Global Edition

Course Architects In New International Partnership

2.37pm 13th November 2019 - People

Three of the world’s most critically acclaimed golf architecture practices have announced the creation of a new international partnership, to be called Clayton, DeVries & Pont  (“CDP”).

Clayton Golf Enterprises of Melbourne, Australia (“CGE”), DeVries Designs of Traverse City, Michigan, USA (“DVD”) and Infinite Variety Golf Design of Den Dolder, The Netherlands (“IVGD”) have entered into an agreement that will deliver a seamless level of collaboration between the three practices.

Clients of all three entities now have access to the resources of this Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic partnership. Upon request, Mike Clayton, Mike DeVries and Frank Pont, the lead architects of each firm pictured above, will provide their expertise on a collaborative basis.

Boasting over 80 years of cumulative experience in golf design, CDP will offer clients access to an unparalleled range of talents. It has overseen the intelligent renovation of some of the world’s most iconic courses, including designs by the likes of Harry Colt, Alister MacKenzie and Tom Simpson. Its talents also lie behind the creation of several recently built courses, including four of the most highly ranked designs of the past two decades, namely, Bambougle Dunes and Cape Wickham Links, both in Australia, and Kingsley Club and the Greywalls course at Marquette Golf Club, both in the United States.

This agreement marks the widening and formalising of existing collaboration agreements; IVGD is assisting DVD with the upcoming restoration works at Bloomfield Hills Country Club, Michigan, USA; CGE will be assisting IVGD with a new commission in Ireland to be announced shortly.

CDP’s operations will be coordinated from its London headquarters, located just a good 5-wood away from Fowler & Simpson’s former Mayfair office.

Mike Clayton of CGE says, “I grew up on the opposite side of the world to Mike but, unsurprisingly, we have both been heavily influenced by Alister MacKenzie. For me, Crystal Downs is the top of the class in Michigan, and in Australia, MacKenzie’s genius shines through at Royal Melbourne and extends all the way across the sandbelt. In 1995, with the late Bruce Grant, John Sloan and I started Michael Clayton Golf Design. That business morphed into Ogilvy Clayton and, later, OCCM. For me, it’s time to move on and broaden my horizons and this partnership is a perfect fit with Frank being an acknowledged expert on Harry Colt and Tom Simpson who, like MacKenzie, were a huge influence on golf around the world. I look forward to spending time in Europe and the US helping CDP’s activities flourish. No other partnership has the world covered like this one.”

Mike DeVries of DVD says, “In the first heyday of golf course development here in the US, local architects vied with foreign ones, the British in particular. The key design features of many of our best courses were heavily influenced by those from abroad. Golf architecture was a global business then just as it is now. As Frank and I have shown at Bloomfield Hills, the best solution is not necessarily an All-American one. Bringing in Europe’s leading restorer of Colt courses to assist made great sense to everyone involved in the project. By designing and overseeing the construction of Cape Wickham, I have proved that DVD’s talents are highly transportable. Working with Mike and Frank will, I am sure, develop that ethos much further. Having known them both for several years, I look forward to us bouncing ideas off each other and building great courses that are fun to play and stimulate a golfer’s creativity.”

Frank Pont of IVGD says, “Mike Clayton has not just been a friend for many years, he is an architect whose work I have long admired. His forthright views are almost always in synch with my own, which is probably why we get on so well. Likewise, Mike DeVries is a longstanding friend whose creative talents have so impressed me that it was a simple decision to enter into a cooperation agreement with him three years ago. The cumulative experience that resides within our three firms is immense; the projects we have undertaken cover a vast range of client requirements. Whether it is a new build, a detailed renovation or a carefully researched restoration, this partnership offers a market-leading solution.”

Edward Cartwright, Chairman of CDP says, “For over a century, the world’s foremost golf architects have worked within partnerships. From Colt, Morrison & Alison to Fowler, Abercromby, Simpson & Croome to MacKenzie & Maxwell, the sum of the parts was usually greater than the individual no matter how talented that individual might have been. Clayton, DeVries & Pont is such a partnership, a collaboration between three of the world’s best architects of their generation. It has been founded on the same principles but with one key difference, its global reach. CGE, DVD and IVGD will remain standalone entities but CDP will afford them more resource and opportunities. The partnership’s collective body of work and unsurpassed breadth of expertise makes Clayton DeVries & Pont a compelling design partner for any project regardless of the requirements or location.”

Clayton DeVries & Pont

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