After his wide-ranging, engaging and info-packed “Talking GolfGetaways” podcast(Episode 83), Canadian architect, restorationist and golf historian Ian Andrew joins hosts Mitch Laurance and Darin Bunch for one of our more unique Emergency 9 episodes. Having previously covered Cape Breton Island’s iconic Highlands Links, legendary architect Stanley Thompson and his own design-restoration philosophy, Ian brings a truly eclectic set of answers to our most-asked golf-travel questions.
He begins by naming his Favorite Courseor Destination Anywhere in the World— Canada’s Jasper Park, another Stanley Thompson gem that “moves my soul.” Ian considers Jasper Park to be the best mountain golf course in the world (and the accompanying Fairmont offers a venison dinner that's also out of this world).
He lists the golf courses on the coast of Northwest England (Royal Birkdale, Royal Lytham & St. Annes, Formby Golf Club among the many great ones)as those topping his Bucket List, and counts Culloden House in Inverness, Scotland, as the Best Place He’s Ever Stayed (Darin and Mitch might agree with that choiceif they can ever escape the whiskey-fueled haze they’ve been in since that infamous golf trip).
If you’re looking for an epic restaurant experience on your travels, Ian heartily recommends Brunel’s in Newcastle, Northern Ireland(around the corner from famed Royal County Down) and counts Brunel’s Duck 4 Ways as the Best Thing He’s Ever Eaten on a Golf Trip.His description will leave you wanting to book a reservation now. (Flipside? Ian says never try roadside Haggis.)
As a golf-course restoration specialist, terrific player and student of golf history, it’s no surprise that Ian's Most Important Thing on a Golf Trip is the quality of golf overall, saying he “travels to learn”, “wants to be surprised” and loves the “quirky aspects” of a course the most.
Some great advice from a world golf traveler on our Golf Apparel You Can’t Live Without question includes a compression shirt, all-weather gloves and good rain gear— not just for wet weather but for wind and protection for your body. Clearly Ian has enjoyed playing his share of Scottish and Irish golf.
Ian lists his handicap as 13, says he'll “play anywhere with anybody” and counts some advice from his father as well worth following: “Play back when you’re playing well, and up when you’re playing poorly.” He counts Canadian Gerry Barad, Live Nation’s COO for Global Tours, as the Most Interesting Person He’s Ever Golfed With” and details the things that make Gerry unique: serious passion for the game, speed of play (“ridiculously fast”) and incredible stories. (When you’ve organized tours for U2, Peter Gabriel and others, as Gerry has, golf course walk-and-talks would indeed be interesting.)
Finally, Ian humbly counts the private Blue Course at Laval-Sur-Le-Lac in Montreal as the One Course He Wishes Everyone Knew About— a top-ranked track that Ian and former Masters Champion and design partner Mike Weir rebuilt, based on courses they love in the Australian Sandbelt. Laval Blue pairs with the Green Course, a 1917 Willie Park Jr. design, reworked by Ian’s beloved Stanley Thompson and Howard Watson in 1949. It’s a history-rich choice by Ian, indeed.
And an historic Emergency 9. We hope you enjoy the connection with Ian Andrew.
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