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Course preview: Angus Glen (Private?)

Course Preview: Angus Glen (Private)

Location: Unxbridge, Ont.

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To this point it is like a variation on the America song: A course with no name. Located near the new Greg Norman-designed Wyndance is a 27-hole facility being built by Gordon Stollery, the owner of Angus Glen. The course is being designed by Martin Ebert after being routed by his former boss, golf writer turned architect, Donald Steel.

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When I toured the course in September, several holes were near completion, while others were still being rough shaped. Those that were complete (see photos), had a similar feel to nearby Coppinwood, though the bunkering and approach used by Ebert was much more subtle than the big and bold appeal of Fazio’s work. One thing was clear — green sites seem to have been carefully selected to maximize the land.

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However, I was a bit surprised to see the amount of land being moved on the property. Steel, and by relation Ebert and other partner Tom Mackenzie, have a reputation as minimalists — meaning they try to use the natural landscape as much as possible. That doesn’t appear to be the case on this site and there were large areas where significant amounts of land were being moved to create holes.

Interestingly, since the course could even open late next year, there are few definite plans. It appears the course will be private, so as not to compete with Angus Glen’s high-end corporate market, but even that is not certain. It doesn’t even have a name, though several have been tossed about.

[photopress:angusglen6.jpg,full,alignleft]What is clear is that the course — whatever it ends up being called — is built on a spectacular piece of property with long vistas and rolling hills. It could be quite special. However, I’m always worried about a course being built without a mandate and a clear vision of what it will be once the grass is grown in. Those types of courses often stumble out of the gate or fail to attract the kind of support one might expect. However, I’ve been assured Stollery wants this one to be first class, so we’ll see how this all plays out.

If you want to know more about Martin Ebert, check out Lorne Rubenstein’s article on the architect here.

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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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