Welcome to episode 13 of the Blind Shots Podcast. This is a conversation with J. Drew Rogers, ASGCA, a golf course architect that has helped produce and refine some of the best courses in Kentucky. Ours isn’t a discussion of architectural merit or strategies, but rather a talk about the business of being a golf architect, discussing the parts that don’t make it into pretty coffee table books. It’s one of my favorite golf conversations ever with one of the good guys in the golf course business.
Drew has been in the industry long enough to have lived through a time that big design firms rose to their zenith and then fell somewhat out of favor, as the Design-Build business model began disrupting traditional notions of how courses were conceived and brought to life.
Champions Trace, Keene Run, Persimmon Ridge, University Club of Kentucky, The Club at Olde Stone. These aren’t all necessarily nationally renowned courses, but they are all championship caliber courses that blend strategy with fun, and are each unique and challenging. I’ve played all of these courses, and the only characteristic, besides Drew’s attention to detail, is that they are all located in the Bluegrass State. After speaking with Drew, it’s easy to understand why each course developed its own identity and feel.
He gave me roughly an hour of his time, but I could have continued chatting with him for several hours more. And I hope to have him back on the show some time to explore some of the mysteries of the architect’s bag of tricks to make golfers do or see what they want us to see, and how that creates strategic interest and excitement.
For now, I’m thrilled that Drew entertained my curiosities of parts of the golf course design industry that don’t show up in coffee table books. It was an easy yet fascinating conversation for me to be a part of, so I hope it’s one that you find interesting and entertaining.