Yesterday I wrote about the potential reworking of Angus Glen’s South Course and whether an extensive renovation would change the perception people have of the golf course. That led me to thinking about the fact that many classic Canadian courses have had significant alterations, often early in their history. They, of course, aren’t perceived as renovations any longer, often because the changes were completed decades ago. But when perceived that way, it is surprising how many great courses have been substantially renovated. Even courses like Hamilton and St. George’s have been substantially altered over time — meaning most of Canada’s best courses have had a hole or two completed reconsidered.
1) Mississaugua — Initially created by George Cumming, the course has been reworked by a half-dozen architects over the years. Doug Carrick currently works there, but everyone including Robert Trent Jones has made some alterations along the way. You could argue that it should have one more big overhaul to bring all the disparate elements together once and for all.
2) Summit — See above, but this time the main alterations were done by Stanley Thompson. Since then both Bob Cupp (very odd) and Doug Carrick have reworked holes on the course. Largely the work is fine, though I’m still unsure of the new 7th hole.
3) Royal Montreal — Built by Dick Wilson. Underwent a Reestorification by Rees Jones for the Presidents Cup and is no longer considered one of the best in Canada. Proof that some courses should be left alone.
5) Banff — Initially a Donald Ross design, Thompson completely redesigned Banff.
6) Beaconsfield — A Willie Park Jr. course that had several holes reworked, again by Thompson.
7) Scarboro — Another George Cumming routing, this course was almost completely overhauled by AW Tillinghast. I have no idea what Cumming’s work looked like, but Scarboro is a strong course. More recently Ian Andrew and Gil Hanse made more changes, though the routing was left intact.
8) Lambton — a course that had several architects work on it over the years, though the initial work was apparently done by Tom Bendelow. Reestorification occurred a few years ago. Not awful, it improved some elements of the course, but couldn’t overcome the storm culvert that runs through the middle of the routing.