Tuesday, 19 December 2017

2017 The Year in Review - Part 5 – My Business

Pepper Pike 6th
So this is the final installment. Hope you enjoyed seeing the year through my eyes.


This was another really good year. I had quite a bit of construction work, which was mostly based upon Master Plans done with my long-term clients. Construction was the biggest part of what I did all year, with planning playing less of a role. I continue to seek out new work, but I’m finding the competition has dramatically increased.

Played Knollwood CC after the grow-in phase - photo by Matt Nues

By The Numbers


Miles Driven: 28,235 (not including rental car miles – down 20%) 
Flights Taken: 36 (down 35%)
Total Miles Flown: 25,703 miles (down 50%)
Nights in Holiday Inn: 30 (similar)
Rental Cars: 24 (similar)

My Business

“Active” Clients Last Year: 38
American Clients: 33%
American Income: 50%
Interviews: 5
New clients:

New Clients

1.      Ken-Wo, New Minas, Nova Scotia – Master Plan
2.      Lancaster CC, Buffalo – Potential New Holes
3.      Sao Paulo Golf Club, Sao Paulo, Brazil 

In the Field

9th Park CC

Construction – Part One – Park CC Bunkers

The work at Park Country Club re-started in April of 2107. It was an opportunity to finish the restoration of Charles Alison’s Park CC. The upper holes were completed this fall and all the valley work will begin in the spring. We began by raising the front of the 18th green to return play. The work was done by Faery Landscaping. The highlights for me included the changes to the fairway bunkers on the 3rd, 15th and 17th. The work is now 100% complete.

Construction – Part Two – The Briars G&CC

I had a chance to go back and tweak my own work at the Briars. They wanted to add bentonite liners to the back nine and provided me with the opportunity to make a few modifications. The highlight was finally getting the tree down from the front of the 15th.  In the end I made a few changes, but left just as much untouched. The work was done by Flightline Golf.

1st on Homenuik Nine Oakdale

Construction – Part Three – Oakdale’s Homenuik Nine

We continued with the renovation work to Oakdale. This time, we took on the remaining eight holes on Homenuik and rebuilt half the tees and all the bunkers. Some changes were fairly dramatic, while other bunkers saw small modifications for character. The highlight is the opening hole which is as dramatic as any of the work on the course. The work was done by KCM Construction.

Construction – Part Four – St. Catharines Bunkers

The club decided to do five holes worth of bunkers. Flighline Golf rebuilt a total seven bunkers in a renovation of St. Catharines. The changes to the 14th hole would be the most dramatic with a deep bunker on the left now defining the hole and a feeder slope added to the right. It’s not quite a Redan, but has many of those features.

Pepper Pike's 5th hole - 2nd shot on the five

Construction – Part Five – Pepper Pike 

We began the bunker work on the 5th and 13th hole. A few lessons were learnt together and I realized I needed to bring the faces a little higher to achieve the character I was after. We began working on the 6th, then 14th and then finally finished with the 4th before winter timed us out. The work was done by Precision Golf and they had a shaping assist by yours truly. This is something I’m gaining more confidence with. The highlight was the 5th landing where golfers are invited to take far more risk, but there is also far more in place to penalize the miss. Tree work at the club is extensive and really impressive.

Construction – Part Six – Crag Burn 8th and 9th Holes

The golf course remains largely intact and when asked to work with the club, I did recommend keeping things as they were built in 1969. Both the 8th and 9th had been altered from their original design by the club and what we did was essentially put everything back the way it was. The work all done in October by Faery Landscaping.

The Principal's Nose - 17th at Wheatley Hills

Construction – Part Seven – Wheatley Hills Bunkers

The club continues to plug along on with their Emmet restoration. The bunkers were done on the 5th, 6th and 17th holes. The 17th is the most dramatic alteration I made to any hole where some minor modifications have turned this simple hole into a strategic beast. The principal’s nose bunker will be the talk of the club next year. The most fun part was I got to rough shape that feature before I went home. The work was mostly done in house. The club works with Jeff Porteous when he’s available.

18th at Ashburn Old

Coming in 2018

Booked Projects

1.      Pepper Pike Club – Spring/Fall – remaining bunker work
2.      Ashburn (Old) – Summer/Fall- rebuild 9 greens and bunkers 
3.      Pinegrove Bunkers – Fall - greenside bunkers
4.      Oakdale Knudson Nine – Summer/Fall rebuild 2 greens, renovate  bunkers & tees
5.      Wheatley Hills – more fall bunker work


This is the thing that ruins my sleep. I count on this provision for my work permits. This should be the year where we find out what will happen to the agreement. I have been told I have an alternative, but I’d prefer to have this arrangement to remain since I know the process really well and do my own permitting. It saves clubs money.

17th at Spring Brook

Potential Construction Projects

  1. Islington – Spring – relocate 18th green
  2. Galt CC – Spring – chipping facility / driving net
  3. Ken-wo – Summer – green relocation or bunker work
  4. Briars – Summer/Fall – Bunkers North of Black Creek
  5. Spring Brook Bunkers - this is a long shot

Sao Paulo Golf Club
New Client in Brazil?

I’m going to Sao Paulo Golf Club in Sao Paulo, Brazil in late January. We'll see if there's any possibility of a long-term relationship here.


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