Sunday, 25 November 2012

Today I sent a letter to the ASGCA

Today I sent a letter to our association, it reads the following:

One of the great questions we face is when to take a stand.

Most issues are very personal so it’s very difficult for an organization to take a stance on something that that may be important to some and not important to others. Preservation of important historical work has always been a contentious area among ASGCA members because not all of us share the same perspective. Some think evolution is important and others like me would rather see the most important works preserved for future generations to study.

While I may not personally like what some architects choose to do with historical courses, I had never seen a proposal so egregious that I thought we as an organization needed to take a stand.  Until now. The latest proposal for renovations to the Old Course in my opinion crosses that line. While I’d prefer they let well alone, it is not the entire proposal that compels me to write this letter. It is the desire to alter the contours of the land. Any change to the undulations or green contours shows a complete disregard for St. Andrew’s hallowed ground.

I’m not foolish enough to believe any course should be locked in time or not allowed to make change, but recommending changes to the ground contours and green contours of The Old Course is a travesty.

The architecture of the Old Course represents the wellspring for all of golf course architecture. Almost every exceptional idea brought by a future generation has a direct link back to the Old Course. In particular the Eden hole with its magnificent green is perhaps the single most copied hole in the history of the game. All the great architects who visited St. Andrews have made mention of the qualities and attributes of the Eden Hole and yet three men propose to toss this legacy aside to accommodate a tournament that comes for one week in every five years.

This is a breach of the Public Trust and something we must ask them to reconsider

Yours sincerely,

Ian Andrew

The only way for this madness to stop is for all the architecture societies to openly question the work. 




  1. Ian,

    Excellent letter, let's hope it resonates with a healthy majority of the membership.

  2. Ian

    I fully endorse exactly your position as breaching the line of altering green complexes and ground contours is where the architectural damage is the most worrisome.

    Bill Vostinak