Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

September 02, 2005

U of G Acquires Golf Course Architect's Collection

A collection of memorabilia — including drawings, newspaper articles, photographs, correspondence, contracts and agreements — of renowned golf course architect Stanley Thompson (1893-1953) has been donated to the University of Guelph.

The University will celebrate the donation of the collection Sept. 14. The public is invited to preview highlights of the collection at the McLaughlin Library, in archival and special collections, at 2:30 p.m., followed by official transfer of the collection and reception at 4 p.m. at the Cutten Club located at 190 College Ave. E.

"Stanley Thompson was a Canadian original — a genius and an eccentric who has an almost rock-star cult status among golfers who understand and appreciate his creative and challenging approach to golf," said Michael Ridley U of G's chief librarian and chief information officer. "The availability of this collection will help Canadians better understand a remarkable individual."

Thompson, a skilled designer and golfer, attended the Ontario Agricultural College and worked on more than 145 golf courses in Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and South America, including three of Canada's top golf courses — St. George's in Toronto, Highlands Links in Ingonish Beach, N.S., and Capilano in Vancouver. He also co-designed the course at Guelph's Cutten Club, which he once owned, managed and resided at.

A co-founder of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and a member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, Thompson was one of five brothers who represented one of the most talented golfing families in North America.

"We are honoured that the University of Guelph has been chosen as the repository for the collection," said Ridley. "The enthusiasm, generosity and dedication of the Stanley Thompson Society have been amazing, and we look forward to working with them to grow and develop these collections."

Stanley Thompson Society president and founder William Newton said the collection is unique in Canada because it represents the only archives of a Canadian golf course architect and features work from the 1920s to the early 1950s, a period when Thompson pioneered many design principles that are still valid today.

"Old-style courses have come back in favour, so the collection permits study of an important period," said Newton, who added that the collection was donated to U of G because of Thompson's strong ties to the city and its campus. "We thought it appropriate to return the material to its rightful home."

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, Ext. 56982.

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