VALE | Golfing world will miss Michael Wolveridge
VALE MICHAEL WOLVERIDGE
The golf world is mourning the sudden passing of renowned golf course designer and former US Tour player Michael Wolveridge, who has died at the age of 82.
And his death comes at a time when he was still extremely busy re-designing the Mirage Country Club, a course he co-designed with the late and legendary five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson more than 34 years ago.
Wolveridge, who was involved in the design of more than 200 courses in 23 countries, was working closely with the club’s Golf Superintendent Alec Ross, in a three-year project which involved re-designing all 18 greens.
Mirage Country Club General Manager Geoff Peard said he was saddened by his sudden death.
Wolveridge, who is survived by his wife Barbara, a leading Port Douglas realtor, had a close relationship with Thomson.
During their 50-year business (and friendship) partnership – their company was known as Harris Thomson Wolveridge – they were in the top tier of golf course designers. Their major competitors were Robert Trent Jones, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.
“We were always in the mix to get projects and were fortunate to design more than 30 courses in SE Asia and Japan,” Wolveridge once said.
Wolveridge chose to retire in Port Douglas, where he also designed the Palmer Sea Reef course, owned by Clive Palmer.
The former president of the Society of Australian Golf Course Architects spent four years developing the course before it opened in 2000.
Previously called the Sea Temple Golf and Country Club, Wolveridge said in an ABC interview, the 89 bunker course is some of his greatest work.
"Like many things in life, it's as good as the piece of land or site that you have got," he said.
"It [the course] was an old reef. So to make a links style course over this sandy area where the sea once covered it is a very authentic thing to do," he said.
Married to Barbara for 30 years, he leaves behind two children and two grandchildren from a previous marriage and two step children and three step grandchildren.
“I am so saddened. This is such a terrible loss. He was still doing such great work and he had so much more to do. He led a wonderful life,” said Barbara.
A memorial service will be held at 3.30pm on Thursday at St Mary’s Church.
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