Leading course designers in trans-Atlantic Partnership
Story published at 11:24, Thursday, March 24th, 2016
Two leading international golf course design companies are forming a trans-Atlantic partnership to provide clients with unparalleled expertise and experience in golf course architecture.
Mike DeVries, principal partner in DeVries Designs, based in Traverse City, Michigan, and Frank Pont, principal in Infinite Variety Golf Design, based in The Netherlands, will share their passion for golf architecture to create new golf course design projects and restore classic courses throughout the UK, Europe, and North America.
This collaborative partnership offers an innovative way to create new opportunities, specifically in new designs. With DeVries’ success on high profile projects like Cape Wickham Links, recently named No. 24 in the World by Golf Digest, together with Pont’s experience with award-winning courses and his strong network in Europe and the UK, the team is ready to coordinate resources, expertise, and personnel to create outstanding new golf developments for clients.
Pont’s experience in restoring classic designs positions him as a leading expert on the design work of Colt, Alison, Fowler, and Simpson, while DeVries brings his expert knowledge of MacKenzie, Ross, Tillinghast, Raynor, and other classic designers. Together, the partnership will combine their strengths to provide options for clubs across North America and the UK seeking to restore or renovate their historic golf courses.
“I am really excited about the opportunity of working in Europe and with Frank, who is a very forward-thinking practitioner of our craft and respects the character and history of classic golf courses,” said DeVries. “Frank’s understanding of the European golf environment, combined with my knowledge of American architecture, broadens our abilities and makes us a formidable duo to build new, as well as properly restore and renovate classic courses.”
With more than 35 years in the golf business, including growing up and working on the renowned MacKenzie design Crystal Downs in northern Michigan, DeVries has developed an impressive hands-on approach to creating minimalist designs, including shaping his own greens and bunkers, working with owners and construction teams to develop economically feasible golf courses, and paying attention to the details with a “less is more” attitude of designing courses that fully integrate with the landscape.
His award-winning projects include the aforementioned Cape Wickham, as well as the Kingsley Club (#21) and Greywalls (#77) on Golfweek’s Top 100 Modern Courses in the USA. Meadow Club (Alister MacKenzie), Siwanoy Country Club (Donald Ross), and Sunningdale Country Club (Raynor, Travis, Tillinghast) are examples of his classic course restorations.
Following a successful career in consulting and investment banking, Pont has spent the last 15 years becoming one of Europe’s leading course designers and experts on restorations. In addition to his work on Colt, Alison, Simpson, Arana and Pennink designs, he has also created several highly acclaimed new course designs in his home country of the Netherlands, including De Swinkelsche, which is ranked in the top 10.
He is currently working with 15 classic golf clubs listed on Golf World’s English and European Top 100. The clubs where he has been working on extensive restorations, such as De Pan (#26 to #3), Hardelot (#98 to #27), Royal Hague (#19 to #6), and Eindhoven (#81 to #33), have all made spectacular improvements in the course rankings in recent years. No other architectural firm in Europe has delivered similar results in such a consistent manner.
“Our partnership is great news, first and foremost for our clients who will benefit from even better and more complete services, but as importantly for ourselves in that Mike and I will be able to have even more fun working together on great projects,” said Pont. “It will follow the example of Colt and Alison who had a similar trans-Atlantic partnership during the Golden Age of golf. I am convinced our partnership will be a game changer in the global arena of golf course architecture that others will find hard to emulate.”
DeVries and Pont are dedicated to the quality and purity of classic golf design, while serving the needs of their clients and advising them as to the most effective and efficient ways of doing things. The synergies of this trans-Atlantic partnership will lead to a new paradigm of economic excellence in golf course design and construction.
DeVries Designs, Inc. www.devriesdesigns.com
Infinite Variety Golf Design www.infinitevarietygolf.com