Richard Mandell from North Carolina and Drew Rogers from Ohio, both specialists in renovations and restorations were part of a large group of golf architects from both sides of the Atlantic and further afield who gathered for a fact finding mission to see some of England's traditional courses and to see the work of some of our finest designers from the past including H.S.Colt, Herbert Fowler and James Braid. After playing Sunningdale New, the Berkshire Red, Royal St Georges and Royal Cinque Ports, en masse, they all went their separate ways, Rich and Drew then played the Old course at Walton Heath with Mark & Jenny Justice before driving down to St Enodoc via a whistle stop visit to Stonehenge!
I have known Rich for 10 years and he has always said that he wanted to play St Enodoc and at last he was able to do so; Tuck and I had a really enjoyable round with them in surprisingly sunny, windless conditions and they both thought both the course and the views were wonderful and a credit to James Braid for the design and Scott Gibson and his team for the condition of the course particularly the greens. I always told Rich what a great links course St Enodoc was but afterwards, for the World to hear on radio, he accused me of lying about it as it was so very much better!
The 7th Medal Tee one of Richard Mandell's many pics, a view we did not have!
Both Rich and Drew are firm believers in affordable golf with the emphasis on using the natural land features to design courses - typical of traditional pre-1939 design philosophy without having to resort to major earthmoving, water features and huge yardages . They were certainly able to see the evidence on many of the courses they visited and particularly at St Enodoc of how to achieve these aims. To avoid boredom after leaving Rock they walked Royal North Devon and Burnham & Berrow prior to playing Swinley Forest and walking St Georges Hill and Woking. So eleven courses in about the same number of days – some fact finding mission!