Controversy has swirled around the Kananaskis Country golf facility since it was announced the course, destroyed by a flood, would be rebuilt using public funds. The controversy is largely about the management company that holds the deal to run the profitable facility.
Because of that, no one is talking about the fact that there’s a huge missed opportunity in the rebuild to make the courses more than they were. I’m always surprised when people praise the two courses built by Robert Trent Jones. Truthfully they were built on flat land, has some of the worst cart paths ever witnessed in golf (“Can we run the cart path right up the middle of the fairway?”) and was an average design at best.
If nearly $9-million was going to be spent rebuilding the courses, at least they could have moved away from the initial concept and created something better. However, governments have no business being in the golf space—they have little to no understanding of how it works or what quality is. So it isn’t surprising that Kananaskis is moving forward with little consideration for what it might become. I spoke with Gary Browning, who led the initial reconstruction before the NDP government in Alberta halted it, and he wasn’t sure whether he was returning to the project.
Anyway, here’s my take on this missed opportunity: Global Golf Post.