The partnership of veteran golf course architect Ross Perrett and World Golf Hall-of-Famer Karrie Webb is aiming to make inroads in a profession that has traditionally been dominated by men.
Webb, Australia’s most successful Major champion, said: “I think with Ross’ design experience, my playing experience and also being a woman, we’re going to bring a different element to the design business. I’m going to think about the playability of the course as a whole, not just from the back tees.
“Ross and I are on the same page when it comes to making golf courses financial, not leaving them with the burden of extravagant upkeep costs or an expensive redesign invoice. Membership clubs need to be able to pay the bills and, ultimately, stay in operation. We’re here to ensure that happens.”
The co-architects launched the limited partnership Perrett Webb Pty Ltd late in 2018 after working together on a bid for the 2016 Rio Olympics course design.
Perrett, a long-time former partner of the late Peter Thomson, boasts 25 years of experience in golf course architecture, designing 80 courses in 13 countries, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Thailand.
Perrett said: “To partner with one of our most successful Australian male golfers in Peter Thomson was an absolute delight. And now to work with our greatest ever female player is a dream come true. Karrie will make a great contribution to the industry.”
In a recent interview with Golf Digest Australia, Webb said: “Ross and Peter Thomson approached me around 2011 when they were putting in a bid to design the Rio Olympics golf course. I had a fantastic experience with them on that process. Peter was a wonderful gentleman and every time I was with both of them there was such a great mutual respect between us. I felt like I was a part of the team from the very beginning.
“Nowadays I spend a lot of time with Ross. We’ve put in a few other bids for work, so we’re planting a few seeds. Last year I heard Indooroopilly might be coming up for expressions of interest and Ross and I agreed to start working together on a bid. Fortunately, we got the job! I think we decided with that success that there could be a lot more opportunities as a partnership so we officially formed the Perrett Webb design firm.”
As for her design philosophy, Webb, winner of 55 professional titles including seven Majors, said: “The puzzle to producing a great course is making it challenging for the elite player and still enjoyable for the amateur, ensuring they’re not losing balls all day or spending most of it in bunkers.
“I’d love to build a course from scratch. I think there will be plenty of opportunities in the near future. I’d love for Ross and I to get an opportunity to build something iconic.”
Eric Lynge, the AGIF’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We’re pleased to welcome Perrett Webb Golf Course Architects to the Federation as an Associate Business Member.
“The partnership between Ross and Karrie promises to offer a new perspective in golf course architecture. We look forward to seeing them prosper as a company and as an active member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.”