Jeff Mingay-Named Consulting Architect

Cutten Fields is excited to announce the selection of Jeff Mingay as consulting Architect. Jeff has been commissioned to conduct a review of the golf course and provide a Long Range Master Plan. The Course and Grounds Committee initiated a master plan review at the end of 2016. Upon completion of the review it was determined that a more comprehensive master plan was required to continue the progressive direction of the club. Adopting a detailed master plan or vision is a critical component in establishing consistency as well as setting future generations of Cutten Fields members up for success. There is no timeline or plans to make any major changes to the golf course at this point; we are simply creating a road map for the future.

The Course and Grounds Committee set out to develop a long range master plan that encompasses all spectrum's of golf including, playability, safety, agronomics, financial and environmental sustainability. Request for proposals were sent to 5 Canadian architects who all specialize in restorations and are well educated on the architectural design, and philosophies of Stanley Thompson. After reviewing the proposals and conducting a series of interviews we would like to welcome Jeff Mingay as Course Architect of Cutten Fields. Jeff will bring a fresh perspective to the work of Stanley Thompson and Chick Evans to Cutten Fields.

Since establishing Mingay Golf Course Design (MGCD) in 2009, Jeff Mingay has worked on golf course design and construction projects throughout Canada and the United States. MGCD is an intimate operation, tailored to provide Jeff’s personal service on each project through hands-on involvement with design and field work, including shaping and construction supervision. A golf architect’s involvement in the construction process is key to ensure that design details are not lost in translation and projects are completed economically. Quality golf architecture is not a result of spending the most money. Creativity, thoughtfulness and craftsmanship do not require a big budget. Jeff is inspired by a timeless philosophy described by legendary golf architect A.V. Macan as “the ambition of modern golf architecture”. That ambition is to design golf courses that challenge better golfers and at the same time allow everyone to enjoy the game. Distinction is equally important. Jeff aims to ensure that each project also produces a distinctive golf course inspired by inherent site characteristics and the unique needs and desires of individual clients. Collaboration between the golf architect, course owners and club representatives is vital. Prior to establishing MGCD, Jeff worked with fellow Canadian golf architect Rod Whitman for nearly a decade. During that time, Jeff assisted with the design and construction of three of Canada’s most highly-acclaimed golf courses: Edmonton’s Blackhawk Golf Club; Sagebrush Golf and Sporting Club, in British Columbia; and, Cape Breton’s Cabot Links. Jeff currently serves on the board of directors with the Stanley Thompson Society. To learn more about Jeff and some of his experiences visit www.jeffmingay.com.

Please read below to learn more about the terms of reference and objectives behind the creation of a comprehensive master plan that is being developed for Cutten Fields.

Objectives:

The long range plan shall deliver on all levels of the game across both gender and handicap spectrum's. The objective of developing the master plan is to provide an even better golf experience for all Members while positioning the golf course to better manage future challenges.

1) True to the spirit of Stanley Thompson as set out in the Club’s Guiding Principles and

also the contributions by Chick Evans , We should recognize that time has diminished the presence of the Thompson and Evans spirit. We now have an opportunity and perhaps a responsibility to “move the Course forward by taking it back to the roots”.

2) Responds to technological advances of the modern game. These advances have resulted in the Course losing some of its original design defenses, such as bunker positioning, angles, fairway shapes and contours.

3) Safety concerns addressed. Address the safety concerns of golfers, staff, and neighboring properties.

4) Advance agronomic conditioning and consistency, Limit and reduce risk of winter damage and summer stress by increasing green sizes, increasing pinable areas, improving surface and subsurface drainage, improving traffic flow on greens, and promote hearty turf varieties.

5) Financial benefits. Reduction of financial inputs should be considered when creating any new design features.

6) Environment benefits. A more natural course will be more environmentally friendly and will likely reduce the amount of water and chemical use.

7) Competitive positioning of Cutten Fields. The Club’s value is determined through the myriad of intangibles – obviously the Golf Course is our key tangible asset. A comprehensive master plan must provide us an opportunity to significantly enhance the golf course and thereby differentiate the Cutten Fields golf experience in a competitive golf market.

Terms of Reference:

  • Aside from addressing safety or agronomic challenges there is little appetite for significant modifications to existing layout or routing.

  • Develop a plan that is mindful of reducing golfer disruption during implementation of long range plan and minimizing number of holes that will be closed at any given time.

  • Course & Grounds is in the process of investigating the long term viability of the current greens. Rebuilding greens has not been ruled out; alternative options may be the best course of action for Cutten Fields. Addressing these underlying issues includes, re-contouring, drainage installation, extensive green expansions, and re-surfacing.

  • Improvements to the versatility and playability of the forward teeing areas.

History: Written by J.J Hubert

When Cutten Fields founder Arthur Cutten announced his intention to build a new golf course in Guelph, he assigned the task of designing the course to his close friend, Charles Evans, better known as "Chick" Evans, who was a famous golfer and had won the 1916 U.S. Open. More importantly, he and Cutten were both members at the Edgewater Golf Club. Evans wrote extensively about golf architecture and received brief instruction on course design during the 1920's, but he had never actually built a golf course.

Evans began developing the course in May of 1929. However, by the summer of 1930 it appears that Evans' inexperience in course design precipitated the need for assistance, so he sought the help of Stanley Thompson. Born in Toronto, Thompson was a classic figure of golf course architecture. Described by many as a genius with a flair for the dramatic, Thompson designed many famous courses that exist across Canada, as well as many in the United States, Brazil, Columbia and the British West Indies.

In all, Thompson designed more than 200 courses. (Some Canadian courses include: Banff Springs in Alberta; Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta; Cape Breton Highlands in Nova Scotia; Capilano in Vancouver; and St. George's in Toronto).

According to the Guelph Mercury of June 11, 1931, the course was developed, "a hole at a time, with the assistance of "Chick" Evans, of Chicago, and Stanley Thompson, of Toronto, whose advice and cooperation...resulted in the present course." Familiar with Cutten Fields, Thompson seized the opportunity to purchase it in 1939. Cutten had built the course at a cost of $750,000. At the time of Cutten's death in 1936, however, the U.S. Government was pursuing an unsettled income tax debt against him. Thompson was able to buy the course at a bargain price of $22,500. Immediately after taking possession of the Club, Thompson formed a company called Guelph Golf and Recreation Club Limited. Thus, the course was no longer referred to as 'Cutten Fields' though the nickname "Cutten Club' soon developed. Thompson also installed his sister, Isabella, to serve as manager. By all accounts, she proved to be efficient and highly respected, doing much to improve the clubhouse. Many of the trophies still played for today at Cutten Fields were originated by Isabella. Through his efforts, not only was Cutten Fields built in 1931, but it was able to survive in its early days when its future was questioned with the passing of Arthur Cutten. Thompson passed away at the age of 59 on January 4, 1953, leaving a fine legacy. No golfer has more indelibly left his mark on Canada than Stanley Thompson. Between 1920 and 1953 he changed the face of our land and cut courses out of farmland, heath, forest, and mountain and created some of the finest and most scenic courses in the world.


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