Although he’s designed and built more than 100 golf courses across the world, Graham Cooke never tires of seeing a project go from rough terrain to the finished product.

“Every new golf course is a palette, it’s a challenge,” Cooke said after a rain-soaked media tour of The Lakes Golf Club, Wednesday.

“This one just happens to be in such a nice setting and working up here with this group was so fun for me, it was an enjoyable process. They wanted a lot, but they were willing to go side-by-side with you to get it, so I have really fond memories of working with this team.”

The process began in 2007 for Cooke and his company, Graham Cooke and Associates, and culminated in The Lakes’ grand opening on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Cooke and his crew got to check out the finished product and they were pleased with how it matured.

But being on a slope was a challenge for Cooke and his team. On the par-five No. 3 hole they had difficulty seeding with heavy rains washing downhill.

“It’s hard to believe when you see it now and know what we went through to get it to this stage and how many times we had to go back and do the drainage and reseed areas,” said Cooke.

“(There was) a lot of patience and commitment to get it here now.”

But the highlight of The Lakes course can be found in its views.

In particular, the scene from the tee on the par-four No. 6 boasts a panoramic view of the Bras d’Or Lake.

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