When we sent our SGDQ newsletter back in March, this whole pandemic situation was just getting started. Wow, have things changed since we last spoke! It’s truly a bizarre time to be alive. After spending some incredible time with my family, and getting caught up on projects around the house, I now find myself getting busier by the day.
One of the biggest questions I’ve gotten since this whole thing started (which I presume is the same for you), is “How’s business going?” As of today, I can say half my projects have stalled or have been postponed, and half are full-steam ahead. To this point, none have cancelled (yet). Having spoken to many of my colleagues, I’m grateful my business is where it is, and to those that have done their best to cautiously persevere through the craziness.
So, while we’re on the subject of business, here are the state of a few things for SGD, which I’d like to share:
One new project I’m extremely excited about, is the Willie Park Jr. designed course at Mount Bruno County Club near Montreal, Quebec, CAN. I was selected late last year to develop a master plan, as well curate historical documentation on the evolution of this incredible Club's course, and began work right before the virus began. Eh! I was bummed I wasn’t able to make my project kick-off visit in May, but hopefully things will open soon, and our work progresses later this year. Here’s an image of MB’s original 10th hole during the 1922 Canadian Open.
Essentially... Golf is Essential!
The course renovations at San Vicente Golf Resort in Ramona, CA, are closing in on the half-way point, with most of the front 9 complete. This project includes 19 new green complexes, all new sand bunkers, various tee additions, and tree management. Upon the start of CV-19, this project was touch-and-go, as our ground-breaking coincided with the early lock-downs, but thankfully construction was considered “essential” in CA so off we went! Just click the image to see a bit of our drone footage from ground zero:
Our Re-imagination Plan Moves Forward
PGA National in West Palm Beach, FL, was also one of our main projects we feared could be affected by the recent events, but God bless our client in Florida! We’re currently on track with our permitting with the expectation that construction this summer will proceed as originally scheduled. This “re-imagination” project is a complete renovation of The Squire, an existing 18 hole course originally built in 1983 by George and Tom Fazio.
PGA Tour Resumes!
Reno work at Olympia Fields is still a bit in the air due to the current situation, but since the PGA Tour has resumed play, OF’s hosting of the 2020 BMW Championship in August is still on! Thankfully, our Master Plan was close to completion and attention was already being shifted towards the tournament prior to the craziness. We hope our focus will turn back to work on the South Course this fall, but at least I'm still planning to be on site volunteering the week of the BMW. I’ll be sure to let everyone know how it goes!
Thanks for taking the time as always, and here’s to getting back to normal sooner than later. I’m certainly interested to see what “normal” ends up looking like! Let me know how things are going for you too, otherwise we'll see you back here in September! Take care of each other and try to play some golf already!
Andy Staples, ASGCA
!!! BONUS SECTION !!!
I recently returned to the Fried Egg podcast for their School of Architecture series. Garrett and I had a great conversation discussing some of the practical aspects of golf course construction, what 'collaboration' actually means, as well as the pro's and con's of design-build. Click the image below to listen in your browser.
In many cases today, clients are hiring architects based on their historical knowledge of a particular designer, and many architects are describing themselves as experts of that specific design philosophy. So, what really is an expert?