Q&A with Les Furber
Les Furber is a partner in GDS Golf Design Services Ltd. in Canmore, Alberta. A former associate of Robert Trent Jones, Furber has designed and built courses throughout Canada and beyond. GDS sports a unique international portfolio, including, in 1991, the first modern day course in the Czech Republic, the first 18 hole course in Cuba as well as courses in the USA, Switzerland, and Germany. GDS and Les Furber Design have just recently undertaken a 27 hole project in Lithuania plus an 18 hole course in the Czech Republic. Furber’s portfolio includes the renovation of Banff Springs.
Q: What attracted you to the project at Redstone?
A: It’s a beautiful area and I liked the developer’s vision for the course and the community.
Q: What was the biggest challenge?
A: Every environment has challenges but an alpine course is challenging because you want to avoid too many uphill shots and maximize downhill or relatively flat shots. I think we achieved this at Redstone. We also preserved the natural beauty of this stunning location.
Q: What about the green complexes?
A: They are large and there are bunkers but there are catchment areas to keep golf balls from running into trouble. The greens are not overly contoured. So it’s possible to score and golfers should not have major problems on or around the greens.
Q: What about the playability of the course?
A: From the back tees, it’s not for the feint of heart but from the blue or white tees, it’s more forgiving and a lot of fun. I tried to minimize forced carries from the forward tees.
Q: What have people said to you about the course?
A: It’s memorable. I think that’s a testament to the beauty of the area and the vision of the developer.
Q: What’s the defining architectural element of the course?
A: There are two things. First, it’s a visual delight. Second, it rewards well-executed golf shots.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge on an alpine course?
A: There are lots of challenges but it’s especially important to avoid blind shots. There are no blind shots on the course.
Q: How does the course compare to other courses you’ve designed?
A: I like all my courses! But the natural beauty here is second to none. From tee to green, this course is a test that will make golfers want to come back. Around the greens, it’s not overly difficult but you have to be careful to avoid long putts. I was certainly fortunate to be able to design and build a golf course here.
For a full list of Les Furber golf courses, click here.