Rivermead appoints Jeff Mingay for renovation project

  • Rivermead

    The fourth at Rivermead Golf Club will be one of four holes to be renovated in the first phase of work

  • Rivermead

    The tenth will be redesigned by Jeff Mingay to mask the cart path to the right of the green

  • Rivermead

    Mingay renovated the par-three eighth in 2017 as a preview for club members

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Golf course architect Jeff Mingay has been appointed to complete a comprehensive course improvement project at Rivermead Golf Club in Quebec, Canada.

The private 18-hole club in Gatineau, Quebec, was founded in 1910 with the course originally designed by George Cumming and Albert Murray.

According to the club: “The aim of the comprehensive golf course renovation project is to improve the course’s infrastructure to ensure it functions relative to modern expectations and caters to all golfers. At the same time, doing so presents the opportunity to simultaneously restore a look and feel to the course that celebrates its original, unique architectural style.”

In 2017, the club commissioned Mingay to conduct a course study and recommend improvements. He renovated the par-three eighth as a preview for club members.

With members now approving the full renovation, Mingay will start work on a first phase which covers the fourth, ninth, tenth and twelfth holes. Phase one of construction will begin in October 2018 and is scheduled to be complete by spring 2019.

“Our intent is to create a remarkable variety of bunkers,” said Mingay. “Some will be small, others large. Some will be shallow, others deep. Bunker shapes will also vary. Some will have simple shapes, others will be more elaborate. Note that it’s possible to create this type of variety and also retain ‘harmony’ of design style throughout the course.”

Changes to the fourth hole include modifying the fairway bunkers and locations, remodelling the greenside bunkers and surrounds, adding a short grass drop-off area, and to reduce wear on the greens entrance and exit points are to be added.

On the tenth, bulk material and mounds will be removed from the green surrounds and replaced with a steeper bank, covered with rough grass, closer to the edge of the putting surface on three sides — right, back and left. The fairway will also be expanded slightly on the front-right corner of the green. Two small bunkers will be cut into mounds short-right of the green to mask the cart path and catch some errant shots heading out-of-bounds.

“It’s exciting to be working with another of Canada’s most historic clubs. Rivermead is a really good golf course that is laid out over an interesting and beautiful property,” said Mingay. “This project provides the opportunity to restore a look and feel that celebrates the club’s original, unique architectural style and will move the club most efficiently into its future.”

“Rivermead is committed to ongoing investments in golf course improvements and infrastructure projects,” said Paul Yuck, president at Rivermead Golf Club. “This comprehensive improvement project will make the course more distinctive and enhance player enjoyment while retaining its challenge, reduce bunker footprints, improve putting green quality by fixing traffic issues around green complexes, and fix drainage to improve bunkers, turf health and golf playability.”

A long-range tree plan will be implemented over the coming years by golf course superintendent, Derrick Powers. It involves the removal or some trees and the planting of 20 large specimen trees around the course, including along the left of the fifteenth fairway.

With assistance from Kelly-Ami Drainage consultants and Lacroix Golf Creations, the project is scheduled to be completed in several phases, with work on the remaining holes and the practice areas to continue in 2019.