Rod Whitman: "Highly acclaimed"

The Globe’s Lorne Rubenstein moves away from Mike Weir and into more interesting territory today: Alberta golf architect Rod Whitman. Whitman, who has worked with Pete Dye and Bill Coore, created Wolf Creek near Edmonton. More than a decade later his second Canadian course, the terrific Blackhawk, opened, once again near Edmonton. Interestingly, those in Ontario might have become more familiar with him had his proposed design for Angus Glen’s South Course gone forward.

Anyway, Rubenstein’s article gives a pretty clear indication of Whitman’s talent:

“If the ability to create a wonderful product on the ground were the sole
measure of success in this business, Rod Whitman of Alberta, Canada, would be highly acclaimed instead of unknown,” architect Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw’s design partner, said in an interview at

While the article touches on some of the eccentricities of Whitman (he sometimes lives with his ex-wife, he loves hanging out on bulldozers), it also discusses a couple of new projects for Whitman. One is Richard Zokol’s Sagebrush, which is apparently going to go forward, despite all accounts that it would never get off the ground. The other is Cabot Links, the project Ben Cowan-Dewar is trying to get off the ground. I wrote about this project a few months ago and that article can be found here. Whitman is still talking a good line on the property:

I’d love to do that thing,” Whitman said. “We’ve already done a good routing. The property is almost on the beach and the town almost surrounds it, like St. Andrews [in Scotland].”

I’m sure Lorne’s editor added the [in Scotland] bit to make it clear Whitman wasn’t building a version of St. Andrews in Aurora. Mid afternoon additional note: Lorne just sent me a note assuring me that it was some unthinking Globe copy editor who assumed readers wouldn’t know where St. Andrews is located and added this to his text. I’m sure this is the case as Globe copy eds have long been fastidious about adding these kinds of ridiculous comments into the articles of writers at the paper. Sorry Lorne — this wasn’t meant as a shot at you.
Read Lorne’s entire story is here (click on top link).

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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.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Since when did Lorne Rubenstein become a golf course design expert?

    Also, I look forward to the opening of Coppinwood. Fazio and Dye really are the influential architects in the field.

  • Dear Anonymous: if you can nominate ONE person in Canada who knows a tenth of what Lorne Rubenstein knows about golf course design (and is not in the design business), I’d love to hear who it is.

    One other thing about Lorne – you can’t buy his opinion. Its not for sale.

    Like Sandra Post, Lorne is more highly thought of in the US than in Canada. Of course, that’s a part of our Canadian way, we make our heroes prove it every day.

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