Yesterday’s Globe contained a column by Lorne Rubenstein on Mike Weir’s decision to partner with Ian Andrew on his new design firm, Weir Golf Design.
Weir and Andrew made remarks about the business and their plans:
“Ian and I share a similar vision,” said Weir, 38. “I don’t want to do a course where every hole is just long. Our courses will be about strategy.”
Andrew, based in Brantford, Ont., had spoken earlier that day of his partnership with Weir. Weir, in consultation with his brother, Jim, International Management Group’s managing director Brad Pelletier, architect and course builder Dick Kirkpatrick, and golf writer Robert Thompson, elected Andrew before the new year.
“Mike ran the interview,” Andrew said of their meeting at IMG’s offices in Toronto. Some 25 Canadian architects had submitted a proposal to Weir Design, and four or five were interviewed. “He asked about my philosophy. We both believe in playing freedoms.”
Of course, I’ve known about Weir partnering with Andrew for some time, as I helped coordinate the interviews with the designers. In the end it came down to five interviews with five very qualified candidates. Though Rubenstein claims I was part of the group that “elected” Andrew (a group that included Mike’s brother, Jim, course designer and builder Dick Kirkpatrick, IMG managing director Brad Pelletier, IMG’s Kristi Perras, who works directly with Mike), the truth was the decision was entirely made by Weir and Pelletier. My position was to help set up interviews and answer any questions the designers might have prior to the interview. But I had nothing to do with the final decision — which was entirely Mike’s.
It was an interesting process. Mike had never interviewed anyone about a job before, and the goal really was to find someone whose personality and interests in golf courses matched closely with Mike. Two designers interviewed caught Mike’s interests — and the decision was made by Weir and Pelletier that Andrew was the correct fit.
So what does that mean? There are several potential projects for the pair — both of whom are interested in creating public golf, as well as a few high-profile ventures, including a possible course on breathtaking land near Predator Ridge in Vernon. That was the site of the “trial” designs done by those involved in the initial selection process.
Of course the timing is difficult for new projects. Andrew’s successful restoration/renovation business will continue, and there is a chance the pair will go after a few high-profile courses not already in Andrew’s stable of clients. New course deals will surely come their way — there are few athletes with a higher profile than Weir in Canada — but that may take time given the economic climate.
What will those courses look like? Given the time I’ve spent talking with Mike about design, and the time I’ve spent learning Andrew’s proclivities for classic concepts, I suspect they’ll create strategic golf with options. When you think about it, Weir often plays best on courses that many would consider classics — Colonial in Texas, Shinnecock in Long Island, the British Open rota, Riviera, Augusta. Those courses fascinate Andrew as well — and that’s the mode they’ll likely try to work within.
Rubenstein’s story is here.
My previous post on my work with Weir Golf Design can be found here.