A restoration project, led by US architect Paul Albanese, is coming to an end at the historic Roseland municipal course in Windsor, Canada’s southernmost city.
Roseland was originally designed by Donald Ross in 1926, and, according to Albanese, has been remarkably little altered in the intervening years. “When I first looked at the golf course, and saw both old and current aerial photographs of it, my jaw hit the floor,” he said. “I couldn’t believe the city of Windsor had such a gem in its backyard, an almost entirely original, untouched Donald Ross golf course. It was like finding an old Van Gogh painting in an attic. It was this beautiful work of art that had a lot of value, but there were things growing on it. It needed to be cleaned up to restore it to its original splendour. All the greens are original, untouched Ross. There are very few of them left, still less a collection of eighteen and on a municipal golf course. That’s why this place is so special.”
That visit was back in 2003, and it took until 2011 before the city was able to commit the funds to do the ‘cleaning up’ work Albanese references. “The one thing that got changed over the years, due to time and erosion, is the bunkers,” he said. “That’s how the project came about. The bunkers needed to get remodelled.” Last August, though, a C$1 million project was approved by the city council, and Albanese, along with contractor TDI Golf, got to work. The bunker restoration was due to have been completed by December, but due to heavy rain early on in the project, the schedule has been pushed back to the spring.
Now, the work has received its first accolade: Roseland has been announced as the venue of a Canadian Tour event in August. The Windsor Roseland Charity Golf Classic will feature 128 professionals and the same number of amateurs, and a C$100,000 purse. It is more than twenty years since the tournament has been played at the course.
“When I got the call telling me the city council had approved the project I was ecstatic,” said Albanese. “The citizens of Windsor have a true gem they can be proud of.”