If you’re going to be stuck in a car for a two-plus-hour drive, you’d be hard-pressed to enjoy better company than Australian golfer Geoff Ogilvy.
In August, on the drive from Minneapolis to the western corner of the Land of 10,000 Lakes, where he and his design partners Mike Cocking and Ashley Mead are preparing to build Tepetonka, Minnesota’s first private golf destination on 228 acres of gorgeous rolling land with Shakopee Creek cutting through a quarter of the property, Ogilvy and I (and PR man/ wheelman Matthew Gibb) talked at length about his shift into the golf course design business among other things.
I’m probably not the first to say this, and admittedly it’s early days for his venture into the architecture space, but Ogilvy could be his generation’s Ben Crenshaw, who made a smooth transition from Masters champion to one of the most coveted designers in golf. OCM as the next Coore-Crenshaw? We can only hope to be so lucky.
Ogilvy turned pro in 1998, just as Tiger Woods was beginning to rule the game, and Ogilvy did well to win eight times on the PGA Tour (plus another four times on the DP World Tour), including the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot. He was a member of the International Team for the Presidents Cup three times and has been a vice captain on the last three teams. It seems inevitable that he will get his turn at the captaincy (and when he does the U.S. may finally have met its match in that event).
Ogilvy, 46, has reduced his play in recent years, including moving back to his native Australia for a time, and is starting to make a name for himself in the design world with work done at Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, back home in Melbourne at Peninsula-Kingswood and is in the process of completing a significant re-do of Medinah No. 3 near Chicago, which will host the 2026 Presidents Cup. (He also mentioned a course the firm is building in Georgia but wouldn’t disclose the name.)
A couple hours in the car flew by and the discussion continued over lunch and in between his site visit. Here are some of the highlights.