Drew got his start in golf at Quail Creek Country Club in Robinson, Illinois, designed by Golden Age golf architect, Tom Bendelow in 1919 and also a former PGA tour stop during the late ‘60’s & early ‘70’s. Here, he was an accomplished, low handicap golfer and assumed a wide range of responsibilities at the club, enabling him to be exposed to the “ins and outs” of private club operations, personal service and course management. With newfound exposure and passion for golf course design, Drew then focused on ways to make golf into a profession. He studied Landscape Architecture at the University of Kentucky, earning his degree in 1991, always with the goal of acquiring the skills to become a golf course architect.
In 1992, Drew took a design position with golf course architect, Arthur Hills. He quickly assumed full management of projects and became a well-recognized face of the firm and a highly respected golf industry practitioner. He was appointed a full partner of Hills’ firm in 1999 before earning acceptance as a member of the prestigous American Society of Golf Course Architects in 2001. During time spanning nearly 19 years, Drew collaborated with Arthur on over 30 new course designs and over 20 major renovations worldwide, including works at noted courses like Oakland Hills Country Club in Detroit, Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh and Congressional Country Club in Maryland.
In 2010, Drew established his own design practice (JDR), whose primary focus is to assist existing golf facilities who seek to make strategic improvements and plan for long-term success. As such, JDR is a boutique design practice that focuses on personal service, direct communication, well-planned Improvement Programs and enduring excellence. Drew builds and maintains strong, lasting, personal relationships with his clientele and strives to address their most pressing needs while providing lasting enjoyment for players. As a result, the majority of Drew’s work appointments are acquired through direct referrals.
Our philosophy has always been mostly centered around achieving client goals. We have focused on achieving success by making thoughtful, practical improvements that are enduring enough to allow the course to become the best version of itslef. We always strive to enhance the golf experience to ultimately meet the needs of the users, operators while remaining harmonious within the surrounding environment… to apply practical, “less is more” and traditional design methodologies that will enable any facility to reasonably sustain itself… to design golf holes that reveal great beauty while presenting provoking options and opportunities for all players… and to inspire imagination, creative shot making and promote lasting enjoyment of this fine game.
Always an advocate of the game, Drew has been a frequent speaker/panelist at various local, regional, national and international turf and golf conferences, including environmental golf summits in Istanbul, Turkey and Lisbon, Portugal and a golf growth seminar in Rome, Italy. His involvement in advancing sustainable golf and environmental stewardship was realized in Portugal, where Oitavos Dunes earned Audubon International’s highest distinction, “Gold Signature Sanctuary” – the first such designation in Europe and only the second in the world at the time. Drew also maintains an active blog where he regularly comments on a variety of golf-related topics and stays connected with his followers.
Drew’s clients have remarked repeatedly on his moral character, his ability to listen, his congeniality, his vision and creativity and his ability to effectively communicate. He is passionate about success and excellence; a true team player and a professional that cultivates long, collaborative relationships with his clients. Drew is a seasoned practitioner, a prompt service provider, available to administer timely direction and decision making and always respectful his clients’ timing and budgets. For additional comments from a variety of clients and golf industry professionals, please visit Endorsements.
Drew’s fondness for traditional, classic, “Golden Age” architecture has inspired a movement for his consultation and involvement on a growing number of history-laden courses, including restorative efforts at:
The Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst, North Carolina (Ellis Maples)
Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York (Donald Ross)
Country Club of Columbus in Columbus, Georgia (Donald Ross)
Pine Lake Country Club in West Bloomfield, Michigan (Willie Park, Jr.)
Old Elm Club in Highland Park, Illinois (Harry Colt & Donald Ross)
Kenosha Country Club in Kenosha, Wisconsin (Donald Ross)
Sylvania Country Club in Sylvania, Ohio (Willie Park, Jr.)
Chevy Chase Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland (Donald Ross, Colt/Alison)
Manor Country Club in Rockville, Maryland (William Flynn)
Spring Lake Country Club in Spring Lake, Michigan (Tom Bendelow)
Knollwood Club in Lake Forest, Illinios (C. H. Alison)
Drew’s guidance has also been instrumental at more modern venues, where he has been tasked with developing a new vision or identity, develop improved practice facilities, address playability and management issues… or to simply touch up a maturing design to endure another 30 years. Some of these include:
Quail West Golf and Country Club in Naples, Florida
Royal Poinciana Golf Club in Naples, Florida
Ivanhoe Club in Ivanhoe, Illinois
Andover Country Club in Lexington, Kentucky
Belle Haven Country Club in Alexandria, Virginia
Audubon Country Club in Naples, Florida
Wyndemere Country Club in Naples, Florida
Country Club of Paducah in Paducah, Kentucky
Valencia Golf & Country Club in Naples, Florida
Miromar Lakes Beach and Golf Club in Miromar Lakes, Florida
Drew’s new course works have gained a wide variety of accolades, attesting to the adaptability of his skills over a broad variety of course and project typologies and locales.
Oitavos Dunes, Portugal – Among Golf Magazine’s “50 Greatest Courses of the Last 50 Years” & among the “Top 100 Courses in the World” (#55), hosted European PGA Tour’s Portuguese Open
Newport National Golf Club, Rhode Island – “Top 20 Public Courses in the US” by Golf Digest, “Best Public Course in New England” by New England Golf Monthly & “Top 10 Links Style Courses in the US” by PGA.com.
Country Club at Mirasol (Sunset Course), Florida – among the “Best Communities for Golf” according to Links Magazine, hosted PGA Tour’s Honda Classic
The Club at Olde Stone, Kentucky – “Top 10 New Private Courses” by Golf Digest, “Top 100 Modern Courses in the US” by Golfweek, hosted NCAA Golf Championships & the PGA Junior Ryder Cup.