Canadian Golf Architecture Review: David and Bob Moote

The latest installment of an ongoing series on golf designers working in Canada.

The 18th at Le Portage -- a course in Cape Breton that is one of the Moote's best.

The 18th at Le Portage -- a course in Cape Breton that is one of the Moote's best.

Bob and David Moote

Years in industry: More than six decades between son (David) and father (Bob).

Recent work: Restoration of Toronto Ladies GC; Baxter Creek (Fraserville, Ont.)

Best courses: Le Portage (Cheticamp, N.S.); Savannah Golf Links (Cambridge, Ont.)


  • The firm’s link to Stanley Thompson has benefited its profile. David is currently the president of the Stanley Thompson Society. He speaks passionately about Thompson’s work.
  • Ability to work on smaller profile, smaller budget projects and show good results (Savannah Golf Links, Guelph Lakes GC, Le Portage, Galt).


  • Renovation work on classic courses often seems to ignore existing design elements in favour of mounding and elaborate pond work.
  • Can you say ‘fore?’ Smaller land space and budgets often makes shooting galleries of courses created by the firm.
  • Strange to see the website for Baxter Creek list David Moote as the designer behind the much-maligned The Rock in Muskoka. He did an initial routing, which is one of the course’s most significant flaws.
  • Very little promotional muscle (the firm’s website is little more than a phone number).

Overview: With Bob Moote, who once worked as an associate of Stanley Thompson, largely retired, the firm is in the hands of his son, David. The company has largely worked in tier-two markets on courses with small budgets, creating the likes of Le Portage in Cheticamp, N.S., and Savannah Golf Links near Cambridge.

The firm’s restoration work, which includes the new 17th hole at Burlington Golf and Country Club, is highly suspect. Often it appears David Moote simply ignores the existing golf course and builds holes that are out of character with the remaining course.

What’s possible?: It is hard to imagine Moote moving into a league with Carrick and McBroom, especially given the results of the second tier projects the Moote firm has helmed

Overall: C

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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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