I was out at Mickelson National on a weekend recently and every time I go, it has changed so dramatically.
Right now there are seven or eight holes that you can see, three or four that you could probably play if you had a mat. We’re going to start putting drainage in this week on six or seven holes before the snow flies.
It’s coming along so nicely. The 10th hole is pretty well done, same with the ninth, first and 11th. The ninth and 10th are so strong with great bunkers and greens. It’s such a surprise to anybody I take out there.
There’s so much machinery and people working out there that it’s a great work in progress. In Ontario, I watched the Angus Glen North Course and Goodwood come together and it’s just so exciting to see it transform from raw land and then they get the machinery going.
If you go out there every three or four days, things have changed. Holes are being shaped or a new green or bunker has appeared. Sometimes, you’ll catch them halfway through a bunker, ask what’s going on, they give you a vision, then you come back and it’s done.
I have this new language that helps me think I’m an expert. If a million dollar scraper is out there we call it “iron,” so now I just refer to heavy machinery as iron.
I was out on the weekend recently and the machinery, or iron, was shut down and I was able to get further out. At the eighth hole, there is a complex of par threes – three, eight and 17.
The thing is that there’s an abyss in the middle, a wasteland bunker with little islands of grass and fescue that separates holes.
I’d never seen that, but I remember Phil Mickelson talking in the press conference when he was here and talking about how it might be a meeting place, where you could tip your hat or wave to a buddy on the other hole.
It was a concept to me just a few weeks ago, but what he talked about is now becoming reality.