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.
Martin 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 don't regard Hawtree as a quality designer primarily because of 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 failed masterplan left the club with a couple of real problem spots and one of Melbourne's least appealing short par fours.
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, difficult, big dunes golf. Although Trump International is a good course, we don't believe that Hawtree came close to achieving the stated aim of his client, to build the best golf course in the world. Regardless, it is likely the Trump 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.