vendredi 11 avril 2014

Yannick Pilon Golf will work at Stanley Thompson’s Saguenay Arvida GC.

Stanley Thompson's unique style for the course can be
seen on the par 4 sixteenth.
I am happy to announce that the Saguenay Arvida Golf Club has just awarded me a contract to proceed with the necessary planning for the reconstruction of six of its eighteen greens over the next three years. Located on the edge of the Saguenay River in Jonquiere QC, this magnificent course opened in 1947 with a nine-hole course designed by the renowned Stanley Thompson.  The course has been expanded since, but the original nine holes can be found as part of the club’s both existing nines.

This project will be particularly interesting, since most of the greens scheduled to be rebuilt are the original Thompson greens.   A few of them are now plagued with agronomic problems mostly caused by their small size or chronic drainage issues that the Club would now like to address. Massive tree clearing has also recently been done by the Club on a few holes to allow some of those greens to breathe and benefit from added sunshine while opening long lost magnificent views to the Saguenay River.  This should prove to be an important first step towards better course conditions and a newfound appreciation of the layout.

The par 4 fifth uses the natural undulations of the
property with great effect.
Without a doubt, one of the key elements of this important project will be the respect of Stanley Thompson’s original course character while allowing the club to modernize their infrastructure and cement its place as Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean premier course.

Stanley Thompson has left an important mark on golf course architecture across Canada with the creation of his “Big Five” group of courses (Banff Springs, Jasper Park Lodge, St Georges, Capilano et Highlands Links) and quantity of other courses that still impress with their bold strategic designs and aesthetic qualities. But his impact in Quebec has been relatively limited in terms of what is left with his own style.  His impact, here, is mostly achieved through the works of his disciples (Howard Watson, John Watson and Graham Cooke) who have built a large part of the province’s designs. His best Quebec design is, by far, the Chateau Montebello Golf Club, recognized for its dramatic holes in harmony with the rugged Laurentians landscape.

The first hole offers panoramic views of the Saguenay
River valley landscape.
However, a singular originality is still clearly present on the original holes built by Stanley Thompson for the Saguenay Arvida Golf Club. Tumbling and undulating fairways in perfect harmony with their surroundings, as well as deep, pronounced and artistic bunkering can be found here.  Thus, we can suppose it is the work of the master himself. It is with great joy and great humility that I will tackle this exciting project with the Club’s dynamic team of professionals.

©Yannick Pilon Golf 2014

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