Photo by Brent Long
Ian Andrew began working as a golf course architect in 1989. In the early 1990ís he became frustrated by the number of historically important courses being modernized. He began to promote the idea of preservation and eventually the need for restoration of some of the most historically important courses in Canada. The project that would change his career was the restoration of Stanley Thompsonís masterpiece St. Georgeís Golf & Country Club in Toronto. It was so well received that it would lead a series of significant restorations including Highlands Links in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Once people began to see the results, he was asked to work on the restorations of important courses in the United States. Ian works in Canada, the United States and Brazil.
Ian has been lucky enough to be entrusted with the works of the greatest golf course architects in history. These architects include: Charles Alison, Charles Banks, Tom Bendelow, H.S. Colt, Devereux Emmet, William Flynn, Robert Trent Jones, Willie Park Jr., Seth Raynor, Donald Ross, Herbert Strong, A.W. Tillinghast, Stanley Thompson and Walter Travis. Preservation of their works is important to Ian.
Ian believes that restoration is about putting back what was actually built, not what you think they might have done if given another opportunity to return. He is frustrated by this current pattern of restorative work. He believes that restorative architects should do their research and commit to rebuilding using the original techniques and detailing to ensure accuracy. Accuracy and authenticity matter in preservation.
Ianís work with Donald Ross came about when Plymouth Country Club in Massachusetts went looking for someone who would restore what was built through research rather than interpret and introduce their own ideas. Ian was recommended by a number of high-profile golf course architects as an interesting alternative. They felt that most so-called Ross experts were restoring to a pattern. The Ross Courses were losing the individual flourished and expressions found only on those sites. What Plymouth needed was someone committed to accuracy above all else. Since then Ian has been asked to work at a number of Donald Ross courses.
Ian has made a habit of visiting other architectís construction site including places like Pacific Dunes, Castle Stewart and Sand Valley. Heís even worked a little on other architectís golf course construction projects such as The Olympic Course in Rio, Oohoopee Match Play Club in Georgia and the Streamsong (Black), all for his friend Gil Hanse. This led to more and more time in a mini excavator on his own projects.
Ian has been committed to restoration and preservation of golf course for 30 years. He is currently seeking an opportunity to share his own architecture with the world.