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- Doug Carrick
After enrolling with the University of Georgia for one year then graduating from the University of Toronto as a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in 1981, Doug Carrick gained experience on a number of golf course, land planning and recreational projects with a couple of Toronto-based design firms.
During that time, Doug worked on the design and remodelling of several courses with Tom McBroom, who was also just starting out on his architectural career. Doug also cooperated for a short time with Robbie Robinson, an associate of Stanley Thompson during the 1930s, before setting out with his own practice in 1985, “but in 1987 he became partners with Robinson in the firm of Robinson and Carrick Ltd.,” wrote Geoff Cornish and Ron Whitten in The Architects of Golf.
“Upon Robinson’s death, Carrick continued the business and the corporate name. In 1990 he was joined by landscape architect Ian C. Andrew.”
Carrick’s first solo design in 1990 was at King Valley, near Aurora, where he collaborated with Curtis Strange who was the marketing figurehead for the project. Doug also teamed up a few years later on the North course at Angus Glen with Jay Morrish, who was Tom Weiskopf’s design partner for many years.
The Heathlands course at Osprey Valley in Caledon was Doug’s next big success in 1993. Inspired as it was by the links at Portmarnock in Ireland, this course would be the first of three 18-hole layouts that the architect would set out at the popular resort.
Two years later, Doug’s design of the South course at Angus Glen was his big commercial breakthrough, as freely acknowledged by the architect: “there is no question that the notoriety garnered from the success of Angus Glen helped to push my career to the next level.”
Both the South and the North courses at Angus Glen have hosted the Canadian Open; the former layout was used in 2002, when John Rollins won a 3-man playoff; the latter hosting in 2007, with Jim Furyk retaining his title by one stroke over his nearest challenger, Vijay Singh.
The 1990s drew to a close with the architect’s first new build project in British Columbia at the Greywolf Golf Course in Toby Creek Canyon, Panorama. It’s an absolutely stunning location and one of the most spectacular golf sites that Doug Carrick has ever worked on.
Fifteen Carrick Design courses debuted in an eight-year period up to 2007, which is a phenomenal rate of output in such a short span of time. Of course, Doug had others to help with the workload, including long-term associates Cam Tyers and Steve Vanderploeg (who is still with the firm).
The most critically acclaimed of these new millennium layouts – all but one of which are located in Ontario – are Bigwin Island (2001), Eagles Nest (2004) and Muskoka Bay (2006), with half of the remaining dozen layouts also occupying positions within the national Top 100 rankings.
When the global recession bit in 2008, course construction ground to a halt everywhere, allowing Carrick the chance to concentrate more on remodelling assignments. Around fifty clubs have benefitted from this service down the years and there are currently around twenty – including Capilano, Beacon Hall and Shaughnessy – still working through master plans drawn up by the architect.
Overseas endeavours have been limited but, when the owner of Magna acquired a new Austrian property in the mid-1990s, he asked Doug to assist Hans-Georg Erhardt with fashioning the new Fontana course that lies to the south of Vienna. The architects also paired up to create the 18-hole layout at Pannonia, just outside Budapest in Hungary.
The Carrick at Loch Lomond in Scotland was unveiled in 2007: "Designing a course in the homeland of golf has been the biggest thrill of my career so far," commented Carrick in Secrets of the Great Golf Course Architects by Michael Patrick Shiels. Ansung Country Club in Korea arrived three years later but that’s the full extent of the Carrick international portfolio for the time being.
Two very impressive Canadian commissions to come the way of Carrick Design in more recent times include new courses at Lebovic Golf Club in Aurora (opened in 2016), which Doug first got involved with in the late 1990s, and The Nest at Friday Harbour outside Barrie on Lake Simcoe (opened in 2018), where he originally drew up plans back in 2001.
Doug Carrick has been a member of Summit Golf Club outside Toronto for more than forty years now, receiving Honorary Life Membership in 2017. He’s also a past president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (2009-10) and has served on several committees within that esteemed body.