Peter Harradine

Peter is the Principal and Senior Architect of “Harradine Golf” with overall responsibility for the design and construction supervision of all “Harradine Golf” projects.


Albert Hockey, Peter’s step-grandfather, started the family’s golfing practice by remodelling his first course in 1920. Peter’s father designed his first course in 1929 and pursued an illustrious career until his retirement in the mid 80’s.


Born in 1945 next to the old golf course in Gurten (Berne, Switzerland), Peter continues the family's golfing tradition.

Peter’s contact with golf course construction started as a very young boy. His father drafted him to work on his projects during the school holidays which provided an obligatory, early and somewhat discontented experience with mud, rain, heat, freezing temperatures, rubber boots, rocks, clay, drainage, target dates, broken down machinery and all the other niceties of construction sites.


Playing golf was compulsory in the family and he received his first set of clubs at the age of six. A little practice and many rounds could not improve a handicap of 5. Frequent travel caused by his own insistence for personal supervision of the scattered sites, coupled with recurring and severe back problems followed by an operation has relegated him to a spectator who encourages his sons and his design team to play this fantastic, but oh so frustrating game!


In 1965-1966 Peter went to the U.S.A to study the theoretical and practical aspects of landscaping and golf course design and construction. Upon returning to Europe, he built and designed many courses with his father and other prominent European Architects of the time.


A visit to the United Arab Emirates in 1976 to investigate the possibilities of a golf course led to the subsequent establishment of the Dubai office in 1989.


Peter has personally designed and co-designed over 160 golf courses in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.


Peter is a former President of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects and the European Society of Golf Course Architects.


Statements from various interviews with Peter:


"We are not professional golfers. We are professional and qualified golf course architects"


I try to design my courses so that they are "easy to play but difficult to score"


"Times have certainly changed since the days of Albert Hockey and Don Harradine. The incredible improvement of playing materials and the ever-increasing surface of the club face means that everyone can now hit the ball, but where does it go? Most of today's golfers are like children with Kalashnikovs !! They do not really understand the dangers !"


"Many golfers actually manage to score birdies but they are on the wrong green! All these wild shots criss-crossing fairways makes the design of a safe course more and more difficult especially when the area available is limited, without trees and completely flat ! Today, people who join golf clubs want to play golf as soon as the course is open (rather than playing bridge) and they do not want to wait for newly planted trees separating the fairways to grow !"


"There are three important factors connected with the design of a great course: the site, the location and the choice of a competent, experienced and professional golf course architect. It is of course the site and the site alone, which forms the basis of a great course although even a good site can be spoilt by a mediocre design."


"I always compare a great site to a beautiful woman, it is a lot easier to improve and accentuate her good looks with professionally applied make-up but it needs a lot of clever surgery, a great make-up artist and a lot of love and care to transform a not so beautiful lady in to something stunning !"

"I guess our forefathers were lucky, at least they had great sites to work with ! We are lucky if we are allowed to work on completely arid desert, rubbish dumps or flat and boring agricultural land !"


"If you add all the constraints imposed by the ecologists, the environmentalists, the water board, the forestry department, WWF, planning departments and local authorities, it is a miracle that we can build any courses at all !"


"It must be admitted however that there have been inconceivable abuses on the environment and it is important that Golf courses fit in to the surrounding landscape. Natural vegetation must be preserved as much as possible. Earth movements should be restricted to a minimum and all the natural assets provided by the site must be fully exploited."


"The site must speak to the architect and he must follow the instructions given to him by the surrounding landscape. He must not try to impose his "style" or "signature" unless the land will accept it."


"Unfortunately, the transatlantic concept has encouraged a very artificial, unnatural and over-manicured look (railway sleepers growing in lakes?). Let us go back to basics and traditional values, let us remember how and where the game started. I always compare the integration of a golf course in to the surrounding landscape to a heart transplant: the site must not reject it !"


"An experienced and qualified architect will always find the correct and permanent solution to any technical problem presented by the site whether it is a salty environment at temperatures of 50oC or altitudes of 1850 meters with temperatures dropping to minus 20oC !"


"It is important that we never forget the people who actually contribute the real money to golf and they are today's numerous beginners and semi-retired players that are the proud holders of the two 55's (over 55 years old and over 55 handicap). They want to enjoy a round of golf, they will buy new clubs every 3 months, will believe anything to reduce their handicap and unlike many low handicappers and professionals, they actually pay to play! For them the course evaluation is simple: good score - good course, bad score - bad course. The game is difficult enough as it is ! Let us not make it too frustrating for them ! Let us go easy on all these imported, fashionable and modern terminologies and layouts such as: "Championship Courses" "Signature Courses" "Stadium Courses". What will come next? "Tiger monster Jurassic courses"?"


"What is a "Signature Course"? Well, in most cases it is a course that has been signed but not designed !"


"It is a lot easier to design a golf course on a huge and beautiful site with a generous budget rather than design a good and interesting course on boring, flat farmland with a very small budget and many restrictions. It is the architects who manage the latter that are the real unsung heroes of our industry."


"I am always quiet surprised by the fact that our profession is constantly swamped by famous and not so famous touring pros who seek an additional or alternative income during or after their peak by demanding and obtaining incredible fees for "designing" courses."

"Why can't the players simply declare that they sponsor, endorse or act as advisors on a course? Why do they insist that they "designed" it? Ironically, and because of the money, spin and hype involved, the players are always offered the best sites, more than enough land and enormous budgets."

"This allows them to pay an army of experts and designers and hand-pick contractors to deliver a product which is usually very good. One would have to be a complete blockhead to produce a poor course under such perfect conditions and circumstances!"


"It is less complicated to make an easier golf course more difficult rather than trying to transform a difficult course in to an easier layout!"

Reference List
Course Events
Don Harradine Memorial