Ian Andrew’s renovation of the golf course at Edmonton Country Club in Alberta, Canada, is nearing completion.
This story was first reported by Golf Course Architecture magazine.
Work has included rebuilding bunkers and greens, as well as repositioning the third hole to the edge of the Saskatchewan Valley.
The course was originally laid out in 1910 and reconfigured in 1932 following the acquisition of new land. In 1946, Stanley Thompson renovated the course and introduced a new fourth hole. Since then, modernization work has seen some greens and all bunkers being rebuilt, losing the connection to Thompson, according to Andrew.
Work was also required to improve conditions. “Multiple planting programs, which were originally intended to separate holes, eventually led to shade issues that impacted turf health and play,” said Andrew.
The architect was hired in 2020 to create a master plan and a major tree removal project began in autumn of the same year.
“This initial work focused on creating healthy growing environments for greens, while the secondary program was to restore the views and remove the lesser species to focus on Edmonton’s magnificent elm trees,” said Andrew.
The club moved on to rebuilding greens and bunkers in 2023.
“I recommended the club draw on Thompson’s best work for bunkering and green surfaces,” said Andrew. “Greens were prone to ice damage because of the internal pockets and even greens that had surface drainage were slow to drain, developing ice in the approach. The heavy soils, compaction and lack of any subsurface drainage meant every winter held the potential for turf loss. It made more sense to rebuild greens and bunkers together.”
Greens in low-lying areas have been raised, in some cases by as much as four feet. A new network of drainage and deep swales have been added around the entire property.
“I drew inspiration from my favorite Stanley Thompson greens for the new green sites,” said Andrew. “The green and bunkers at the fourth have been restored to their original form, ensuring the one Thompson-designed hole has been fully restored.”
The project, which also includes two new putting greens and a chipping complex, is due for completion in spring 2024.
“Early reactions to the work have been overwhelming and members can’t wait to play the new course,” says Andrew.