Sunningdale Golf and Country Club in Ontario, Canada, will open six new holes on its Stanley Thompson course in spring 2019.
The holes are required to replace six on the club’s Clinton ‘Robbie’ Robinson course that are being developed for housing. Six holes of the current Thompson course will eventually become part of the Robinson course.
The new holes have been designed by golf course architect Doug Carrick, who has been consulting at the club since 1985, when he worked with Robinson, who designed the second layout at the club in the late 1970s. Nine holes of the Thompson course originally opened in 1934, with another nine the following year.
“The Thompson course is a classic parkland layout that weaves across gently rolling uplands and through secluded valley lands alongside the Medway Creek, which comes into play on three holes,” said Carrick. “The course was designed to appeal to golfers of all abilities and features Stanley Thompson’s flamboyant bunkering style, with high sand flashes and swooping grass capes.
“The new holes have been designed in the same classic parkland style with greens, tees, fairways and bunkers that are reflective of Stanley Thompson’s design principles and characteristics. The new holes include two par threes, two par fours and back-to-back par fives on the fourth and fifth holes, adding great interest, variety and balance to complement the existing holes that will remain intact.”
Carrick and his design associate Steve Vanderploeg, who has been involved in all phases of the design work, irrigation design and site supervision, will also undertake the remodelling of the remaining 12 greens on the Thompson course.
“Most of the greens will be expanded to provide more pin placement areas and steeply sloped areas will be softened to improve the playability for all golfers, while retaining the subtle slopes and character of the original greens,” said Carrick. “The greens will all be built with new drainage, new green soil mix and seeded with new bentgrass, all designed to match the greens on the six new holes.
“I would like to thank the Thompson family, owners of Sunningdale and in particular Gord Thompson and his father Jim, for their vision, support and loyalty over so many years. It has been a privilege to work with them over the past 34 years.”
Once the six new holes are open, six of the original 18 greens will be taken out of play and rebuilt, and another six will be rebuilt in 2020. As such, 18 holes will be in play at all times. All work is scheduled to be completed in autumn 2020, with the entire course back in play in 2021.
Following the changes, golfers will no longer have to cross the busy Sunningdale Road on the Robinson layout.