The Prince Rupert Golf Club has a new man to mind its greens, and he is excited to put his imprint on the city’s course.
Peter Drake was brought on board to be the new greens superintendent for the club in March, and in his brief time in Prince Rupert, has been working tirelessly to improve the quality of the course.
“So far, it’s been good,” said Drake, as he drove a waterlogged golf cart around the course on a rainy Saturday morning.
“I’m enjoying it so far. We’re gonna get to show our hard work and it’ll make a big difference.”
Drake hails from Kelowna where he played golf as student before earning a degree in golf course management and working as a an assistant superintendent in courses throughout the lower mainland. While he began as a player, Drake said his passion now lies squarely with shaping and maintaining courses, an attitude that is music to the ears of Prince Rupert’s golfing community.
“It’s amazing,” said Iain Cullen, president of the Prince Rupert Golf Club. “We’ve been without a superintendent for a couple of years, and he came and looked around and noticed things about the greens and the course that we wouldn’t have seen.”
Cullen cited poor drainage, moss on the greens and tree pruning as some of the things Drake observed. Drake has also requested new equipment to help with the maintenance of the course, which the club is happily providing.
Drake said the opportunity to come to a city where he would have the freedom to manage his own course and pursue his vision was too good an opportunity to pass up.
“Just knowing that I have the support of everyone here, and how friendly the community is was a big help,” he said.
Drake said his first objective will be to create better, more consistent greens. He has already worked to improve their drainage so water doesn’t pool, a critical feature for Prince Rupert.
After that, he wants to shape the course and add features that will make it more accessible to the novice golfer such as adding tee boxes closer to water traps.
Finally he wants to make the course more playable on a day-to-day basis. Drake said that there are small adjustments that can be made that will add up to a big improvement in the course overall.
“There’ll be less peaks and valleys throughout the season,” he said. “We’ll get it to a point where it’s pretty much the same day in and day out.”