Tuesday, 3 December 2013

My Year in Review – Part Six – Weir Golf Design

Mike at Laval's 12th

Laval Blue Course Update

Not many people know, but Mike’s been back a few times to play. We are both very happy with the end results. Mike would like to see a couple of landing areas tighten up slightly. I’m still waiting to hear if the course will host the Canadian Open and we can make any adjustments at that time.

The feedback has been very strong, including a review of the course as a potential Canadian Open site. And I’ve had quite a few emails like this one:

“I played Laval-sur-le-Lac just this week with two other ScoreGolf panelists (all names removed). The green complexes are superb & the overall layout a true gem!  It was the second time that I have played it this year & I cannot wait to return….congratulations on a great re-design.   It is already one of my top 5 courses in Quebec & worthy of Top 20 in Canada!”

Did We Turn Down Angus Glen (South)?

From Robert Thompson’s Going for the Green Blog:

“But over time that shine lost its luster. It still did mondo business from the Toronto business community, but it slipped down SCOREGolf’s Top 100 list. Few people discussed it as one of the best in Canada. That led to the decision to try to rebuild it. Several options were discussed. Mike Weir and Ian Andrew were contacted, but passed on becoming involved. Doug Carrick was considered, but didn’t make the cut.”

Mike and I did look at the project in 2009. This was not long after I left Doug Carrick and I was “very” uncomfortable with performing a major renovation of one of his golf courses. Essentially I felt that this would really hurt his feelings and that mattered to me. We had nothing in writing, but I felt that I owed Doug the courtesy of avoiding his new work and new clients for at least 5 years. This was not the only request I turned down, involving Doug's new work, but I have no regrets for doing so.

Mike wasn’t that interested in the project, which made things a lot easier. He felt we were looking for a new project and not a renovation.

Possible Project for 2014

We were contacted a week ago by a Canadian Developer about working on a project outside of Canada. This would be an additional course for an existing resort. We have submitted our proposal and are currently waiting for an answer. This one would be our first project from a raw site and that would be very exciting.

Looking Ahead

It’s tough to find work. There are very few new projects in North America and even fewer happening in Canada. We have talked to a few people about projects, but the slow economy is holding all of them from proceeding. I think we’ll eventually find something to build, it just may take a few years to do so.

Highlights of the Year – Opening of Laval

The opening of Laval was the Highlight of the Year. It was great to watch Mike play extremely well and post the course record. I received a lot of feedback from the members about how much they were enjoying playing the golf course. And I was thrilled at the quality of the grow-in by Luc Ladocuer. It was just a great day.

I had a couple of chances to play after and I really believe the course plays as it was intended. The first was fun the day early on where it was still a little lush and wet. The second was late in the season when it was dry and Luc firmed up the surfaces to emphasize the challenge and it became tough as nails. It made me think perhaps it could host a Canadian Open ... but they’ll still go real low (and that's fine by me).

But the biggest highlight was something completely unexpected ... and that was when Le Club Laval-sur-le-lac made Mike and I honourary members of Laval. That meant a lot to me personally and is something I'll treasure for my entire career. That was my highlight.



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