe & Mail, October 10th
“We don't try defend par. I personally believe this is no longer possible”
François Gagnon, La Presse, October 16th
I produced a 25 part video series that explains the entire process for The Blue Course. It begins with how we got the work, talks about the routing, the broad concepts behind the design and our site walk together. The series talks in depth about the design of all 18 holes and what changes we made on site. It finishes with a discussion of the concept of flexible set-up, designing for the Canadian Open and few final thoughts. It’s collectively close to two hours, so it’s best watched over a month. So a good friend and fellow designer said, it’s very interesting, but I can only watch one or two at a time. I don’t plan to repeat this ever again.
“In addition to working on my game, I've been up at Laval-sur-le-Lac, looking at our project there. Ian Andrew and I have been putting in time to create what we think will be a course that can be played by members of all skill levels and the best of the PGA Tour. In fact, we had some folks from the Tour up to look at the course and they gave us a good review.
I hope people get what Ian and I have done at Laval. I think it's going to be a very innovative and enjoyable course. I'm proud of the work and it's been exciting to see it come along.”
Speaking of the tour, we had our first walk with them in the summer.
|Les Claytor - PGA Tour|
Canadian Open at Laval in 2017?
The fact that it might host the Canadian Open in 2017 is both thrilling and frightening. I wrote a piece in the summer that detailed our design ideas that addressed how we believed it was possible to make a tournament venue without making a course that was a grind for the members.
“I think we’ve been very smart to design a course that has such versatility relying on firmness, pin position and the absence of rough around greens. There has a been a lot of thought put into how to defend without a reliance on excessive length, but their ability to hit it ridiculously long occasionally creeps into the architectural conversation/decision making particularly concerning landing areas.”
|The Redan - 235 yards back into the wind|
Length never leaves the conversation when talking about professional play. Later I went on to discuss some minor modifications we made during construction to deal with the length of players and challenges from the tee.
“We ended up making a few modifications and tightened up the grassing lines in the landing areas just a bit to make sure the professionals didn’t have a free run. Again I’ll count on the set-up and keeping the rough low and in check as a critical factor in making sure this course is fun.”
The course is slightly narrower than I would like at 30 to 35 yards. But then again I wanted more width in the worst possible locations for attacking the greens. I guess I saw a little more value in deception than others did.
Future New Course
This is a tough time to find new work because it’s tough to get a new project financed. The Canadian projects that appear to be starting up out West are actually old projects that have come back on line after five or more years. We have a great lead on an Eastern Project that would be a really nice fit for us. This is our current focus because it appears to have a quick timeline too.
Final Thoughts on Laval
|13th hole - 3rd hot|
Laval was the particular opportunity I had waited close to 25 years to have. This was a chance to build something different than what I’ve seen built in Canada for the last 25 years. Canadian Golf hasn’t seen enough innovation with most of the work being another version of the same basic idea. In my opinion it was time that Canadian Golf Design got out of the box and presented something a little different and little fresher.
Mike and I wanted to build a course that gave players the opportunity to choose their own experience from the options they have on the tees and with approach shots. We invited to show their creativity through shots that they choose to play. We did not want to tell them what they must do. The experience would be flexible, take on as little or as much trouble as you want, the choice is yours to make. But if you intend to go low, you will need to take on much greater risk to score.
|The final shot to the final hole|
And we do think at if they play The Canadian Open at Laval the players will go low.
Our philosophy comes directly from our favourite tournament courses like St. Andrew’s, Augusta National and Royal Melbourne which all prove that a great test does not have to be penal. Great golf courses can be very forgiving to the average player just by adjusting the set-up and providing them with room to play. Those were the courses and ideals that we choose to emulate. We wanted the sounds of the Masters rather than the groans of The US Open.