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JUNE 2012

US College Player Evan Littlefield Wins Inaugural Whitewater Invitational presented by Boston Pizza.

The TBDGA 2012 Tournament Calendar My Golf Game with a 6 Time PGA Tour Winner- Steve Pate Precision Clubfitting Leader HenryGriffitts

Fort William Country Club Offers Beautiful Setting For Golf See Page 8

The Next La Costa: Golf, Spa, and Food Equals Relaxation See Pages 6 -7


The Next La Costa: Golf, Spa, and Food Equals Relaxation BY SCOTT A. SUMNER

NW Ontario Golfing News

The west coast of North America is always a nice place to visit and during the last

Your trip to La Costa is really quite easy with a short flight to Toronto from my home city of Thunder Bay, Ontario to Toronto and then a direct Air Canada flight to San Diego. You will arrive a t 1pm at the San Diego airport and after a 30 minute car ride enter the beautiful 450 acre La Costa grounds. As the LAX airport at Los Angeles got bigger and reached their

some 45 miles at Carlsbad.

week of April I had the opportunity to travel to the San Diego, California area and specially the famed La Costa resort.

capacity the San Diego airport benefits with more direct flights. They also have the John Wayne Airport just North of here

Paul Joseph McCormick is the Vice President and General Manager of La Costa located in Carlsbad, California. He grew up in the Niagara Falls, New York side and came often to Trout Lake, Ontario near Barrie Bay in Canada where his family still owns a cottage. Paul went to college in Las Vegas, spent 6 years working in Hawaii, opened the Luxor in Las Vegas and worked at the Grand Traverse Resort, Michigan and PGA West Barton Creek before coming to La Costa. The La Costa property was originally built in 1965 and at that time it was the place to go with a destination spa, one of the first in the US and a beautiful golf course. “ In those days the men's side of the spa was about 2 1/2 times the size of the ladies spa. Then the old cronies would go in and get massages. Today it has all changed. The ladies spa is about 2 1/2 times the size of the men's.� said McCormick. Through the years La Costa has had a high profile holding 37 PGA events and also having an array of the Hollywood set visit. Even recently they have had many celebri-

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ties like actors, TV personalities and sports figures so La Costa has a rich history. In the old days the Rat Pack would do a warm up here with their lounge show and after that take a break and go to Las Vegas. Once you are at La Costa you are with in a close distance to many other areas including 1 1/2 hours up the road to Los Angeles. La Costa was built in 1965, had its hay day and then a Japanese company bought it. They experienced some trouble and KSL bought it in 2001 and started a full renovation process. KSL owns Club Corp which has 160 golf clubs including the Club Link properties in Canada, Western Athletic Clubs, the Squaw Valley ski area, Orion Cruise Lines in addition to the KSL resorts which has 6 properties. Their head offices are in Denver. In 2006 KSL sold the property to Goldman Sachs and retained the management contract . They owned it for 4 years until 2010 and then KSL brought the property back from Goldman Sachs because they were having a rough go, as it was a tough time to be in the hotel business. Continued Next Page

JUNE 2012


The Next La Costa: Golf, Spa, and Food Equals Relaxation Continued From Previous Page " After buying the property back we started a $50 million renovation which included the Champions Golf Course, all of our

aspect of La Costa is the close proximity they have to golf companies Calloway, Taylor Made, Titleist and Cobra Puma. In fact Cobra Puma have their testing centre located right at La Costa. Since March

in salts and the sand capping we did helped flushing that out. The soils were a challenge to work with. Sand capping the fairways allowed the water to stay long enough to feed the grasses but then drain away.” La Costa is one of the most beautiful properties I have visited in my frequent travels

around the world. The grounds are just beautifully maintained and the over1000 staff members at La Costa make your time there very enjoyable. The recent renovations make your living accommodations first class and your dining, golf and spa experiences excellent. You should make your next vacation La Costa.

