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Canadian Golf Architecture Review: Steven Ward

One of the final installments in an ongoing series.

Steven Ward's terrific Timber Ridge GC

Steven Ward's terrific Timber Ridge GC

Steven Ward

Years in industry: 27

Best Course: Timber Ridge GC (Brighton, Ont.); Trillium Wood GC (Belleville, Ont.)

Quote: “I’m not exactly a big city guy. I suppose a lot of clients want a guy who is in Toronto and won’t consider you if you’re not. But that’s just fine with me.”

Strengths:

  • Ability to create interesting golf on a limited budget
  • Willing to break the mould and build shorter courses that focus on wildly rolling greens.

Weaknesses:

  • Not overly ambitious; seems content working in smaller markets on low profile courses.
  • Course have not been built in large urban centers, hurting his exposure to a wide market.

Comment: Ward is finally starting to gain some recognition for the fine work he did at Timber Ridge. Ward, who formerly worked on resort projects in the U.S., understood that he could not build a 7,000 yard monster using the limited rolling land at Timber Ridge, Ward focused on creating smart, unusual holes with interesting greens. The end result was the creation of a reasonably priced golf course that recently cracked Score’s Top 100 Golf Courses in Canada list.

New work has been tough to come by recently, leaving Ward content to work on restorations near his home town of Picton and work with his daughter, an aspiring junior golfer. A project near Newmarket fell through in recent years.

What’s possible?: Unlikely to garner much attention outside of Eastern Ontario, Ward’s best work may already be behind him.

Overall: B

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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.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • we need more shorter courses with wildly rolling greens, can’t wait to see Timber Ridge. 6000 yards with 18 great greens, that’s Heaven isn’t it?

  • As an engineer in the golf development business who is often involved with the client before they start selecting the rest of the team, I can honestly say I’ve never heard of a client choosing their golf course designer based on where they live or have their office. If this guy really believes he’s not getting jobs because he isn’t in Toronto, you’d have to think maybe there are other reasons he isn’t getting work…………

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