I thought it was a good time to talk about how I got to this point. I have made it very clear how my father has helped and influenced my desire to be a golf course architect. I’ve talked a lot about my current influences on what I think about architecture and what I want to do now that I’ve gone solo. But the one thing I have neglected to do is thank the man who made it possible.
Doug Carrick and I first met when I asked him if we could meet on one of his construction sites (King Valley) to see what he was building (I’m still quite fond of King Valley and it remains one of my favorite works that he built). It was my first time on a golf course construction site for me, and Doug let me follow him around for a half a day. Doug and I kept in regular contact for about three years and I was waiting for an opening (hoping to get hired). Finally Doug hired me in 1989 to come work for him, first as a draftsman, but fairly soon after that he began to introduce me to construction projects. In the first 5 years Doug spent a lot of time teaching me what he knew about design and helped me understand what I needed to know about construction and contracts. I enjoyed those years the most, everything was exciting and new. For the next 5 years my role expanded as we got very busy, Doug allowed me to handle most renovation and got me involved with supervision of some of the new projects too. I also buried myself in learning construction, construction details, specification writing, and finally contracts. I spent the time to be the expert in the office in this area. Through all of this Doug was always very encouraging, and to his credit was willing to listen to new ideas.
Over the next five years the office grew, two more were eventually hired, and the business changed growing larger. As I look back in hindsight, when we became an office of four it was also the time when the work became more segmented and the interoffice collaboration stopped. It was not as much fun at Carrick Design anymore – and this was a factor in why I eventually moved on. I stuck mostly to renovation work because I enjoyed the autonomy, and Cam and Steve now handled most of the new construction. For the last two years I made the effort to try take things back to the way it was before and actively worked with Doug on Muskoka Bay and Frog’s Breath. We did everything together and I must say this was two of the most satisfying years I spent with Carrick Design. I enjoyed Doug’s company, I enjoyed the interaction between us and I enjoyed what we built. I also enjoyed rebuilding a little bit of that lost relationship that we had through the earlier years. I’m grateful I waited two more years to go to have that experience with Doug again. I simply enjoyed being with Doug on site.
So to Doug I say thanks and I owe you a debt of gratitude.