The gounds at La Costa were beautiful. It is a very large campus style with two golf courses and over 800 rooms and a huge spa. food and beverage outlets, the meeting space, guest rooms and our retail outlets as well as the overall aesthetics of the resort,” said McCormick. “ It is a stunning place. Our plans are to move forward with some improvements to the second course including fairways, tees, greens, irrigation and then the aesthetics. On the Champions course 75% of the work we completed you can’t even see, as it was all underground. We wanted proper drainage.” La Costa is located on 450 acres on prime real estate in Southern California with a tremendous location an hour from Orange County, 1 1/2 hour from LA and 30 minutes north of downtown San Diego. They are in a sweet spot with a good density of population. La Costa has 610 rooms at the resort ranging from villa products with 3 bedrooms to your standard hotel rooms, some on the course and other near private pools. The property is spread out more campus style so there is lots of walking to enjoy the gardens and foliage. La Costa hasreceived many accolades including the number 1-wellness spa in the nation. “ We leveled the first spa and rebuilt this brand new spa in 2003/4. It has it’s own courtyard and cafe, separate pool, roman waterfall showers and 42 treatment rooms. We were the originals in Southern California. We look at ourselves as a wellness destination where 12 months of the year you can be outside. Our philosophy is fresh air equals fresh thinking. Our guests spend 80% of their time out side. The San Diego weather is probably our most wonderful benefit here at La Costa,” smiles Paul McCormick. “ We also have Deepak Chopra’s world wide headquarters right here on the grounds of La Costa. La Costa has something for everybody. As a family we have waterslides and pools, great camp programs and a kid center where you can drop your kid's off and mom and dad can go to the spa or go golfing and have a wonderful vacation. The kids do as well. We have guys groups which come and play some golf, watch some sports, have a cocktail and can relax with our wonderful adult .The ladies have the spa which is great.”

they also have the PGA Tour Academy, the west coast facility, right here at La Costa. You can visit Calloway for instance and do a tour, which is pretty spectacular. You can even get fitted for clubs there. The manufacturers chose to be here because of the consistent weather where they can test their product in a wonderful environment. The Champions course at La Costa has been totally renovated. “ We took about 30 acres of turf grass and replaced it with native grasses moving in a green direction saving on water costs.” said Damian Pascuzzo who along with partner former PGA Tour and Champions Tour player Steve Pate and architect Jeff Brauer returned the course to world class standard for which it had become famous. Jeff Brauer helped with 30% on the work. “ The flood water now stays in the rough away from the fairways.” “ Steve Pate and I started working together in 2003 and joined formally in 2006. We made 23 visits to the course during construction. It was a fast track renovation. They wanted better playing conditions to overcome the reputation of being wet and soggy. The bones were bad and needed a new irrigation system. Our soils were high

At La Cost a package is the best option for guests which can include a spa, golf and room package which can run for a couple from $600 to $800 night. La Costa offers so much to do with 42 different classes every week in fitness as part of your experience. The resort is also located 1 1/2 miles from the ocean. Another very unique

JUNE 2012

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Fort William Country Club Offers Beautiful Setting For Golf BY SCOTT A. SUMNER

NW Ontario Golfing News The Fort William Country Club started in 1925 as a nine hole layout and then expanded to eighteen holes in the mid 60’s. Designed by the famed Stanley Thompson the course has gone through

many changes over the years to provide one of the best golf experiences in Northern Ontario.

“ As time progresses there are new requirements with golf courses say with watering needs which are much different than 40 or 50 years ago. Also we are using more carts

the FWCC has a beautiful setting. It was fun playing golf with Bevy, Jerry and Scott!

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than before which requires cart paths,” said Bill French, General Manager of the Fort William Country Club. “ We have also rebuilt numerous tee boxes and the greens were done several years ago. We changed all the sand in the traps and cor-

are higher on how they want to see the course they play all the time.”said French. The Fort William Country Club continues to be one of the most popular golf courses in the region. “ We have the strongest membership of any course in the city. Our

rected most of the drainage on them. In the clubhouse we have dressed up the locker rooms, the main floor and the upstairs decorating things to bring it up to today. Everything needs updating and up grading along the way.” “ There are different clubs and courses here now. Twenty five years ago people only saw the courses they played all year round. Today people are travelling more and seeing different things. Their demands

membership doesn’t vary much. We budget 425 persons per year and generally hit very close to that being 5 to 10 over or under. We have members that have been here for 40 plus years. Our oldest members would have close to 50 years here, in that category. We do 30,000 to 33,000 rounds per year,” said French. “ If you are not a member just call up to the pro shop and they will fit you in when they have a time open. The green fee is in the mid $60’s depending if you are with a member, $55 or $67 without members. A cart is $35.” What does Bill French enjoy about the FWCC? “ I play a fair amount and think the scenery here is spectacular. The granite wall of the mountain is where you will hit into and creates a spectacular back drop view. We had a gentleman here from Winnipeg who injects water into the greens across the country and said this is by far one of the nicest course he has seen including those in the mountains.When we put people on the course for the first time they are awestruck by the mountain behind them on most holes. We have lots of deer running through the grounds. We are close to the city. I think it’s a super course. We have great restaurant service and a phenomenal banquet service.” It was fun to play the FWCC again late last year after having been a member there for so many years. The course continues to impress me especially with the spectacular mountain back drop. In recent years I have got to play some of the very best golf courses in the world. The FWCC is a great place to play and it’s members should be very proud of their course.

JUNE 2012


Golf June 2912