1. Why did you want to be a golf course architect?
I love the game. I have wanted to design golf holes since I was in the 6th grade and have never wanted to do anything else, really. Golf is fun and always a good day.
2. Which golf course architects do you admire and why?
Well that changes throughout your life as you grow and learn more details about each architect. There is something to learn from any great golf architect. I was a Donald Ross fan, then moved on to Tillinghast. Old Tom Morris was very good. I loved working with Mike Strantz. Tom Fazio is my mentor for sure, and he is the best at listening to clients and making dreams come true for their needs. I would say that Alastair McKenzie is the favourite these days.
3. What is your proudest design achievement?
A body of work which is 82 courses in 6 countries coupled with a confidence that the work will get done well and that you always have too much work to do, because people like what you do.
4. What are your favourite three golf courses in the World from a design perspective, and why?
Augusta National, Royal Melbourne and St. Andrews are my favourites. There is a sense of place at each that compliments the design. The whole is better than the parts.
5. What are the greatest challenges you face as a golf course architect?
The members at courses who get too involved, and do not have the knowledge to make a meaningful contribution, are certainly challenging. Dealing with people, who should sit down, is the tough part.
6. What environmental or sustainable initiatives have you incorporated into your designs?
I try now to make holes that look and play with excellent strategy, while also being easier to maintain. The maintenance hours need to be reduced, or the game will be too costly to endure.
7. How do you see the golf course design industry changing in the next 20 years?
I do not think that too much will change, other than new faces will be introduced and older faces will wrinkle and fade away.
8. What makes a golf course great rather than just good?
Strategy, shot-making interest, variety of green shapes and angles, a reason to hit the ball to a specific point.
9. What advice would you give to an aspiring golf course architect?
Study the game of the best players and understand shot-making options. This will make you a better designer and add strategy to your thought process.
10. What do you enjoy about being a golf course architect?
I enjoy watching golfers having a good time on a round of golf … having a good time … on a course we built! I take great pride in building a layout that is well liked and appreciated by Tournament level players.
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