From the Course Planning Committee

During the past few years, the Course Planning Committee (CPC), alongside several external advisors, have generated an incredible amount of information around the challenges facing our golf course and its sustainability into the future. This website is part of the CPC’s ongoing effort to actively provide Members with information across key topics – including bunkers, greens, irrigation, drainage, trees, teeing grounds, turf, amongst others.

This summer the CPC organised a series of information sessions in the form of Town Hall and on-the-course meetings with leading agronomists John Bladon and Elliott Dowling, as well as golf course architect Andy Staples. These sessions were recorded and are available on a dedicated section of this website.


Upcoming Events

Nothing planned for now. 

Note: These sessions will provide relevant information pertaining to the future of the course.

  • Please register to each session by logging on to golfmbcc.com, under the “EVENT SIGN UP” tab.

Information Sessions


FAQs

1 – Why is a renovation being considered?

The Course Planning Committee – as per its mandate – prepared a long-term plan for the golf course. During this process the committee identified significant deficiencies in the infrastructure of our golf course. The Master Plan was developed to ensure the sustainability and enjoyment of our golf course for all members going forward.

This Master Plan is rooted in the heritage of our Willie Park Jr designed golf course – while incorporating expertise from current industry leaders on important topics, including turf management, greens, bunkers and environmental considerations.

Throughout this process, the Board and Course Planning Committee have been guided by our club’s statement of values – and a commitment towards securing the long-term viability of the golf course based on the latest science.

2 – How much of what is being considered based on the sustainability of the golf course?

Sustainability and environmental stewardship is at the heart of the Master Plan – and will result in a reduction of water, fertilizer and chemical use, three critical factors in the maintenance of our golf course. It will also result in our course being more resistant to damage from ice and other weather-related threats.

3 – Will a renovation change the Bruno that members know and love?

This Master Plan has been designed to make Bruno even better – leaning on our great history to make the course sustainable and enjoyable for both current and future generations.

4 – Why do our greens need to be bigger?

Over time our greens have reduced in size. Increasing them as part of a renovation will provide more pin locations, improved playing conditions and greater enjoyment for all members. The USGA agronomy experts who visited Bruno confirmed there is tremendous value in doing such work and indicated in their reports that many other golf courses who have completed similar renovations have generated overwhelmingly positive feedback from golfers.

5 – Part of the Master Plan includes the removal of a number of trees throughout the property. Why?

Understanding the impact of trees on our golf course is a critical aspect our Master Plan – including an appreciation of the historical planting that was done – and the recommendation is based on promoting the best possible conditions for turf growth, all while allowing most of the beautiful native trees on our property to thrive. When not well chosen or well located, trees can seriously hinder turf growth by providing too much shade or excessive root growth. Of course, any tree removal will have to be made in accordance to the municipal by-laws that guide our golf club.

A number of clubs in Canada – notably Toronto Golf Club – have engaged in successful tree management programs that have had an important impact on the infrastructure and playability of their course.

6 – Do we really need to change the yardages and tees?

The proposed yardages from all the tees have been tailored per the teeing equity philosophy based on actual golfer swing speeds. The yardage distribution is spread evenly between each tee option based on the target swing speed (in increments of 10 mph), with slight adjustments to facilitate the unique conditions of the site. Therefore, doing this will ensure a teeing option that accommodates every skill level of golfer equitably and thoughtfully.

7 – Our course looks great. Why is a renovation being considered?

Following an extensive process – which included consultation from leading experts in both golf architecture and agronomy – the CPC identified a number of significant deficiencies in the infrastructure of our golf course. It has been over 20 years since we have invested in the golf course and addressing these infrastructure challenges in a comprehensive and considered manner with sustainability as a priority, will benefit both current members and future generations.

8 – Why is Bentgrass the solution for our fairways?

Converting our fairways to bentgrass will result in a significant reduction of water, fertilizer and chemical uses and is a strong recommendation from the CPC – and external experts – on both an environmental and financial perspective, especially when considering the increasing impact of climate change. New bentgrass greens are more environmentally sustainable as they require less water, less chemical and fertilizer applications and substantially less labour. According to the USGA, golf courses that have converted their greens to bentgrass have experienced a 25- 50% reduction in chemical use. Based on these facts, it is most likely that the relatively low cost (estimated at 130K$-150K$ in the Master Plan) of converting our fairways to bentgrass will produce an immediate positive ROI.

As the USGA agronomist stated in his July 2022 report: “Trying to maintain poa annua in Montreal is risky. While it might be a great option for places like Long Island, New York, you must remember you have much harder winters than they do. Creeping bentgrass is less prone to winter damage and a safer bet for northern locations like Montreal”

This recommendation was further supported by consulting golf course agronomist John Bladon, who indicated that bentgrass not only provides outstanding playability day in and day out but also greatly reduces winter risks and allows the course to better cope with heavy rainfall events and increasingly extreme weather conditions.

USGA Agronomist Elliott Dowling also stated in his July 2023 report: ‘’For all the same reasons that I recommend regrassing your putting greens, I recommend regrassing the fairways during the project too. Fairways are a much larger acreage than putting greens so when you do the math you stand to save a lot more on plant protectants and water by regrassing fairways than you do the comparatively much smaller putting greens…. It also helps ensure that you maintain the course as environmentally responsible as possible.’’

9 – If we decide to convert our course to bentgrass, won’t the poa inevitably come back?

There is no doubt we will have some poa come back over time. However, the goal is not to be 100% free of poa but allow us to stay as close to 100% bentgrass as possible so we no longer have to make decisions like watering, fertilization, chemical application – and even winter covering – with the purpose of keeping the poa alive. If our bentgrass populations are high enough, we can simply ignore the needs of the poa and let it fade out without worry that the performance of our playing surfaces will be affected. It is true that Poa annua can invade a golf course putting green from anywhere. Specifically, the primary rough just off the green probably has a lot of Poa annua that can be drug onto the putting surface. However, because you are selecting an ultra-dense creeping bentgrass, density alone is going to be your best herbicide. There are so many leaves per square inch of newer creeping bentgrasses that they just don’t allow weeds like Poa annua or anything else to germinate and establish.

This was reiterated by our consulting golf course agronomist, who confirmed that implementing the right maintenance practise will result in a minimum amount of poa returning.

10 – Have other clubs in Canada adopted a similar approach to their grass?

Several Toronto area clubs rebuilt their greens following a disastrous winter in 2014 and have had great success in maintaining pure bentgrass putting surfaces. These clubs – including St- Georges, Islington, Hamilton and Burlington – have identified how important bentgrass is to reduce risk moving forward and have made it a priority to keep the surfaces as pure as possible. Inserting drainage and converting to bentgrass will enable more consistent playing conditions and make us more resilient to climate change while lowering our dependency on pesticides.

(For the PDF version of this section, click here)


Master Plan

  • For the ‘flipbook‘ version of the master plan, click here (password: MBCC)
    • Pour la version française, cliquez ici (mot de passe: MBCC)