Catching Up: Reviews of the Reworked Rock, Memphremagog and others

I’ve been remiss in writing a great deal lately, consumed by other tasks. But the time is ripe for some more course and gear reviews. I’ve toured the reworked Rock and plan to present my thoughts this week, as well as providing an insight into Tom McBroom’s latest ultra-private course, Memphremagog outside of Montreal.

I’m also planning some gear reviews, including some new AP2 Titleist irons, my attempt to create my own Dryjoys using Titleist’s web interface, the Taylor Made Rossa Spider putter and the Bridgestone Treo-Soft ball.

In other notes:

  • I toured Tarandowah on the weekend and the course looked splendid. The fescue-faced bunkers are a real lure and make the course appear like an authentic links. I can’t help but wonder whether cutting down the fescue on a regular basis is the way to go. The main criticism of the course is the difficulty of the fescue. Glencairn, the ClubLink course outside of Milton, also has fescue, but decided to whack it down this year to keep the pace of play. Bryan Row, who is running Tarandowah, told me his goal was around 24,000 rounds. The course might get there, but pace of play is going to be a mess if they aren’t careful in maintaining the fescue.
  • Played Hamilton G&CC today and am always in awe of how good the course is. The front nine, with its use of holes that cross back and forth (you walk by the third green, for example, to get to the 7th tee) is genius. However, everyone in my group thought the bunkers on the right of 15 (are there five there?) are overdone when compared to the subtle bunkers on the other 17 holes. Hamilton rests in the Top 100 in the world now, but I wonder how long it will hold on if some grassing lines aren’t addressed (witness the ridiculous grass lines on 18) and reestablishing deeper, bolder bunkers isn’t undertaken.
  • Rumours continue to circulate that one Canadian golf course giant is talking to another, slightly smaller golf course operator about a takeover. One meeting has been discussed, but I have no idea whether anything is going forward.
  • Fascinating story by Brad Ziemer about James Lepp largely dropping out of pro golf to start a business. It doesn’t really surprise me though. This summer I played in a pro-am with Dustin Risdon, who expressed his surprise that more top Canadian Tour players weren’t at the Scarborough team matches considering their costs were covered. “Like James Lepp,” he said, before adding, “Oh, that’s right, he hates golf.” Maybe hate is too strong a word, but after his debut PGA Tour event in Boston a couple of years back, Lepp played the Canadian Open and struggled. He seemed lost. “Maybe I should just find a coach and rebuild my swing,” he told me. He’ll never make it with that lack of confidence, I thought to myself. But I didn’t think he’d be done in two years, at the age of 24. Then again, if the shoes don’t sell…. the story from the Vancouver Sun is here.
  • Fairway Stevie puts on a special suit and checks out TaylorMade’s MATT centre. See the video, and hear Stevie figure out what MATT stands for, 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.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  • The 15th green is not in the originial site as designed by Colt. It was moved to accomodate the East course routing. It looks and plays more like the East course greens. I believe the old 15th green was close to the 1st green of the East course. The 16th tee was also moved. Apparantly both holes were much better before the changes.

  • RT – the “ridiculous grass lines on 18” are from the new sod placed for the Open in 03.
    Craig – you are right.

  • Not a big fan of Lepp’s comments about dorks, etc. Doesn’t exactly make me root for the guy, on or off the course.

    Maybe he would still be chasing the dream with a little more perspective and maturity.

  • good for Lepp… if shoes make him happy, go for it. he’s 24 – he can give it another go in 10 years if he wants… the talent is THERE.

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