Golf Digest announced yesterday the Ridge at Manitou, a fine Tom McBroom design, had won its award for Best New Course in Canada.
The South Course at the Club at Bond Head came in second, while Black Bear Ridge came in third. And for once in recent memory, this all seems about right.
Interestingly, Ron Whitten, Golf Digest’s architecture critic who wrote the story about the Best New awards, took the opportunity to offer a slight smack down on the course, saying it wasn’t that different from McBroom’s other Muskoka work:
McBroom calls his work “an immersion into the landscape,” and it is indeed a glorious sample of the visual beauty of the Canadian Shield. But frankly, The Ridge is almost indistinguishable in looks from McBroom’s other nearby designs, like Lake Joseph Club, the 1997 Best New Canadian Course, the second of McBroom’s five triumphs in this category.
While I don’t entirely agree, I can also see where there are similarities between McBroom’s Muskoka work, much of which was built before he started working with quirkier bunker styles that add some aesthetic differences to his courses.
It’ll be interesting to see what this award does for the Ridge, a course that is in a poor location (near Parry Sound) and that has had a tremendously difficult time finding members (the course is private, unless you stay at the terrific Inn at Manitou next door).
The entire Digest list is here.