Design Philosophy

Bob Harrison’s record over the last 30 years demonstrates his belief that golf courses should look as natural and as spectacular as possible, whether you are lucky enough to have land that is naturally beautiful and find the best collection of natural holes, or whether the land doesn’t work in your favour and the objective becomes to manufacture a natural overall shape to give the impression that the golf holes were laid out over it.


From the very beginning Bob was interested in the artistry of golf holes and the patterns of shape for all their components, and he later discovered that these ideas were similar to those of Alister MacKenzie.


There is a practical side to modern golf architecture.  Traditional sites were mostly natural and easy to construct.  But earthmoving techniques and commercial objectives have led to some courses being built on land which is not naturally suitable.  Artistic and strategic design skills are always paramount, but successful design sometimes combines these skills with the ability to plan projects so that golf and residential (or other) components all benefit.  And sometimes with the technical skill to draw proposed shapes in a way that handles constraints such as flooding and mountainous terrain.


Even before the idea became fashionable, Bob always believed in reducing the costly and environmentally difficult expanse of turfgrass to a minimum that still satisfies reasonable play for golfers.  The contrast between turfgrass and the surrounding landscape is part of the appeal of every hole, as well as being good for the environment.


Design should not become so rational that fun and inspiration are removed from the scene.  You have to take some chances.