Tag Archives: Kyle Phillips

PGA Sweden National, Links

So much has been said and written about the transformation of Kingsbarns in Scotland from ploughed fields into stunning linksland, that the development team at PGA of Sweden National could have identified architect Kyle Phillips with a Google search for ‘turning featureless farmland into great links golf.

However, we can be pretty sure this wasn’t the case, as it was only after Phillips had been engaged that a plot of featureless farmland near Malmo in the south of Sweden was chosen as the site for the PGA’s impressive new golf facility. Identifying an architect early in the development process is an approach that Phillips has championed in a previous edition of Golf Course Architecture (see GCA 2, p52), arguing that the architect’s expertise can be employed for identifying the site’s suitability for development, with a view to saving costs and minimising development time.

Phillips’ Kingsbarns has been one of the success stories of modern golf development. High rankings aside, it is an aesthetic delight. There are few better examples of a course that appears to have been crafted by nature, whereas every contour was in fact the work of architect and construction team.
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Links Course looks set to be a Shore Winner

“Phillips, a renowned golf course architect, has created the region’s first true links course.”

ABU DHABI // Kyle Phillips has completed a whistle-stop visit to the Emirates from his California base to give a thumbs up to what could well become one of the most attractive destinations for golf enthusiasts the world over.

Phillips, a renowned golf course architect, has created the region’s first true links course – a 7,450 – yard masterpiece on Yas Island that makes maximum use of the mangrove-filled coastline.

The course, commissioned by property developers Aldar on a site close to the Formula One racetrack, is due to open early next year.

Phillips, whose design work has been displayed in more than 20 countries, notably the United Kingdom where Kingsbarns in Scotland and The Grove, London are his most famous efforts, is confident this is among his best courses.
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Klein on Design: No. 18 at Kingsbarns

Bradley S. Klein. Golfweek’s architecture editor. offers his opinion on one great hole:
Yards: 444. par 4
Architect: Kyle Phillips,1999
Where: Fife, Scotland
Event: Alfred Dunhill Links Championship,Oct 1-4

It’s great because . .. Kingsbarns, now a decade old, revolutionized Scottish golf with a retro-links look that combines scruffy old dunes, deep bunkers and greens contoured to function as hazards when approached from the wrong angle. The finishing hole calls for a drive into a prevailing wind that quarters from the right and brings fairway bunkers into play on the left side. From there, the approach is to a steeply sloped green pitched above a nasty burn – the only forced-carry water hazard in play from a fairway shot at Kingsbarns – that will capture any approach that comes up a little short.

It would be even better if… they would rebuild the steep back-to-front green and marginally modify its slope. As for high handicappers
looking to lay up on their second shots, the fairway tilts toward the burn and leaves an awkward third shot from a downhill lie to an uphill green – virtually impossible for the kind of player who has laid up. It would help here to counter slope the fairway and provide just a little more cushion for the high-handicapper, lest he or she finish the round with golf ball in pocket (or in the water) onthe stem approach.

Brad Klein
September 19. 2009

‘It’s Time to Buy Gold’

Kyle Phillips is the creator of Kingsbarns, The Grove and many of the world’s finest golf courses in 20 countries. Writing here for GBD, he believes the golf development industry has only itself to blame for many of the current ills, but feels with the right development model, the golf business can still succeed in a challenging environment.

While historians will describe autumn 2008 as the beginning of the current economic crisis, they will only be describing the moment in time when we realized that we were sick. The virus was in our system long before. Sure, we were warned by a brave few that we were on the brink, but we did not want to believe them. Only after several “too big to fail” companies failed, and the markets tumbled, did we realize we had all caught the flu.

The golf industry is not immune either. Alarming numbers of “too big to fail” residential golf communities are on the ropes, being taken over by banks, or being ploughed under. In Dubai, not even the marketing brand of Tiger Woods has been enough to make the development sell.

But the problems we face today within the real estate development sector of the golf industry did not begin recently. This virus has been building up in our golf industry bloodstream for over four decades. It was in this period that golf started to become more incorporated in residential communities. Often the developers did not play or understand much about the game, but they did know that with a golf course, they could sell real estate for a premium. Unknowingly at the time, the real estate development industry began redefining the ‘essentials’ of the modern championship course for the golf industry.
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Morocco & a Kingdom of Golf

“…AI Maaden, a high-end developer of golf resorts, who have commissioned Kyle Phillips, arguably one of the hottest designer of the modern era to take on the task of making their course a Moroccan star.”

