Doug Carrick (BLA 1981) was bitten by the golf bug early. At 13, he was caddying at the Bayview Country Club in Thornhill, Ontario, and by 17 he knew he wanted to design courses. Carrick’s first time on a golf course was at 8 or 9 years old when he and his family were vacationing at a cottage near Midland, Ontario. “I immediately fell in love with the beautiful tranquil setting…and the sound of the ball being hit by a persimmon driver as it echoed through the trees,” says Carrick. “I was hooked.” As the principal of Carrick Design Inc. in Toronto, he has designed more than 50 courses in multiple countries. He is also the new president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects.
An avid golfer when he can find time, Carrick has designed courses on vastly different terrain – from the Scottish countryside to suburban Seoul. He believes great golf courses test shot-making and mental skills, respect the natural environment, provide a fair challenge for golfers of all abilities, and offer tremendous variety. “There is an ebb and flow to all great courses – much like a great novel that leads the reader on – creating a variety of twists and turns, with some surprises along the way, and reaching a climax or crescendo toward the end,” he says.
Carrick claims he doesn’t have a favourite course – though people often ask him. He will concede that being the only Canadian to do a project in Scotland (The Carrick on Loch Lomond), “in the old country where golf originated,” was a unique honour.
As a designer, Carrick also wants to make the game more affordable and less time-consuming. “People are trying to balance their time between family, work and recreation,” he says. He hopes that Turnberry Golf Club, his recently completed “short course” in Brampton, Ontario, will be “a nice alternative for people who are looking for a round of golf that won’t take five or six hours to play or cost a lot of money.”