Gatineau, Quebec – The historic Rivermead Golf Club, established in 1910 in Gatineau, Quebec, is set to begin their next phase of course renovations under the direction of architect Jeff Mingay.
In the Fall of 2017 the architect, renowned for his work on heritage golf sites (see his website here), completed a renovation of the par 3, 8th hole at the club as a preview for the membership. Now the club is embarking on the next chapter, with the intention to eventually reshape the look of the entire golf course and practice facility.
Beginning on October 1st, work will begin on the 4th, 9th, 10th, and 12th holes.
When we spoke with Mingay at this year’s RBC Canadian Open he expressed his delight to be working on a property that he feels has amazing potential as they build on a well-established pedigree of the property. The original Charlie Murray design consisted of nine holes and was expanded within a few years to eighteen by George Cumming. Subsequent work has been completed by Ken Skodacek and Graham Cooke.
While adding to the courses’ ability to meet modern expectations, Mingay will look to restore a look and feel that ties the course to its roots.
“It’s exciting to be working with another of Canada’s most historic clubs,” said Mingay. ” Rivermead is a really good golf course that is laid-out over an interesting and beautiful property. 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.”
The Past and The Future
Rivermead has a strong link to the history of golf in Canada, having hosted the 1920 Canadian Open, multiple PGA Championships of Canada, along with other National level professional and amateur events.
Mingay was brought on in 2017 to study the course and help shape its future pathway.
As a statement from the club outlines: “With assistance from Kelly-Ami Drainage Consultants and Daniel Lacroix Golf Creations, Mingay’s plan focuses on improving drainage and reducing the total square footage of sand bunkers. Additionally, a bunker style more consistent with the course’s design pedigree will be restored, green surrounds will be remodelled, and a long-range tree plan will be implemented over the coming years by golf course superintendent, Derrick Powers. The tree plan includes both new plantings and necessary removals.”
Adds Rivermead Golf Club President Paul Yuck, “Rivermead is committed to ongoing investments in golf course improvements and infrastructure projects. 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.”
With the course currently dotted with bunkers that some would describe as “homogeneous”, the renovation project will look to alter that, according to Mingay.
“Our intent is to create a remarkable variety of bunkers. 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.”
Further work on the balance of the golf course and practice facility is scheduled for 2019.