Jack and Tom in PEI; Turnberry's facelift

The Globe’s Lorne Rubenstein reports that IMG and Prince Edward Island will announce later this week that Dundarave will play host to a made-for-tv event featuring none other than Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson.

Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson will participate in an event on June 19 and 20 at
the Rodd Brudenell River Resort’s Dundarave course in Cardigan, PEI, The Globe
and Mail has learned. The official announcement of a three-year contract between
Toronto-based IMG and Tourism PEI will be made tomorrow in Charlottetown.

Sounds like Shell’s Wonderful world of golf to me. Nonetheless, Dundarave, designed by Jason Straka and Michael Hurdzan, is a fine golf course (it is likely the best on the island) and the concept could be engaging. One has to wonder, however, how much interest there will be in two over-the-hill athletes playing in an event without any real meaning. Will anyone care? Lorne’s story can be found here.

Turnberry on Scotland’s west coast is among my favourite courses in the world. Exposed to the element and perched right on the ocean, it is scenic and strategic, fun and grand. Well, after a lengthy disappearance, the course has been awarded the 2009 British Open. And I guess that even though it is ranked in the Top 20 in the world, it simply isn’t good enough. Break out the shovels — it is time to dig up Turnberry.

“The main thing I can tell you we’re doing is building a lot more bunkers,” said Stewart Selbie, Turnberry’s GM. “Right now we have the fewest bunkers – 66
– of any of the Open venues. So we’re putting in 30 just now and will have almost 100 by the time we’re complete. That aspect will be finished by the time we stage the Senior British Open in the summer.”

I didn’t know that one determined a course’s merits based on the number of bunkers they inserted, but the Scotsman’s story makes it sound like that’s how the R&A is judging Turnberry:

Although the number of traditional traps at the Ailsa is rising, the Ayrshire links still has a long way to go before it matches the 220 bunkers waiting to punish the errant golfer at Royal Lytham.
“There are a number of other changes in the pipeline which are yet to be finalised between ourselves and the Royal and Ancient,” Selbie added. “The discussions are ongoing. . Obviously, there are going to be some changes to championship tees. Just adding length to the links is not necessarily the answer, although there are a couple of instances where we will be looking to add a little more distance around the 16th
and 17th holes.”

The full, sad story is here.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Robert
    thanks for your views: I hadn’t heard of Dundarave, or the Straka/Hurdzan connection, but you seem to rank it highly. It IS hard to know how much interest there’d be in the actual match, but I think the Tourism people ARE onto something – already they’ve managed to get this course and PEI golf on MY radar screen, and in time likely on a lot more people’s..
    Boy, I do hope I can get out to the east coast some day soon – the golf there seems better and better to me all the time


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