Big plans for UAE golf star Harradine
Gulf News recently met Peter Harradine, a 76-year-old golf course designer based in the United Arab Emirates.
Peter, tell us how you got into the world of golf design?
I was born in Switzerland and golf course design was a family business. I joined my father in golf course design and Harradine Golf is proud to have designed and supervised the construction of over 200 golf courses around the world. Orient is the sister company of Harradine Golf, which is also based in the United Arab Emirates and deals with irrigation, landscaping, agriculture and the sale of specialized machinery, and where applicable, supports the design activity. One of my sons Michael, 38, joined me in the company. Michael was born in Dubai, played golf at a high level as an amateur, including winning numerous tournaments in the golf scene in the United Arab Emirates, representing Switzerland, and recently passed his design qualifications with distinction. at the European Institute of Golf Course Architects.
Which golf courses are you most proud of having designed?
I have designed the following golf courses in the United Arab Emirates and in this region: Abu Dhabi Golf Club, National and Garden courses, Doha Golf Club in Qatar, JA The Resort, Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club, The Track, Meydan, Sahara Golf Club in Kuwait and at Al Hamra Golf Club, Ras Al Khaimah. I’m probably best known for courses that have hosted Tour events including Abu Dhabi Golf Club and Doha Golf Club which have showcased my work around the world and it’s always interesting to get authentic comments from the best players, whether professional and amateur, male or female. , as well as others, of course. However, I am very proud of all the little-known and sustainable green courses that the media never talks about. I can’t wait for Abu Dhabi Golf Club to host the Asia-Pacific Women’s Amateur Championship on the national course next month. I will be attending during the week, as I always try to do when my courses host big events, and it will be interesting to see how the R&A set up the golf course, especially the length, for the best. amateur golfers from Asia. . My overseas golf designs include courses in Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Pakistan, Russia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Ukraine. Thanks to Orient, we have rebuilt the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club with its redesign with Thomas Bjorn and European Golf Design, as well as the recent summer tee refurbishment project ready for next month’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and the renovations to the Arabian Ranches Golf Club Green, originally an Ian Baker-Finch / Nicklaus Design.
What is your Harradine “design philosophy”?
It has always been about creating golf courses that are easy and fun to play, while still being a challenge to score. I believe there are too many overly long, overly difficult golf courses being designed these days. I always appreciate the vision of every golf course and owner, be it for real estate or community, commercial or otherwise, but ultimately it’s all about the playability of the golf course. I have always worked with the existing nature of the site while being mindful of water conservation and an environmentally friendly culture. I never liked the expression Championship Course, what does that really mean? When I am given a license on the design, I always like to offer a tournament golf course that can host championship golf. In this order and in these words.
How is business today for Harradine Golf?
After over 90 PCR tests, vaccinations, having COVID-19 and everything COVID has given us, this has been an obvious challenge over the past two years. But today, I travel more than ever and the demand for our services is impressive. We have two design projects that we are working on in Russia and Islamabad, Pakistan, as well as the improvement of five golf courses in Europe that were original designs by Harradine Golf. Last week we received five design requests: two from Italy, one from Germany, one from India and one from Baghdad in Iraq. I am very optimistic about the future of golf design and the future of the game of golf. These are exciting times for Harradine Golf.