A Tom McBroom Course
The Toronto-based design firm of Thomas McBroom Associates was formed in the late 1980s, following Tom McBroom’s graduation from the University of Guelph with a Batchelor of Landscape Architecture degree.
McBroom had worked for a short while with Robbie Robinson – who himself had worked previously on two separate occasions with Stanley Thompson between 1929 and 1941, helping on the construction of courses in Canada, the US and Jamaica – before setting up his own design company.
Another well-respected American architect, the former Nicklaus design associate Bob Cupp, became involved in a couple of high profile projects (Beacon Hall in Aurora and the Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville) with McBroom at the start of his career and the unqualified success of these courses really set him on his way.
McBroom had more than half a dozen new build projects in Ontario under his belt during the early 1990s before heading outside his home province to design the well-regarded Links at Crowbush Cove layout on Prince Edward Island. Le Géant at Mont-Tremblant in Quebec quickly followed a year after this in 1995.
About Tom McBroom
Into the New Millennium
Into the new millennium and the architect was turning out new designs at the rate of at least two every year. Oviinbyrd in Foots Bay, Ontario (2005), Tobianao in Kamloops, British Columbia (2007) and Memphremagog in Magog, Quebec (2008) were just three of the many fine courses that came off the production line during that period.
Of course, McBroom has also renovated literally dozens of courses down the years, with Hamilton Golf & Country Club, Toronto Golf Club and Mount Bruno Country Club amongst the more illustrious clubs where he has spent time on upgrading assignments.
While the vast majority of McBroom’s work has been carried out within his native Canada, he has ventured abroad several times to design courses overseas.
He fashioned two 18-hole layouts for industrialist Yjro Laakkonen at Kytaja Golf near Helsinki in Finland in 2003-4 whilst commuting to the Caribbean around the same time to remodel Peter Thomson’s original mid-1970s design at Royal St Kitts.
Always willing to learn from others in the design business, Tom has collaborated on a couple of Canadian designs with Tom Lehman and he teamed up with Beau Welling in 2015 to redesign Tianjin Yangliuqing Golf Club’s 36-hole layout, forming three 9-hole circuits at the new 27 Club in China. For this project, twenty-seven Major champions were each given the opportunity to contribute towards the design of an individual hole.
tom McBroom’s Design Philosophy
“Some architects of the current era simply duplicate the work of others past and present. The result is usually a course that disappoints or leaves a feeling that it has already been seen before. Tom does not do this. Tom looks to lead and discover. He was the first golf architect to use bedrock as a framing and aesthetic element in course design leading to a whole new architectural style in northern, rugged and otherwise difficult terrain.
Tom treats every project with a fresh approach, taking the time to listen to the land and listen to the client. Tom develops a clear and distinct vision for every project he takes on. Maybe it is the way the course is routed… many of his courses are distinguished by non-returning nines, an important nuance in immersing the golfer into the course experience without disruption.
Maybe it is the way the course is bunkered. Tom is careful with his bunkering, not over doing it when not needed or conversely using a strong bunker motif when aesthetic punctuation is required. Tom takes environmental concerns and sensitivities seriously when working with the land. He finds ways to add value and promote natural uses of the environment.”