The course at The Derrick Golf and Winter Club in Edmonton, Canada, has reopened for play following an extensive redesign project led by golf course architect Jeff Mingay.
“The project was carried out in phases over the past two summers,” explained Mingay, principal of the Mingay Golf Course Design firm. “Ten new holes were built in 2013 and the remaining eight holes and the practice areas were completed in 2014. We put the finishing touches on everything in late October.”
Drainage has been an issue at the course since it opened back in 1959, due chiefly to heavy clay soils and the site’s flat topography.
“Improving drainage was really the impetus of this project,” said Mingay. “The need to comprehensively improve a very poor drainage situation, which impacted turf health and playability, is what allowed us to also go ahead with a complete redesign of the entire course.”
Mingay made major adjustments to the course’s layout and helped develop six new hole corridor. These were created by re-routing the entire course. The sequence in which the holes are played has also been altered.
Tees, greens and bunkers have also been redesigned, and some fairways have been re-contoured to help further improve drainage.
More than a thousand trees have been removed to enhance playability and course aesthetics. Hundreds of new trees will be planted over the course of 2015.
“Now the club has a golf course that matches the rest of its excellent facilities,” said Mingay. “I’m confident the new course at The Derrick will be both adequately challenging for better golfers and fun for all to play. But, just as important, it’s a course that will be unique to the Edmonton market.”
Mingay worked alongside the course’s superintendent Darryl Maxwell, as well contractor TDI Golf and its drainage affiliate XGD Systems, to complete the work.
“What’s been done is really amazing,” said Maxwell. “I don’t think many of our members realised this property had this much potential for golf. Jeff, and his colleague George Waters, have markedly improved things from both golfing and aesthetic perspectives. And, fundamentally, the course functions properly now.”