Derrick Club in Edmonton rebuilds with Jeff Mingay

Last week Thomas McBroom told me he thought the renovation market was heating up, with some well-healed clubs spending some cash to improve their facilities, including their golf course. He pointed to the work he was doing at Donalda, but Jeff Mingay, a Windsor architect (and a friend of mine) is also benefiting from this.

And by the sound of it, the course at Derrick Club in Edmonton must have been kind of horrible before the reno:

Originally built in 1959 on what was basically farm land, five of the holes will be completely new while the other 13 will be decidedly different.

Gone is the succession of long par 3s.

“What used to be rather monotonous holes — three of them were all 210 yards — are now going to be fun,” said Mingay, who has been called one of the sharpest young men in and around the field of golf course design.

“I still like the idea of having one long par 3 on a course, just as I like the idea of having one long par 4. The yardage on the par 3s will now range from 120 yards to, from the back tees, 240 yards.”

Gone are the course’s one-after-another dogleg rights.

“We used to have eight dogleg rights; now there will only be two of them,” said Goplin.

I wonder if any of those dogleg were of the famed 110 degree type…

A lot of what Mingay is doing is designed to fix the club’s horrible drainage situation while also making it more playable and interesting:

“When you boil it down, it’s a brand-new golf course,” said the massive project’s architect Jeff Mingay. “New bunkers, new fairways, new greens, new tee boxes and a complete rerouting of the course.”

That still doesn’t include one of the biggest things the Derrick needed: a new drainage system.

“It’s as close as it gets to starting from scratch,” Mingay added.

With a total of $12 million being spent on the golf course plus the fitness, aquatic, curling and racquet sports facilities — $6 million on the course; $6 million on the facilities — outside of the LPGA Tour coming back to Edmonton this summer, the “new” Derrick is this year’s big news as far as local golf is concerned.

Mingay had a hand in Blackhawk and Cabot Links, and has done significant work in Western Canada at places like Victoria, as well as in the Pacific-Northwest. But this is one of the first instances he has to show what he can do on an extensive renovation. He’s also expected to do extensive work at Toronto’s York Downs as well.

Curtis Stock’s piece in the Edmonton Journal on Derrick Club can be found 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.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • As a member of the Oakville Golf Club, Jeff did our reno two years ago and did a great job. He was honest and welcomed the members opinion before the reno’s. Today, we are playing a better golf course for all to enjoy.

    I wish Jeff the best of luck with Derrek Club.

  • I’m also a member at the Oakville Golf Club and agree that Jeff created a much improved layout which has also allowed our greens to flourish. We are all concerned with change and expense but you need to bit the bullet and let the professional make the right recommendation.

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