A new 18-hole course designed by Carrick Design has officially opened for play in Aurora, Canada.
The firm has been involved with the creation of the Lebovic Golf Club since the mid-1990s, when the first set of plans for the design were drawn up. However, a series of delays meant that construction didn’t get underway until 2012.
GCA caught up with Doug Carrick to find out more about one of the few new courses to open in the region in recent times.
“I think it was in October 1996 that the first plans were drawn up for the course, but the construction was held up by a legislation called the Oak Ridges Moraine Act, that covers an area just north of Toronto which the provincial government wanted to protect,” Carrick says. “This made things very restrictive in terms of new developments.”
The original application for the course’s development was however made before the legislation was put in place. An Ontario Municipal Board hearing took place, and permission was eventually granted for the golf course to be built.
Lebovic Golf Club is quite unique in terms of new openings in the area, and in the past 15 years or so there have been a dearth of new courses coming to the area.
“The course forms part of a small golf residential development with 75 homes, and the site is divided by a regional road, with seven holes on the west side of the road and 11 on the east side,” Carrick said.
Carrick says that the designs didn’t change particularly throughout that time, with the plan that was settled on early in the process eventually coming to fruition.
“There are no creeks or anything that run through the property, and something unique about the project was that we were not allowed to use any groundwater from the aquifer, even though ironically it sits on one of largest underground aquifers in Ontario,” Carrick explains. “The Oak Ridges Moraine Act was put in place to protect this aquifer, so water couldn’t be used from that for irrigation – it had to be designed to use stormwater. So there are five or six ponds on the course that collect stormwater and are stored for irrigation purposes.”
Carrick described the site as a ‘very interesting property that had its challenges’.
“It’s relatively compact site with lots of environmental features that had to be preserved,” he said. “But the course has turned out very well, and the fact that the course is fairly compact and walkable is a good feature. It’s not overly long, and includes five par threes and three par fives, which is a little bit different.”
Carrick and design associate Steve Vanderploeg worked to draw up the designs and oversaw the course taking shape, and said he and the team tried to develop a somewhat traditional look.
“With square tees and small, relatively simple shaped bunkers – more like pot bunkers if you will,” Carrick adds. “They’re not overly elaborate or big, which should help some of the maintenance costs. The superintendent – a guy called Colin Young – has done a fantastic job growing in the course, and it really is in great condition.”