England’s former world No.1 fancies turning his hand to architecture when his career winds down
By Martin Inglis
Lee Westwood has revealed his ambition to go into golf course design once his playing career is over – and he knows exactly what he’d like to see in one of his own layouts.
The Englishman, who gained a bit of experience in the area by providing a player’s perspective in the redesign of the Colt Course at Close House, told CNN’s Living Golf show that he harbours hopes of following in the footsteps of Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer once he packs he clubs away once and for all.
“I’d love to do course design,” said Westwood. “When my playing career is finished it’ll be a great avenue to go down.
“I’ve played basically everywhere in my career, from links golf courses in Scotland and Ireland, to playing on the sand belt in Melbourne.
“I would try and use that and bring that into my course design. There’s a lot that goes into a golf course that just don’t have any idea about, but I know what I like to see.”
What Westwood, a veteran of more than 500 European Tour events, would like to see is emphasis on playability to increase enjoyment for amateurs and, perhaps more importantly, pace of play.
“I like a golf course to be tough when it needs to be, but I also like it to be playable,” he added. “You don’t want to go out there and get beaten up on greens that are massively undulating, or on 500-yard par-4s and 300-yard par-3.
“People want to come along and feel like they’ve achieved something. I’m not a great believer in loads of trouble. Courses are getting so tough that it takes forever to get around them. The game of golf need to be much more playable and faster.
“I want 28 handicappers to be able to go out there and be able to make a few pars. At the end of the day, it’s a form of entertainment.”
Meanwhile, Westwood has also revealed that he enjoyed acting as tournament host for this year’s British Masters, won by Ireland’s Paul Dunne.
“It was good,” he said. “It gave me another view of a tournament and an appreciation of what goes on leading up to a tournament and during the tournament. I’m glad I did it and hopefully everybody had a good time.”