Zokol's Sagebrush: "I'm Taking a Page from Augusta National"

Vancouver Sun writer Brad Ziemer has written a feature on Dick Zokol’s Sagebrush, the latest Canadian course to compete for the high-end “Redtail” type golf market. But where Redtail is in Ontario, Zokol’s project is in B.C.

Now the story isn’t exactly new (I wrote about it last year for Score), but Ziemer does a good job of summing up the project’s ambitions.

Bankrupt is what some people thought Zokol would be by now. The 48-year-old heard from more than a few skeptics who thought his dream of a course for Canada’s jet set was pie-in-the-sky.

But Zokol could be a poster boy for perseverance. He managed to round up several key business partners and sealed the deal a year ago when he lined up $10 million in private equity financing. He has confounded the skeptics. Again.

Zokol did the same thing 25 years ago when some doubted he had the talent to make the PGA Tour. He did, and played there regularly, winning twice in a career that spanned two decades. He earned the Disco Dick handle back in the early ’80s, when he briefly played on Tour while wearing headphones and listening to music.

“There were people who said ‘he’ll never do this’,” Zokol says of Sagebrush. “I’ve raised $10 million of business people’s money. Sure, this is an ambitious project, but so is the PGA Tour ambitious for a kid who doesn’t have the talent like a Doug Roxburgh. I had to go dig it out of the dirt.”

Needless to say, Zokol remains enthusiastic about his project:

“There’s nothing like it in Canada, nothing,” Zokol says. “Conventional golf we are not. This is a complete 180. There’s only about, at best, 10 golf courses like this in the U.S. This is a minimalist golf course.”

The entire story is here.

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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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