Friday, December 22, 2006

The Year in Review – Part Five – A Philosophical Look at My Business

The restored creek and bunkers at the Cutten Club

The first year is essentially finished and that’s why this becomes such a great time to look back at what was accomplished, and to have a look forward at what I want to achieve in the years ahead. When I started out in January, I produced a full business plan and one day in the middle of working on it, I decided that I really should write down my long term goal. This is what I wrote:

"I want to have a small boutique firm known for the quality of its work. My aim is to develop a clientele that I enjoy working with and to work on the courses that I admire. I will continue to actively preserve important works of golf course architecture for future generations to study. I will give myself the freedom to choose work so that I still have time for my family. My number one goal is to develop a few new courses where I will show that Canadian golf needs to return completely to the ideas of the Golden Age if there is going to be a new course built that finally rivals Thompson’s best."

In looking back I have achieved many of the goals I had set out to accomplish. I have enough work going forward that I can now be selective about the projects that I take on and the people I choose to work with. While I’m in a position where I could potentially expand, I’m going to stay small and selective rather than becoming like Tom, Doug or Graham. My original mantra was less work and more time spent producing a higher quality of work; that is still my philosophy going forward.

Obviously I have not developed a new course but I am confident that someone will see me as an opportunity to build something a little better than what’s being currently built. Since my philosophy involves less disruption to the natural site, they will also enjoy the benefit of a much more economical build while still getting all the great Golden Age design philosophies that have been proven to build better courses. I will build great courses that are also great businesses models; I won’t be building any monuments that have no economic viability.

The more I write, the more I have become interested in writing. In particular, I have always believed that nobody has yet written anything definitive on the golf architecture of Stanley Thompson. My interest is not about writing a book, in fact I don’t have the ability to do that, but in eventually sharing what I have learnt. I’ve been considering the idea of an essay on Thompson’s evolution as a designer. I have almost all the research that I require, but I’m too busy to take this on.

Blog will return between Christmas and New years family dependent.

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