THE FIRST PORT OF CAll FOR OUR BYE-DAY MOROCCAN golf trip is the Palmeraie Golf Palace & Resort, an oasis of luxury and refinement nestled in the heart of a lush, cool palm grove ten minutes from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. This exquisite property is richly decorated in intricate Moorish designs that feature large archways, opulent furnishings and a decor in rich earth tones. After checking in we are asked to make ourselves comfortable on a collection of carpets and cushions by a water fountain in the tiled foyer area.

Before long, resident tea-maker Mr Aziz Igouzoulen appears through an archway wearing a flowing white robe and a maroon fez hat, carrying a silver tray with an elegant metal teapot packed with fresh mint leaves, tea and sugar. After the tea has brewed for a few minutes, Aziz makes a spectacle of pouring the fragrant golden liquid from a great height into the small decorative glasses. With a grin wider than Tiger Woods after winning a major, he hands us the tea, overflowing with the delicious aroma of fresh Moroccan mint and says, “Welcome to Marrakech and I hope you play some good golf.”
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Wilshire’s Reclaimed Glory

Sometimes it takes a while for the identity of a place to reveal itself

You’d beexcused during the first few holes at Wilshire Country Club if you didn’t have a clear sense of the site. The course sits in a leafy envelope, with towering canary pines and eucalyptus trees insulating the fairways from the surrounding residences of Hancock Park. Even as late in the round as the ninth tee, the prelude to a rolling, up-and-over 437-yard par-4, you might have trouble discerning the proper line for your drive. Until, that is, you look up and see the distinctive “HOLLYWOOD” lettering on the distant hill and, to its right, the neon El Royale sign atop the legendary Spanish art deco apartment building – the former hotel that was a residence of many studio-era film stars. All of a sudden things become clear. The ideal aiming point is just between these two landmarks. And then you know where you are.

Welcome to one of Los Angeles’ historic golf courses. Wilshire Country Club wasn’t always so well ensconced. Upon its founding in 1919 as one of them town’s pioneer country clubs, Wilshire sat right out in the open, on a broad, un-treed tract far beyond the western edge of in-town development.
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Celebrated Living Magazine – Top Courses of the Year

Not even a decade old, Kingsbarns is now considered an essential addition to a St Andrews-Carnoustie pilgrimage. 011-44-1334-460860, kingsbarns.com

Like Kingsbarns, this course is designed by Kyle Phillips, whose authentic work in the Old World belies his New World roots. 011-44-1294-314000, dundonaldlinks.com

Celebrated Living Magazine, Summer 2009

PGA Sweden opens Links course

The PGA of Sweden has officially opened the ‘Links’ course at its new facility near Malmo, in the south of the country.

Suitably accompanied by heavy rain and high winds, the course was launched with the help of an Annika Sorenstam drive from a hastily-erected tee sheltered inside the impressive clubhouse.

Designed by Kyle Phillips, the course tumbles across a landscape that was previously flat agricultural land, a transformation reminiscent of his work at Kingsbarns in Scotland, albeit without the coastline location.
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In Search of Perfection

Valderrama has consistently been rated the best course in Europe, so why has the club intiated a three-year review of its layout by Kyle Phillips?

The fairway of the 385-yard 2nd at Valderrama arcs left-to-right between 30ft high cork oaks – apart, that is, from the one in the middle of the fairway that invites a lay-up and gives the hole its name of El Arbol. The velvety sward is trimmed to lOmm, the same length as the tees, and at its widest point stretches to 30 yards across a subtle camber. It is so smooth that, with even a shortish stroke, you can quite easily putt the ball from one side to the other.

In many ways, the second sums up Valderrama. Wide-yet-narrow, short-yet-long, it is a hole you’ll do better to sweet talk than yell at; pull driver out on the tee and you can just about hear the tree limbs whisper “Go ahead, make my day”. As the course unfolds, more sweeping angled fairways and cork oaks – some 5,000 – reveal a layout that will not be overpowered. In a golf world where power has become the new superbug, this track, at a little under 7,000 yards, is the perfect antidote.
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The Grove

Golf World says: The Grove is one of the best golf complexes
in Europe, with an 18-hole championship course set in 300
acres of mature parkland just 18 miles from central London.
Designed by Kyle Phillips and opened in 2003, it hosted a
World Golf Championship in 2006, which was won by Tiger
Woods. With four sets of tees, visitors can select the length of
the course to suit their ability. It’s one of the best-conditioned
inland venues in the UK.

Where: Chandlers Cross, Herts.
Normal green fees: £125-£170.
More info: 01923 294266