A Donald Ross restoration
There is no greater privilege than to work on the grounds of one of the absolute greats in golf course architecture. In Winnipeg, Manitoba lies one of the most northerly Donald Ross designs in the world - Elmhurst Golf and Country Club. The 18 hole track was originally built in 1914 but then redesigned by Donald Ross in 1919. It was soon after this redesign, that Elmhurst became dubbed “ The Champions Course”. As with many older courses, the face had changed over the years. In 2009 we started the 18 hole restoration, with golf course architect and Ross Restoration specialist, Ron Prichard. We completed four holes, with Integrative Golf Co. doing all of the bunker work, and the superintendent Dan Ciekiewicz and his crew looking after the expansion of the green surfaces.
I was contacted this spring by superintendent Dan to help out with some general renovation type projects. Although not true 'restoration' work I was once again honored to be involved with such a historic piece of property. The club is hosting the Canadian Amateur Championship and wanted to replace the bunker sand in all of their green side bunkers, and build a new pro tee on their thirteenth hole, which would push the hole to 625 yards. There was also tree stump removal from tree clearing in the fall, and some hedge removal to open up views of the golf course that had been lost over the years. The old bunker sand had already been removed by a local contractor, so each bunker needed the bases to be fine graded, re-edged, and in some cases, faces brought down to recapture a more classic look. I received very positive feedback from the membership, the board, and the club manager and look forward to returning this fall to continue the work.
My two week stay also allowed me to see how our previous work had sustained and matured over the years (see photos). When I look at and play the restored holes, I get excited to return one day and continue to uncover this northern masterpiece of Donald Ross -- Elmhurst Golf and Country Club.
to be continued.....