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Top 10 Things not to do when restoring your golf course

Top 10 things not to do when restoring your golf course…

  1. Never hire someone because they are the son or grandson of a once prominent architect. Hire them because they have ability.
  2. If you are a Canadian club, don’t immediately think Americans can do it better than those from our native land. That’s such a cliche.
  3. Never determine that your historically signficant golf course that is now 6,400 yards long should hold the Canadian Open or U.S. Open. As such, you need to lengthen it by 800 yards, destroying its character in the process. And even then you won’t get the tournament until 2013, and only God knows how far the ball will travel by then.
  4. Never hire anyone with a nickname.
  5. Never hire someone just because they once worked with someone notable. Talent isn’t necessarily transferable.
  6. Don’t ever listen to a green committee member who starts by saying, “Well, I know I’m a (insert profession here — doctor, lawyer, dentist), but I’ve played a couple courses by (insert name of long dead architect here). I know exactly what we need to do.”
  7. Never listen to anyone in your club who starts out by saying, “I’m a rater for [insert golf publication here]…”
  8. Never listen to an architect who tells you that he’s seen the pros hit the ball a mile and therefore you need a couple of 498-yard par fours on your classic Stanley Thompson/Tillinghast/Ross course. I’ll put money on it that not a single member of your club averages over 300 off the tee and most of your members will end up complaining about the length of the hole.
  9. Never alter your course just because a touring pro dropped by on his day off and shot 64. Who cares. They play golf for a living and account for .001 percent of all players.
  10. Never chose your architect based entirely on cost. If you can’t afford some to do it right, you are probably better off not hiring anyone at all. Otherwise you’ll just spend more money down the road redoing all the initial work.

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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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