18 Jun 2024


The May issue of Australian Golf Digest magazine ranked Cape Wickham ahead of Royal Melbourne West as the No. 1 golf course in Australia, which was great recognition for all involved in the project and for what developer Duncan Andrews had achieved on King Island.

Mr. Andrews was interviewed by the magazine on the background of the design of the course, and clarified several key issues – including an agreement that he says Mike DeVries failed to honour, which would recognise the design publicly as a joint collaboration between he and Darius Oliver.

Although the magazine describes there being a dispute between Oliver and DeVries regarding design, in truth there has never really been any dispute over the roles both played – the only confusion stems from DeVries, and his business partners, misrepresenting the creation of the course as a solo design, and American golf ranking panels playing along.

Duncan Andrews sets the record straight in this interview.



Australian Golf Digest May, 2024. By Rohan Clarke.


It’s one of the most spectacular courses in the world yet confusion reigns over who actually designed it. Cape Wickham on Tasmania’s King Island is at the centre of a dispute between American Mike DeVries and Australian Darius Oliver. To solve the mystery, we asked Duncan Andrews, the man who funded the entire construction of Cape Wickham, to set the record straight. 

The opening of Cape Wickham Golf Links in 2015 heralded a new dawn in course construction. The spectacular coastal layout built on the foreshore of Tasmania’s King Island has influenced the way we appreciate golf.

Wickham won instant approval with its inaugural ranking at No.3 on Australia’s Top 100 Golf Courses. International acclaim followed when it was ranked No.24 on the World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses by our sister publication, Golf Digest (USA).

The recognition was a wonderful acknowledgment for the two men credited with Wickham’s design: American Mike DeVries and Australian Darius Oliver. DeVries was a rising star in golf-course architecture circles. Victoria’s Oliver was a noted architecture buff and author of the Planet Golf series of books.

Controversy surrounding Wickham arose in 2021 when two American publications – Golf Magazine and Golfweek – chose to credit DeVries as the sole designer. DeVries’ design company (Clayton, DeVries & Pont) appeared more than happy to perpetuate this narrative with multiple posts on social media failing to acknowledge it as a co-design. However, it rankled Oliver that his substantive role at Wickham was being wiped from history. To add fuel to the fire, Australian professional Mike Clayton sided with his American counterpart with whom he had entered into an architectural partnership (CDP).

To coincide with this issue’s publication of Australia’s Top 100 Golf Courses, we sought to learn the truth about who really designed Cape Wickham Golf Links. And who better to ask than the man who funded the entire construction of Wickham: Duncan Andrews.

The 75-year-old made his name by founding the capital services company Australian Ratings, which later became Standard & Poor’s Australia. In later life he has become known as a golf-course developer, outlaying more than $35 million of his own money in three
major projects.

It was Andrews’ passion that led to the redevelopment of The Dunes on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in the early 1990s. He commissioned Tony Cashmore to redesign the layout, which became the catalyst for the renaissance of links golf across Australia. In the late 1990s, Andrews invested into a 36-hole residential development at 13th Beach on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula where layouts by Cashmore and Nick Faldo are the cornerstone for one of the best golf communities in Australia.

But his pièce de résistance is Cape Wickham on King Island that has redefined Australian golf. Incidentally, it would be remiss to omit the role played by Programmed Turnpoint, the company founded by Andrew Purchase that was responsible for all the construction, shaping and landscaping carried out at Wickham.

As for the controversy surrounding DeVries and Oliver, Australian Golf Digest sought an interview with Duncan Andrews to set the record straight about how Wickham came to fruition: from site identification, selection of architect, routing and design of individual holes.

Cape Wickham 7th Hole

Above – Par 3 7th hole at Cape Wickham

Australian Golf Digest: We’re keen to set the record straight about what actually happened with the design of Cape Wickham Golf Links…..

Read the full interview here


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Duncan Andrews on 18 green during construction



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