Golf course architect Ian Andrew is leading a repair and renovation project at the Islington Golf Club near Toronto, Canada.
Originally designed by Canadian architect Stanley Thompson, the course was flooded in the summer of 2013. The course was then covered in as much as six inches of ice between December 2013 and March 2014 during a particularly harsh winter, causing severe damage to the course’s poa annua greens and fairways.
“These are challenging situations for memberships to deal with, nobody wants to lose their golf course for an entire summer, but in this case the membership has planned for thelong-term viability of the golf club,” said Andrew.
The club’s membership voted in May to rebuild all greens, renovate the majority of green side bunkers, and revamp the practice area and short game area.
The reconstruction of the greens and bunkers is already underway, and the club’s superintendent Ian McQueen expects all greens to have been rebuilt by the end of July this year. The renovated course is expected to reopen for play fully next May.
Since opening in 1923, many architects have worked on the Islington course, each making minor adjustments to elements of Thompson’s original design. As a result, the project Ian Andrew is currently working on involves the restoration of some of Thompson’s original work, and builds upon the various evolutions that have taken place on the course since its opening.
“When push comes to shove, you must solve issues of ice and drainage and that too has brought about a few alterations designed to protect the club from going through this again,” said Andrew, who has been the club’s consulting architect since 2010. “There is some pure restoration, but with nine greens previously renovated by other architects and superintendents, there are also some changes being made to have those greens become more appropriate for a Thompson course.”
Andrew will remove three greenside bunkers on the course’s first, second and sixth holes, while adding two to the course’s fifth hole. 16 other greenside bunkers across the course will also be renovated.