"The best work is always a synergy between architect, construction crew, and property."
-Tom Doak 2002. www.golfclubatlas.com
While some might think minimalism when they read this quote, I think business model. What allows some of the elite design companies in the world to be so successful is not just their architecture, but their process, and they way they sell their product.
The top minimalists in the world: Renaissance Golf (Doak) and Coore & Crenshaw, both operate as architects and contractors. Hanse, Pete Dye and a few others are the same way. (side note: Doak, Coore and Hanse all can trace their architecture roots to the Dye branch of the gca tree)
As someone who currently in golf course construction business with hopes of entering the design field in the future, I think that in order to create both the best product and highest profit margins, operating as both lead contractor and architect is the best method.
Architecture, building, landscape or golf course, is all about creative problem solving. To do that, you have to be there and you have to understand all the variables. As lead shaper and architect (my ideal business plan) not can you be more creative, but you have the ability to make changes on the fly, have less discrepancies in design and become more intimate with the land, which is what it takes to build special golf courses.
Although one architect clearly cannot take on as many projects with this method, I would be more than willing to give that up in order to have more fun as lead shaper, and you would definitely increase you fee due to the extra time in the field shaping.
Picture: Riverfront Golf Club, Renaissance Golf
While Doak, Coore, and Dye don't act as lead shapers, their design companies do operate as contractors. Gil Hanse, Rod Whitman and others do.