2020 – what a year!!
In spite of recent world events, 2020 for me became a year of incredible opportunity. My exposure in the business took another jump when I was able to secure some really cool projects. Looking back over the past two years, this exposure has brought some new things to my business such as: the phone actually ringing with even more opportunity, additional speaking engagements, vendor requests, and a bunch of new "friends” interested in what’s going on in my world <insert shrug.emoji>.
'When it rains, it pours,’ my dad always says, and I’m very fortunate to be in the position I’m in. As we close out 2020 (Yes!!), here’s to ridin’ the wave, and taking advantage of all our opportunities!!
Not Going Crazy!
Masks tend to suffocat- er, make sleeping on planes difficult. I’ve been on a few red eyes to Florida recently (two new courses at PGA National, and a Donald Ross 9 Master Plan at Delray Beach GC), and falling asleep with a mask on is a complete drag.
Is it wrong to want to sleep normally? Is it wrong to want to share this new video of our progress on the Par 3 course at PGA National? These topics go together, right???
Social Media Time Sink
As a 48-year-old, the social media thing was part intrigue, part work, and overall, an early assumption of necessity on my part. As I sit today, I find myself getting very tired of it. If you stop and think about all the things going on in the world, and the levels of anxiety, concern, and general mistrust, I find myself setting the phone down a bit more, and notthinking about what event, or photo I should post.
Now I strictly reserve that anxiety for newsletters only (wink, wink), and I find myself happier, and more content! I think this is good, so apply as needed.
Great Photos Make a Difference
Andy Johnson from the Fried Egg made a visit to Meadowbrook this year, and took some incredible photos of the course. I mean, just incredible. It’s as important as ever to document our work in a manner that showcases what we do. A heartfelt thanks goes to Andy – both from me, and the Club. Here's a link to my favorite MCC pics he grabbed that day.
I traveled a lot this year; maybe more than usual. I’m reaching the point where my three boys are growing up fast, and I’m working hard to find the right balance of family and work. I’m so thankful for my wife and kids; if I didn’t have them, my work wouldn’t mean nearly as much. It’s crazy how time flies - love you guys!
Sell, Sell, Sell!
Over the past two months, I found myself in the middle of two projects that were looking for member approvals to move ahead with renovation work (Olympia Fields CC in Chicago/ Pinnacle Peak CC in Scottsdale). It’s incredible the things that are needed to communicate our vision these days; six in-person presentations, four Zoom calls, multiple marketing brochures, and countless phone calls and emails are what it takes today to get projects off the drawing board and into construction mode.
I guess that’s just the nature of super competitive industries!! ***More to come on the outcomes of these projects!!!***
Top Course Lists... Crucial
The saying goes, the ones that don’t care about the course rankings lists are the ones that aren’t on them. This is big business, and I can tell you these lists are driving a lot of renovations these days. Golf Magazine just came out with their recent Top Course list, and two of my projects were listed – Sand Hollow Resort (2008) and Meadowbrook CC (2017).
Having worked our butts off to create lasting, noteworthy golf courses, I can say it matters to be on these lists. Above all else, it’s great to be recognized for the efforts our design team puts in, and the trust my clients place in me to build them something they can be proud of.
So, with that said, here’s a list for ya!... This is my list of favorite (Non-Staples Golf Designed) courses I've seen around the world! Enjoy!
Andy’s Top 10
1. Old Course at St. Andrews
2. National Golf Links of America
3. Royal Melbourne
4. Kingston Heath
5. Cypress Point
6. Sand Hills
8. Prairie Dunes
9. Garden City Golf Club
10. Lawsonia Golf Links
So, in summary, things certainly aren’t perfect these days, but if you look for the opportunities, put your nose to the grindstone, don’t complain (too much), be grateful for what you have, write your newsletters completely sleep-deprived, and remember what’s most important in life, things are going to work out!
I wish you nothing but the best in 2021. Cheers, Merry Christmas, and have a Great New Year!
Andy Staples, ASGCA
In many cases today, clients are hiring architects based on their historical knowledge of a particular designer, and many architects are describing themselves as experts of that specific design philosophy. So, what really is an expert?