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By Design


resh off the back of the highly

regarded restoration of Harry

Colt’s work at Old Elm in

Chicago, Drew Rogers, ASGCA, is

enjoying a thriving design business.

He has multiple projects under way

throughout the United States, his

growing portfolio built on a reputation

as a great collaborator who delivers

an outstanding final product. His

skills were developed during 19 years

working with Arthur Hills, ASGCA Past

President—a period which included

the design of Newport National in

Rhode Island and Oitavos Dunes in

Portugal—before establishing his own

design business in 2010.

How is your game?

I was a decent player when I was

younger. But now, it’s tough to put

much of anything together unless I’m

able and willing to work for it—and

therein lies the challenge. I guess that

has taught me some humility! I found

a good teacher last summer here in

Sylvania, Ohio, so we’re working on

some things that will hopefully help

me to start breaking 80 again!

Which three people would make up

your dream fourball?

I know this much, those three folks

better be able to laugh and have fun!

Recently, my 12 year-old son has

taken up the game. I enjoy watching

him develop—he has the proper

attitude, so he would have to be one.

Ben Crenshaw would be another—he

just seems to have an ideal disposition

and perspective of architecture

and the game, he smiles a lot and

represents golf with great values.

Perhaps Old Tom Morris could come

back and join as the third. It is said

he was a cheerful and humble fellow,

kindly and gentle—and with all that

inspiration in him to promote our

great game, I think a chance to spend

time with him would provide for a

fascinating and unforgettable day.

What is your favorite hole in golf?

I’m more a fan of a strategic, thinking

man’s test than holes requiring brute

strength and precision, so it would

have to be a short par-four (under

330 yards) or a short par-three

(under 120 yards). Shorter holes

don’t tend to exclude the potential

for success or enjoyment by lesser

skilled players, yet they can still

imply just enough treachery to give

good players fits—that’s what great

holes do, in my opinion. I can’t say

as I have a particular favorite, there’s

just too many to consider, but the

tenth at Riviera and ‘Postage Stamp’

eighth at Royal Troon are great

examples. More recently, I have been

inspired by Bandon Preserve, the

13-hole par-three layout by Coore &

Crenshaw in Oregon. I can’t think

of a more enjoyable golf experience

anywhere in the world than those

magnificent short holes.

If you could change or add one rule,

what would it be?

Perhaps a stiffer enforcement of the

time it takes to play would benefit

everyone’s enjoyment of the game.

The Brits rarely allow a four-ball

match (only on certain days or after

certain hours) and medal play is

seldom favored over match play. A

move in that direction would help

improve speed of play here in the US.

What project are you currently

working on?

Most of our work is course

renovation and restoration these

days—and I really enjoy that blend

of work. I’m fortunate to be really

busy, just off the heels of our

reinstatement of Harry Colt’s Old

Elm in Chicago. A similar approach

is now in motion at Kenosha

Country Club in Wisconsin, an

intact layout by Donald Ross.

When complete, that course will

demand some much deserved

notice. Perhaps one the most

exciting projects right now is Canal

Shores in Evanston, Illinois—a

reassembling of the course there

into an amazing presentation of golf

offerings in promotion of ‘golf for

everyone’ in an urban neighborhood

setting. I’m collaborating on that

one with a creative team consisting

of the USGA, Luke Donald, Dave

Zinkand and fellow ASGCA

member, Todd Quitno.


J. Drew Rogers, ASGCA

provides answers to our

Five to Finish questions

I’m more a fan of a


thinking man’s test

than holes

requiring brute strength and precision