Going for the Green

Robert Thompson's comments, criticism and opinion on the world of golf.

8 responses to “The battle over Bear Mountain”

  1. Steve M

    When I first played Bear Mountain, the Mountain Course (Valley wasn’t open to the public yet) what struck a cord with me were the Par 3’s. The were solid, magestic even. We couldn’t play the Signature 19th (irritating) which is a Kodak moment overlooking Victoria. The course was virtually empty, and clearly didn’t need 18 more holes. What Bear Mountain should do is utilize their natural terrain and elevation (and the 19th Hole) and create a picturesque 9 Hole, Par 3 Course to compliment the remaining 18 holes. I would also enhance the Practice Facility as well. People on The Island need to play a ‘quick 9′ to catch the ferry, a plane, work etc. on a daily basis. Less clubs to carry, lighter bag and 9 holes. Walk it! Great for kids and people of all ages. Not to mention less condos and more houses, more parkland and walking trails…

  2. Frank

    The news on Dundarave is a shame.

  3. James

    Remember the old IBM course? It’s now Markham Green and only nine holes with the 407 running through it and houses up top. That was a solid track and now it’s just a mediocre. What a shame.

  4. Jeff Currie

    Its been a while since I played Dundarave and agree with strongly with @Frank that this is a shame. What I struggle with is why keep Brudinell and close Dundarave? As I recall they share the same property and have common ownership…

    1. ian andrew


      Because on the same day the locals will play 160 rounds on Brudenell and “tourists” will make up less than 40 on Dundarave. The locals don’t like the course because it’s too hard and they can’t walk the course.

  5. Gary Slatter

    there is a vacuum* of golf management talent in Canada. Sadly the bean counters make too many easy decisions without proper input from knowledgeable golf people, somehow the marketing people get the projects started on the wrong foot, then the golf staff is told what the “plans” are, then the banks call to ask why the project is stalling, bingo, great properties close.

    Box Grove (IBM) was a great private course for one person, then it sold to IBM who turned it over to their employees who couldn’t run it, so they sold out and did quite well – I’m glad I got to play it in the 1970s.

    Dundarave (PEI) is a good 17 hole course, could easily be operated properly, but sadly is another victim of missed management. I played it on 2001, loved most of the course but couldn’t understand their “plan”.

    *there are quite a few good owner-operators but not many good hired hands available in Canada (IMHO)

  6. CG

    Gary… just to set the record straight, IBM employees ran the course efficiently for 20 years and only when IBM realized they were in dire straights in the early 90s did they decide to sell it. It made no sense to continue to operate a golf course when thousands of people were losing their jobs. So…they sold off 9 holes above the flood plain (the other nine are basically Markham Green) and made a handsome profit. At the time, it was a very emotional decision for the IBMers who had one of the best perqs of any company in Canada.

    Just as an aside, prior to the acquisition of Box Grove, IBM had a 9 hole course
    on Leslie St about midway between Lawrence and York Mills. It was shortish but well maintained and backed on to the Old Windfields Farms of E.P. Taylor (and Northern Dancer) . At the time, it was common to see EPT on a Sunday morning ride when we were playing that old course.

  7. Gary Slatter

    CG thanks for the correction on IBM. Speaking of IBM efficiently, I recall one holiday Monday when all the student workers were at work, seemed like dozens of them. When I asked N*** why so much staff, he told me because they got triple pay for holidays no one would take the day off, they all wanted to work.
    Most were sons and daughters of IBMers, great kids by the way. I was ding some teaching there.

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