Kananaskis misses opportunity with rebuild

Kananaskis-flood11Controversy has swirled around the Kananaskis Country golf facility since it was announced the course, destroyed by a flood, would be rebuilt using public funds. The controversy is largely about the management company that holds the deal to run the profitable facility.

Because of that, no one is talking about the fact that there’s a huge missed opportunity in the rebuild to make the courses more than they were. I’m always surprised when people praise the two courses built by Robert Trent Jones. Truthfully they were built on flat land, has some of the worst cart paths ever witnessed in golf (“Can we run the cart path right up the middle of the fairway?”) and was an average design at best.

If nearly $9-million was going to be spent rebuilding the courses, at least they could have moved away from the initial concept and created something better. However, governments have no business being in the golf space—they have little to no understanding of how it works or what quality is. So it isn’t surprising that Kananaskis is moving forward with little consideration for what it might become. I spoke with Gary Browning, who led the initial reconstruction before the NDP government in Alberta halted it, and he wasn’t sure whether he was returning to the project.

Anyway, here’s my take on this missed opportunity: Global Golf Post.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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