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An Interview with the Designers of Stoatin Brae, West Michigan’s Newest Championship Golf Course

Stoatin Brae, the newest golf course at the Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort, opened to the public this past May. Prior to opening, Forbes Magazine named the course “one of the nine most eagerly awaited new golf courses of 2017,” adding to the hype around one of the state’s newest championship golf courses.

In a recent interview with Golf Club Atlas, the four designers of the course, Eric Iverson, Don Placek, Brian Schneider, and Brian Slawnik, sat down to talk about the process designing the course, their approach, and what makes Stoatin Brae different than Gull Lake View’s other offerings.

When it came to meeting the goals of owner Jon Scott, the team had to be creative. “The site was different than what the Scott family had built on before,” said Iverson. “Their other courses are more wooded, and this was an orchard site on top of a hill, that had been cleared of trees. It was different enough to be appealing to Jon, and maybe to scare him a little, too; I’m not sure he could quite visualize what was going to make it look good in the beginning, but he had faith in us to sort that out.”

Collaboration was an important part of the design. “Everybody took a crack at the routing independently, because we all know how hard it is to get a hole out of your mind once you’ve seen someone else’s plan,” said Placek. “The property is long from north to south, and pretty narrow, so we knew there would be some similarities between the plans.”

The course is notably different from the other offerings at Gull Lake View, but the team believes that there’s a lot to love about Stoatin Brae. “It’s a real contrast with the other courses at Gull Lake View,” said Slawnik. “Hopefully their clientele like how open and expansive it feels, although I don’t think they’ll find it any easier to score on. It’s an unexpectedly pretty site, and a nice place to spend the day, even if you’re just there to tag along and watch.”

Read the entire interview and see the team’s original sketches over at Golf Club Atlas.