Sunday, January 15, 2006

Announcing Andrew Golf Design

My good friend and outstanding golf architect, Ian Andrew, has today announced the formation of his own firm, Andrew Golf Design.
Some of you may not be aware of Ian and his work, but I'd be surprised, especially if you live in Canada, if you haven't played a course he's had a hand in designing. After all, he worked with Doug Carrick of Carrick Design for nearly 20 years, helping craft new courses at Osprey Valley, Ballantrae, Nobleton Lakes, and a variety of other places. On top of that, he was the lead restoration architect in the firm, working on such great clubs as St. George's (for which he's received a lot of notice for the great bunker work), St. Thomas, Weston, Cataraqui, Brantford and many, many others.
Anyway, after a lot of soul searching, Ian made the determination to try his hand at starting his own firm, thus Andrew Golf Design. The plan is to continue focusing on restoration and renovation work on existing clubs (and hopefully expand his business in the U.S., where he currently works with a handful of courses) and get the opportunity to create a new Ian Andrew golf course.
I'm not sure what a new Andrew golf design looks like. But knowing how thoughtful and clever Ian is, as well as how plugged in to the current zeitgeist of architects like Bill Coore (Sand Hills) and Tom Doak (Pacific Dunes), I know Ian's work will be very different from most of what has been created in Canada in recent years. He's not the type to push land around for the sake of padding a budget; instead he's likely to actually embrace the natural concepts that have been a dominate part of his restoration work. And while most new courses in Canada, with the notable exception of Thomas McBroom's Firerock in London, and the Jason Straka's work at Georgian Bay Club and Bond Head, have been pretty standard, Ian's work at St. George's and Weston, as well as his willingness to embrace the vision of Golden Age architects like Mackenzie, Travis, Tillinghast and Thompson, mean his bunkers will be have a character sorely missing from many layouts.
Ian has a pretty cool website up at Andrewgolf.com that details his philosophy, work experience and has some great before and afters of his creations at places like St. George's. Check it out.
Oh, and in case you are wondering, Ian has created an amazing logo for his firm -- which is the jpeg in the corner of this post. If you are wondering, apparently the logo is Ian if he were Old Tom Morris. At least that's how I see it....

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