Golf architecture aficionados generally acknowledge that the second Golden Age of course design began with the 1994 opening of Sand Hills Golf Club in Nebraska. Soon after the inland links that Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw fashioned came online there, others of a similar ilk appeared. First Bandon Dunes, which David McLay Kidd crafted in the late 1990s. Then Pacific Dunes, a Tom Doak creation at that same Oregon resort. Together, those designers – and their patrons Dick Youngscap at Sand Hills and Mike Keiser at Bandon – rekindled interest in, and appreciation of, Old World golf. At the same time, they led the game into a new era of architectural greatness that included not only modern-day masterpieces but also brilliant restorations of original Golden Age gems.
Nearly 30 years later, that renaissance continues to flourish. And though the artistes who ushered in that period are as active and imaginative as ever, the next generation is also making its mark. Among the most accomplished of those is 45-year-old Andrew Green. Though he has been running his own firm for just less than a decade, the Virginian has earned raves for his work, which to this point has largely entailed renovations of classic courses, at original Donald Ross layouts at Inverness and Scioto in Ohio and Wannamoisett in Rhode Island, for example, and also the Blue Course at Congressional Country Club near Washington.
Among Green’s most recent efforts involved the revamping of yet another Ross layout, the East Course at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. And his work on that track, which this week is hosting its fourth PGA Championship and also has been the site of three U.S. Opens and a Ryder Cup, is being widely heralded.
A few weeks before competitors started arriving at Oak Hill, Green spoke with John Steinbreder of GGPBiz about the changes the Virginia Tech graduate made to the East Course. He also discussed how a golf-obsessed neighbor introduced him to the game as a boy; the things that drew him to course architecture; his love of being outdoors, whether shaping bunkers with a backhoe or bagging a white tail from his deer stand; the reasons why he hung out his own shingle in 2014 and the challenges that come with running his own business; and the things he loves most – and least – about his occupation.
What follows, in Green’s words, is the latest edition of the 19th Hole.
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