Lorne Rubenstein writes today on Ian Andrew and his new golf design firm. To be open, Ian and I are good friends and speak regularly. But I’m glad to see him get the nod from Lorne, whose power in the Canadian golf industry can not be disputed. Maybe the article helps gain some attention for Ian and what he wants to do in the business. He’s Canada’s best restoration architect — no one is a close second — and now someone needs to give him the opportunity to translate that onto a new course. The work he’s already done — Ballantrae north of Toronto, Muskoka Bay, Nobleton Lakes and Copper Creek (all with Doug Carrick, his former employer) — show Ian has a lot of talent. He also has a distinct vision, one that should allow him to make interesting courses less expensively than some of his peers.
From Lorne’s article:
Ian Andrew, 40, worked with golf course designer Doug Carrick for years, but recently went out on his own. “I want to build golf courses that are fun to play,” Andrew said this week. “I’d like to find out if it’s in me. Deep in my heart, I feel I can build better courses than what’s out there.”
By “what’s out there,” Andrew meant many courses built in the past 25 years. He said he and Carrick left on good terms, but that his vision differs from his former employer’s. Andrew has written candidly of his views on his new blog, thecaddyshack.blogspot.com, and on his website, andrewgolf.com.
But Lorne points out, through Golfweek’s Brad Klein, that it is a tough market Ian is entering:
“The niche [Andrew’s] after is very small,” Brad Klein, an architectural critic and close friend, said yesterday from Oklahoma City, Okla. “Doak, Crenshaw and Coore and Hanse are the go-to guys in that style. The fact is that golf course
construction is one-third of what it used to be [not long ago]. Sixty per cent of the projects are real estate-based, and the owners play it safe with those and go with the big names.
Thankfully, Ian works with two dozen Canadian courses as their consulting architect, so he’s established even if the new work comes slowly. But I remain convinced that when the opportunity presents itself, Ian will silence his critics and build a course that matches his vision.
The whole article can be found here.