Soooooooo…. whatcha been up to??

Soooooooo…. whatcha been up to??

Phases of the Restoration that have taken place to date

If you are just joining us in the updates about the golf course it would be like starting to watch a movie half way through and trying to figure out what is going on…  Can you imagine starting to watch a blockbuster like Tommy Boy  half way through and hoping to have a clue as to why Chris Farley is burning a car in the middle of a sales pitch?  If you haven’t seen the movie, I’ve lost you…probably about as lost as you might be if you don’t go back and read the previous two blogs!

If you want to get the COMPLETE picture of what is going on out here with our amazing restoration team, you need to go back into the archives and read the following:

  1. Cleanup on Aisle 3 –  was a blog written a bit earlier (on our website – about what was involved in the clean-up efforts after the flood took place.  It is complete with some images and tales of what happened out here.
  2. Stages of Building a Green – was written after Cleanup on Aisle 3 and it provided images and words that focused on the various stages of building a green that our team is in the middle of this year as we bring these courses back to life.

So to answer the question – Whatcha been up to??  The simple answer is lots.  The more complicated answer is…well…just that…complicated!!!  But here is a breakdown of some of the other things that our restoration team has been up to from the months of April until mid June.  Through the beauty of images, a little video, and some beautiful prose from yours truly we hope to be able to answer all of your questions and fill you in on what has been happening to your two favorite golf courses.

Without further ado…here are some of the different phases of the restoration that we have been up to so far at Kananaskis Country Golf Course!!!


  1. Rough Shaping of Tees, Greens, Fairways, Rough, and Bunkers

Without quality rough shaping around the entire golf course, it would be like your body without bones,  Sonny without Cher, Cereal without Milk, or pizza without cheese.  Luckily we have some of the industries best shapers who are working with our General Contractor Charlie Goodwin for the Kananaskis restoration.  Careful consideration to grades for drainage and playability are given in every form of rough shaping (tee to green on all holes).  Many feel that the rough shaping is the most important phase of construction because it lays the foundation for the balance of the project.  Kind of like that second bottle of red wine lays the foundation for a wicked headache the next day…  Only if the rough shaping is done to a very high level, like it has been for this project, can the balance  of the construction be effective.  Thanks to Charlie’s guys, we have an INCREDIBLE foundation started to bring all 36 holes back to life!

2. Cutting in Drainage into Fairways, Rough, Bunkers, and Greens

Drainage is perhaps one of the most under-rated phases of golf course construction.  It’s not sexy, it’s not glamorous…it’s kind of like having good plumbing.  You don’t appreciate it until it doesn’t work… (who hasn’t panicked at a guests house when you watch water levels rising in the bowl with no plunger in sight???  Too far?  Sorry, it happens).   Without proper drainage throughout a golf course, the superintendent and all of the golfers who play the courses are going to have to worry about poor quality turf, standing water, ice damage, hard packed lies when it is dry, and saturated wet lies when it is raining.  As with all of the other phases of this restoration, Goodwin Golf has recruited some of the industries top drainage experts to provide this valuable commodity for Mt. Kidd and Mt. Lorette.  Thanks to Matt Mitchell and his drainage team for all their hard work to date!  Drainage on the course comes in many forms; Collection Basins, Deeps Sumps, fairway grading, and drainage tile are all primary methods of ensuring effective drainage throughout both golf courses.

3. Irrigation –

Ever been out on a hot day, maybe gone for a little run, it’s 35 degrees Celsius outside and you would love nothing more than a glass of water.  That is exactly how grass feels during a golf season (add to grass’s stress the fact that people are walking all over them, taking divots, carts are driven over them, and the odd elk relieves themselves).  Once the rough shaping and drainage are done, the irrigation team comes in next to start the long and grueling job of providing water to the golf course.  A properly installed irrigation system is one of the highest priorities of a golf course construction project.  Our project has one of the industries best in TC Irrigation led by Greg Pitner.  The process of irrigation installation starts close to the Pumphouse, which is considered to be the heart of the irrigation system.  The entire Irrigation system is designed by an Irrigation expert by the name of Frank Russell who is in charge of figuring out how to manipulate water pressure through an elaborate system that will enable our Turfgrass team to irrigate the entire property (36 holes) from the one pumphouse!  Irrigation construction can be a thankless job because of the incredibly high attention to detail that is needed for success and the patience it takes to battle through all kinds of weather during installation.  Somewhat like the makeup artist who helps to make a model look beautiful for a photo shoot…so too it is for the irrigation construction team…they are very rarely noticed for their role in helping to create immense beauty.  We know how lucky we are to have Frank, Greg, and the TC Irrigation Team on our side to help install a fantastic irrigation system that will help keep these two gems stay well hydrated for generations to come!!!


4. Addition of Top Soil around Green Complexes

The area immediately around the green is sacred in golf course construction.  Not sacred like the Holy Grail, the Pope, or Donald Trump’s hair…but sacred like a place that is revered and understood to be of the utmost importance from a clean and pure soil standpoint.  Those in the golf course construction business do their best to keep the soil around the greens as pure as possible so as to avoid things like weed infestation and diseases.  The purer the topsoil, the better the quality of grass that will grown around the much protected and important Bentgrass of the greens (T-1 bentgrass is what we are using on this project.  It likely won’t mean anything to you, but it is great to drop it at parties to make a great impression…trust me).



5) Drainage Tile to mark the perimeter and edging for Sand Traps

I’m not going to say that what I am about to tell you is as cool as figuring out the Caramilk secret, however, I will say that for me when I learned how this was done, it was pretty damn close!

Once the bunkers have been rough shaped, lines are painted around the perimeter to help outline where the sand will stop and where the grass will begin.  Rigid wooden boards (called…you guessed it…Bunker Boards) used to be used during this process but with the advent of drainage tile and all of it’s wonderful flexibility, things changed in this stage of golf course construction.  Drainage tile is hammered down along painted lines and then the aforementioned Clean Top Soil is brought in and spread around.  Our team then spends a great deal of time marrying up the top soil to the top of the drainage tile and giving the bunkers some much needed shape and contours.  This is truly an artistic process that is cool to watch in person.  This part of the construction process helps to give bunkers their unique shape and look!!!


That’s it for now folks.  Stay tuned for the next Restoration update that will highlight things we haven’t done yet like the final shaping and laying down of sod!!


Darcy Cypris

This is more than an update. It’s a course in golf course construction.
Amazing job.
I’m looking forward to a future update indicating how the individual holes are going to change.

    Kananaskis Country Golf Course

    Thanks so much Darcy! There are not going to be a lot of changes to the individual holes during the restoration, however there will be a few tweaks based on operational and ecological considerations. We look forward to sharing those with you at a later date! Appreciate the idea and thought!

Leave a reply