I’m not sure we’ve ever seen as interesting a panel on golf design in Canada as what’s been put together for the “About Golf Courses” series that takes place on Sunday at the University of Guelph. Among those talking are Stanley Thompson Society president and designer David Moote, Weir Golf Design architect Ian Andrew, Doug Carrick, Thomas McBroom and Graham Cooke. It is a pretty amazing assortment of people from within the golf design business, with a wide variety of opinions and perspectives that will surely come out over the course of the panels, that run most of the day. Journalists participating include Lorne Rubenstein, Rick Young, John Gordon, head flack for ClubLink (and a former reporter/columnist) and myself.
Here are the details — and it kicks off at 10 am (the entire schedule can be viewed here):
An full day seminar will take place May 16th, the overall theme being ‘the changing landscape of golf and covering the following issues: heritage landscapes, effect of environmental regulation, future trends in the industry, and the new golf architecture. This seminar begins at 10am and ends at around 4pm. Tickets for the full day seminar are $30 per person, and include a lunch. This seminar will take place at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute, located at 328 Victoria Road South, RR#2, Guelph, ON.
I asked Karen Hewson, who runs the RCGA’s Golf Canada’s Hall of Fame, for her perspective on the series:
G4G: This is the second series of seminars and discussions youve held on golf design. What do you think makes it so intriguing to people?
Karen Hewson:Truly I think the fascination with these sessions is related to the level of knowledge of our panels, and the informal nature of the sessions that encourages interaction.
G4G: Youve gathered an impressive whos who of Canadian golf for the day “ from Doug Carrick, to Graham Cooke, to Ian Andrew and Lorne Rubenstein. How difficult is it to get these people together for a discussion of this nature?
KH:I cant believe how wonderful every single one of these icons of the Canadian golf industry have been at speaking and offering their time freely.
G4G: Can you offer a couple of the more intriguing topics of discussion that have been raised in the 2009 and 2010 panels?
KH:Identifying the difference between a restoration, renovation and conservation of golf course work has been a recurring and interesting point of debate (even contention) at every session I think. Revisiting the life and times of Stanley Thompson has been fascinating “ as such a larger than life type character.
G4G: There are a lot of very contemporary topics in these final panels. How did you isolate the topics?
KH: Interesting question. I think we ended up moving to more contemporary and even future perspectives at this time for two reasons. The first would be just to seriously change up the type of conversation. Looking forward helps see what gaps there are in preserving the past. Secondly, it offers the opportunity to draw in people who wouldnt likely be attracted to what is deemed an historical topic but might become engaged when presented in a mix of perspectives.
G4G: A lot of people dont really give much consideration to the role of the golf course in the sport, though it is clearly a central issue. What do you hope to get out of this final day of discussions?
KH: I hope the series overall increases awareness at the clubs and courses that they are in charge of a valuable resource, and in the case of older courses, a valuable piece of our national history, and changes should be well thought out and considered in that perspective.