The latest in an ongoing investigation of golf designers working in Canada.
Les Furber (Golf Design Services)
Years in industry: 38
Key course: Predator Ridge, Vernon, B.C.
Recent work: A 27-hole project in Lithuania
- Works well with lower budgets, and has experience throughout the world.
- Regarded by some as being more experiences at working in mountain settings than other designers
- His thoughtful personality makes him well liked by his clients and those who know him.
- No pretension about his work — he seems aware that he’s not building the best courses in the world
- His renovation work often appears to be contemporary and follows trends at the time. Some of it — like the work at Royal Mayfair in Edmonton — ruined good to great courses by modernizing them.
- His courses often have 16 good holes, and two that are barely functional.
- He’s dominated Western Canada, but has few great courses to show for it.
- Strategies are one-dimensional. Seems to fall into the RTJ camp of pinching fairways and adding water hazards.
Overview: Well liked, and with a background that includes time working with Robert Trent Jones, Furber has been designing courses for almost three decades, largely in Western Canada. Many of his courses are workman-like but affordable, though some of his most notable, like Predator Ridge, achieve a slightly loftier standard. Far too often he appears to lose focus in his planning, creating awkward holes and convoluted routings.
What’s possible?: Furber, who is relatively near retirement, will likely continue to find work throughout the world, but don’t expect a world-class course.