One of my favourite golf courses, Scarboro Golf & CC, has spent much of the last year trying to ascertain the architect who is going to restore their course. Initially three Canadians were involved — Graham Cooke, Rod Whitman/Jeff Mingay, and Ian Andrew. That was narrowed to two — Andrew and Cooke — and then… nothing.
Apparently a Canadian architect isn’t enough for Scarboro, which has gone seeking an American to do the job. This is referenced in a story by Lorne Rubenstein in his column in today’s Globe:
Crenshaw is in his element as a designer, as is Coore. They’ve focused on doing courses in the United States, although, oddly enough, a call came to their office just the other day from the Scarboro Golf and Country Club in east-end Toronto. They were honoured to be asked to consider restoring the A.W. Tillinghast-designed beauty. Coore said they aren’t doing restoration work. It will be interesting to see whom Scarboro hires.
This sounds like a club that isn’t sure what it wants — a key determining factor when proceeding with the restoration of a significant AW Tillinghast design. But the key factor in any restoration is the actual work — not the name associated with it. It never fails to boggle my mind when a course wants a modern golf name associated with its classic design. Isn’t AW Tillinghast enough? Is anyone going to join Scarboro because Bill Coore restored it? Do Canadians even know who Bill Coore is? No. The answer is that new members will join Scarboro because it is a historic, interesting course located in an urban area. The club, as opposed to chasing names, should simply embrace its history and restore its Tillinghast design — the only one in Canada. Isn’t that marketable enough?