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G4G Mailbag: Letters on architecture from Don Mills, and crazed rants from the West Coast

It has been a while since the postman came and I had a chance to dip into the most intriguing comments I’ve received on the site recently. So here goes — an episode of G4G Mailbag.

Our first comment comes from the lovely suburban wasteland of Don Mills, where I spent seven years working. Amongst the office towers comes a comment from Carrick Design, located just north of the National Post office. The ever thoughtful Cam Tyers responds to me review of Islington GC:

I enjoyed your review; however I disagree with your assessment of the back nine. The back nine asks more of the golfer and often brings a wonderful front nine score back to earth. The tone of the back nine changes immediately to one of precise shot making, witness the sobering thought of trying to make par on number 10, one of the underrated par 3s in Ontario or finishing on a 400 yard par 4 that requires both an exacting drive and approach. Yes, it has some blind shots that you would not see today and the 14th is a very short par 5 but this adds to the variety and the breather versus pressure of Stanleys sequencing of holes.

I actually didn’t have any issue with a couple of blind shots — but I do think they should take a chainsaw to the trees of the left side of the upper tier of 17. Go to it Mr. Tyers!

But there’s more:

There are two notions that you must be careful with. One being that the work is categorized as a restoration. Although Islingtons and Carrick Designs focus during the development of the Master Plan was one of enhancement we did not adhere to a mandate of restoration. We are restoring some aspects to the original design, such as hidden vistas and bunker placement but we have also added some new bunkers to recognise the modern game. The bunker style, although reminiscent of Mr. Thompsons late 20s and 30s work, is interpretive and is not the original style of bunkering found in older photos.

I still think Mr. Tyers, an employee at Carrick Design, the firm run by noted golf architect Doug Carrick, did a nice job of the bunkering. That said, apparently due to the lack of historical documentation, I’d call the work at Islington a “sympathetic renovation.” But Mr. Tyers did a nice job regardless. My bad.

Mr. Tyers also wants to set the record straight on who does what at his firm — so here goes:

The other perception that should not be overlooked is who is carrying out the work. I am a representative of Carrick Design and although I (or any other associate) will make decisions that allow the project to move forward it is always Carrick Design, specifically Doug Carrick from whom we take our direction. Trust you will acknowledge this when making future references.

Doug Carrick is the guy at Carrick Design. Noted.

Now onwards.

Apparently I’m not the only one who feels Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman isn’t cutting it as the lead anchor on the station’s PGA Tour broadcasts. It must be hard to be under the scrutiny of — what is it these days — a couple hundred thousand viewers? As Bloomer notes:

Ive conveniently been sick for the past few days so Ive been at home watching the match play championship. I can not get over how bad Kelly Tilghman is in the booth. She has no idea how to do a compelling narrative to compliment the golf action and is always two steps behind Faldo. I think she catches about 1 out of 10 of his jokes. I hope Golf Channel has a Plan B for the next 14 years of their partnership with the PGA.

Hmmm. Rich Lerner?

As for Mike Weir making the PresCup team in Montreal, Wayne K. had this to say:

Weir is going to have to move up a lot to be a Captains pick – he is currently at 21, Ames is at 20. If I was the Captain picking today I would choose Baddely and Michael Campbell. Shingo Katayama is #11 and would warrant a pick as well, but most of the guys in the 11-20 group have not done much in 07, Bads being the exception.

And Mike didn’t help his cause at the matchplay this past weekend. On the other hand, Ames’ standing improved dramatically.

Oh, and apparently I’ve been too hard on Phil Mickelson, who has been known to do a good deed or two lately. But I didn’t write the headline, so don’t shoot the columnist…:

Your article last October on Phil Mickelson was very interesting. Saying that the self obsessed golfer puts himself above everyone else. So he didnt play in a few golf tournaments. So what? Maybe you should research exactly what he DID a lot of that time. He was overseeing his foundation, and actually was out helping build homes, homes for our soldiers who come back from Iraq with special needs.

I suggest you contact Bob Verdi from Golf World magazine. He knows a lot more about Phil Mickelson than youll ever know. Read his article about Phil and ex NL star Conrad Dobler. I suggest you publish another article telling your readers about the real Phil.

Phil is a good guy. Won the Masters. And the PGA. Married to a lovely woman. Former cheerleader. Great short game. Can I stop now?
My fav comes not from G4G, but from a comment on my most recent Scoregolf.com column. Gottta love the crazy rants:

Ken Lawson : Feb 26, 2007 21:10:58
BC Golfer it is because we gutless people like Robert Thompson who cannot play golf, does not understand competative golf, who do not attack the RCGA in the first place. What we need to is find out how this RCGA formed and find ways to restructure it. Have you broke a 100 Robert. I believe the Rules of Amateur Status are weak and should be attacked under Canadian Charter Of Rights and Freedoms, if the Gays can Win , why not majority of golfers who want change with this dysfunctional useless organization.

Exactly, Ken! You nailed this one on the head — it is the Charter of Rights that some enterprising type needs to use to take on the RCGA. Now go find some lawyer who will buy in to that logic….

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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.

6 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Ken Lawson is quite the entertainer – he makes Scoregolf worth a visit. Rarely a day goes by without a rant about the RCGA. It’s interesting that dysfunctional is one of the few words he can spell properly…

  • Robt

    Do you think Cam Tyers was making a refernce to another x-representative of Carrick Design who worked on St. George’s and Weston and refers to it as reflective of his abilities to design?

  • Snowie: I don’t think it has anything to do with ability — perhaps more to do with marketing in a tight environment for new courses. Things aren’t busy at some offices these days, which is too bad.

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