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Richard Zokol's New Design

[photopress:coorewhitman_1_2.jpg,full,alignright]I had a conversation with Canadian PGA Tour winner Richard Zokol yesterday. Richard is in the midst of constructing his dream course — Sagebrush in B.C. — with Rod Whitman (pictured with designer Bill Coore) and associate Jeff Mingay.

Apparently the course construction is going very well, so well in fact that Zokol is entering into an arrangement with Whitman that will see the pair work on additional courses. Zokol said the partnership details are still being worked out and that it is in its early stages, but that he and Whitman have become friends and respect what each brings to the design process.

Richard wants to pattern the new company after the partnership of Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, arguably the best designers in the golf business. That pairing is interesting as its avoided the standard PGA Tour marketing BS that occurs so often when players get involved in design.

“We’re going to aim for the high end and the lower end,” Zokol said. “We’re going to leave that middle section to others.”

He was quite adamant that the pair would create “minimalist” designs that could be done affordably and that he’d be more than willing to work on municipal courses in the hope of making quality Canadian golf more affordable.

It is a noble pursuit, and it will be interesting to see how it evolves.

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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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