Ross Perrett joined the prolific Thomson & Wolveridge design team in the 1980s, becoming a partner a few years later and then company principal with Peter Thomson when Mike Wolveridge left the firm a few years ago.
There was a period in the 1980s and 90s when this company seemed to win every major design contract in Australia, be it new courses or renovation/redesign work at some of the country’s celebrated older clubs. With little genuine competition and a marketable ‘signature’ the firm prospered, and it wasn’t really until the arrival of Greg Norman Golf Course Design and the team at Michael Clayton Design that Australian business started to slow for Thomson and Perrett.
Initially the company was best known for building linksy courses in tropical or sub-tropical climates where neither the terrain nor the grass growing conditions were suited to that style of golf. Then came the big break, the opportunity to design on the pure dune country of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. The National Golf Club’s Ocean course was the first to open, principally designed by Michael Wolveridge it was a disappointing creation when compared directly to the Moonah course next door or the nature of the virgin terrain. Shortly after Peter Thomson had a go designing the Open Course at nearby Moonah Links, which is a juiced up championship links designed to torment professional players yet, being a resort, it was somehow to bring pleasure to the average golfer. Opinions are divided, but few believe this to be an elite Australian course despite the perfectly pitched undulation of the property. Ross Perrett’s Legends Course next door is the clear standout of the three. As with Moonah Links Open, the Legends also has the odd issue with extreme green designs and a slightly squeezed routing but it is a nice course that most golfers will enjoy tackling. It is usually ranked among the top 30-35 courses in Australia.
Given the love affair with new Thomson Perrett courses in Australia seemed to be on the wane, the company looked abroad and won plenty of jobs in places like Asia and the Middle East. The redesign work in Australia also dried up, with Michael Clayton and his team snapping up Thomson Perrett clients such as Victoria, Peninsula, Lake Karrinyup, The Lakes and Royal Queensland.
Despite the fact that Peter Thomson retired from the business in 2016, and sadly passed away two years later, Ross Perrett has remained a busy golf course designer and in 2019 announced a new partnership with champion Australian golfer Karrie Webb. To be known as Perrett Webb Golf Architects, the company will start with a renovation project at Indooroopilly Golf Club in Brisbane and likely look to Asia for further work in the years ahead.
For an independent assessment of Ross Perrett's portfolio of work, or suitability for your project, please contact Global Golf Group.