Swan and Murray join forces


Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Ewen Murray, former PGA tournament professional and now a journalist and the principal golf commentator for Sky TV, has begun to work with Howard Swan and his team at Swan Golf Designs.

Murray has long had an interest in golf course design. He said: "My keenness to become involved in the architectural side of golf, a passion for a long, long time, has been heightened recently since I saw Howard Swan's splendid renovation work on the old course at Goodwood where I now play most of my golf. I have admired the historic aspects of James Braid's designs at many of the course I visited in my commentary and editorial work but the restoration of his layout at the famous Sussex estate excited me and made me feel that I want to become more involved in the design profession. Seeing just how quickly the downland course at Goodwood has achieved national acclaim is a great satisfaction to all of us. Howard Swan and I share a philosophy about the importance of the strategic aspects of a course's design are and I am looking forward to working alongside him on projects in the future. I cannot believe that we should be designing longer and longer golf courses as our game needs to be enjoyable – yes, challenging, but fairly – with everyone being able to manage hazards, particularly bunkering, comfortably. I also cannot believe that building courses should get any more expensive or the architects laying them out should be charging the millions we are hearing about these days. It is simply beyond people's pockets." Swan and Murray are presently working on a new development in southern England on a site of outstanding natural beauty and hope to stamp their joint mark on what might become one of England's best new courses in the next few years. Two international projects also beckon for the pair.