I spent the last couple of days back in Toronto catching up with editors, friends and business acquaintances — and it turns out there’s still lots happening in the golf business as we get closer to the holidays.
- Nigel Hollidge, formerly the director of golf for Taboo in Muskoka and Bond Head north of Toronto, who has spent the last three years involved with the Stollery family at Angus Glen is leaving to take over as general manager of Taboo. This time it isn’t just the golf component, but the whole resort. There’s also talk — though I don’t know how much truth there is to it — that Taboo may get renovated by a very high-profile PGA Tour pro. I heard that from a reliable source, though it would seem unlikely to me. Interesting move by Holidge, who was hired to create a club around Goodwood, Gordon Stollery’s baby near Uxbridge, but could apparently never muster the support for a single concept from either Gordon or his estate. Goodwood apparently has 25 individuals who played the course last year — but still no clubhouse. As always there’s interesting rumours circulating around Goodwood as well, though a source at Angus Glen tells me there’s nothing to it.. That’s not surprising since Stollery’s death last year the facility has had a lot of unresolved questions, and still no business model going forward. It’ll also be fascinating to see what Hollidge does with Taboo, which has really fallen off the radar of the golfing public in recent years.
- Paul McLean, the founder of Maximum Financial, has reacquired Coppinwood, the course he was forced to offload a couple of years ago. He has apparently partnered with Gerard Waslen, the owner of Launch, Timber Ridge and the Markham Golf Dome, to reacquire the course. McLean, apparently, will remain largely in the background, though it is intriguing to find out what GM Kevin Thistle will do, especially after the departure of head pro Dennis Firth.
- Nice to see how well James Lepp did in the Big Break. He came in second, and was very tight-lipped about the result right up until the end. However, rumours had circulated from the start that Lepp would play Mike Silver in the final and lose. That turned out to be exactly the case, so apparently it was either a good guess or someone in the production spilled the beans.
- Mike Horsley, the head pro at Turnberry GC in Brampton, is the new head pro at Donalda. Horsley worked as an assistant there in the past.
- The government of PEI apparently is still trying to make a decision on what to do with its golf facilities, though I hear there’s some interesting possibilities on the horizon. Here’s hoping they make a bold play. PEI should be a great golf destination, but is lacking a singular great golf course — Crowbush Cove is vastly overrated by many.
- Stopped by the Golf Lab in Vaughan and was thrilled to see the changes the country’s premier indoor training facility has made. The renovation is exceptional and founder Liam Mucklow always has some really intriguing ideas to push golf instruction and training forward.
- There’s apparently a new golf magazine in the offing for Ontario led by a Toronto-area entrepreneur named Frank Mastroianni. Mastroianni is an ambitious fellow with an interest in golf design and will kick off the magazine with another course ratings system. It’ll be interesting to see whether this gains traction going forward.
- Nice to see Andrew Steep from Winnipeg, Jon Roy and Doug Lawrie, among others, all take home awards from the PGA of Canada.