Son and grandson of golf course architects, Martin Hawtree has continued the family tradition and built an international architectural practice of considerable note and reputation. Hawtree Junior is best known for renovation work at venerable classics such as Royal Birkdale, Royal Liverpool and Formby in England, Lahinch and Portmarnock in Ireland, Fontainebleau in France, Yarra Yarra in Australia and the Toronto Golf Club in Canada. His work at Lahinch was quite wide reaching, and involved restoring some lost MacKenzie design features as well as building a couple of new holes.
Hawtree is an interesting architect, he clearly has great design pedigree and the quality of some of his renovation work is first-rate – such as Portmarnock, Lahinch and Toronto. He also did a great job building his father’s lost 12th hole at Royal Birkdale. We haven’t yet listed Hawtree as a Quality Endorsed designer primarily because of some issues with important projects in Australia and the lack of any great original design. His new 5th hole for the Kooyonga Golf Club in Adelaide is quite troubling, while for Yarra Yarra in Melbourne his masterplan provides some solutions for areas of concern but doesn't appear to elevate the layout much above its present standard.
Hawtree had a massive opportunity to create something worthwhile for Donald Trump in Aberdeenshire, and his new course there will certainly please those who enjoy dramatic, big dunes golf. Whether he achieved his clients stated aim of creating the best golf course in the world is highly debateable, but it is likely the layout will lead to further interest in this softy spoken Englishman.
For an independent appraisal of Martin Hawtree’s design abilities contact the Global Golf Group.