By Ian Andrew
The work on Highlands Links Golf Course started with massive tree removal done by accessing an emergency fund in Parks Canada. This gave us the money to keep the staff on another six weeks. The first winter, 1.6 ha (4 acre) were taken out, and three more followed over the next few years in an effort to restore ocean and mountain views, and expose all the greens to morning and afternoon sunlight.
The second stage was brought on by a horrendous storm in late fall 2010 that left the 11th hole under 0.6 m (2 ft) of sand, gravel, and river stone. The larger material was removed by machine, but the last inch had to be taken out by rake and shovel (and almost exclusively by five ladies). Since the bunkers were also badly damaged, this began an in-house bunker rebuilding program at the same time.
The park insisted its staff undertake the project internally, which was fine other than nobody on staff had any bunker construction experience. We also did not have the appropriate equipment, so I found myself in the role of teacher, supervisor, and labourer. The bunker crew turned out to be excellent, and the five of us managed to rebuild every bunker with only the assistance of a backhoe. We had no topsoil or sod available, and had to re-use everything we found onsite. The work was at times painstaking, but at least I had muscles for the first time in 25 years!
Read the full article: Restoring a Stanley Thompson Classic