James Wilcher was once a design associate with Greg Norman Golf Course Design in Australia, where he was the principal designer on the Laguna Bintan course in Indonesia. In 1999 Wilcher left Norman’s company and established his own design firm Golf by Design. Subsequent projects have included Pacific Dunes (NSW) and The Cut at Port Bouvard in Western Australia as well as the redesign of Elanora Country Club.
Wilcher’s track record is a little mixed with Laguna Bintan clearly troubled by funding and client issues, but nonetheless a notch below the Asian courses that lead-designer Bob Harrison was working on for Greg Norman at the same time. Pacific Dunes is equally unremarkable, but The Cut at Port Bouvard does have its strong points, most notably the tremendously undulating sand dunes that part of the course occupies. Some decent holes were discovered in the sand but there are also a number of awkward areas and duller holes around the housing estate.
One of Wilcher's signature projects was the redesign of Elanora Country Club, in Sydney's northern suburbs. Turf conditioning at Elanora clearly improved post-redesign and Wilcher's short 17th hole has proven a popular addition to the layout. Despite some success, the club recently engaged American Kyle Phillips to overhaul the golf course and advise on changes to the Wilcher layout.
James Wilcher now partners with Ian Baker-Finch on some design projects.
To contact James Wilcher at Golf by Design, or for an independent assessment of his suitability for your project, please contact the Global Golf Group.