Golf Course News International 2002-2003
By Trevor Ledger
Kyle Phillips spent 16 years with Robert Trent Jones II before creating his own practice. His first course in his own name is the highly acclaimed World Top 50 course, the Kingsbarns Links near St Andrews. This summer he opens another spectacular new layout: The Grove in Hertfordshire. Trevor Ledger talks with him.
GCNI: 16 years with RTJII. What prompted you to branch out on your own?
KDP: Working with Bob and his team was really great and I could have stayed there forever. I just felt the time for me to start my own firm was right. I was 39 and our children were 9 and 12 years old. If I had waited, it would have become more difficult for them to relocate.
GCNI: Kingsbarns was a great opportunity for you, wasn’t it?
KDP: Indeed it was. To have such as strong location as St. Andrews and the natural coast line along the North Sea provided a good foundation. My good friend, Richard Wax, with whom I had worked closely during our years with RTJII, introduced me to the site. The original developers were looking to sell. I was then able to bring together an American developer for whom I had already designed a course, his financial partner and Southern Golf, the contractor with whom I had an excellent relationship during the construction of the Wisley Golf Club. This formed a solid team.