Golf has been part of my life it seems like forever. While playing the tour, I was living a dream. But when injuries forced me to retire, I had an opportunity to become partners with Mike Strantz who was named one of the top 10 golf course designers of all time, which included the likes of Alister MacKenzie, Donald Ross, A.W. Tillinghast and others.
Well, a new passion for me was created. Being a part of designing and building great courses throughout the country was more inspiring to me than playing the tour. Felt like I was living another dream. Unfortunately, my best friend in life, Mike Strantz, passed away from tongue cancer in 2005.
Mike had inspired me to build and design great courses that everyone can enjoy while creating the Wow factor! His courses were mind blowing and inspired not only myself but other architects to take that leap to do something new, something that hadn’t been done before, be different.
A new philosophy had been reborn and I think Mike lead the way for other architects to step out of their box and be different. Since then so many new and beautiful, inspiring courses have been designed and all for the better.
Many tour players were starting to get in design work, at this time. So, I contacted them and fortunately, I created a little niche in building courses for colleagues and friends of mine on the tour. My first was with Davis Love and that grew into more opportunities with many other Hall of Famers: Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Johnny Miller, Lanny Wadkins and two-time tour winner John Fought.
Touring professionals all have a passion to be the best. We knew from the onset we had a lot in common. The confidence they had in me pushed me harder to be even better. They had trust in me to bring their ideas to fruition. What I learned from Mike, I was able to bring to the table to assist them in their creations. I have been impressed with their vision and proud to be a part of a winning team.
While I’m still building courses for Touring Professionals, I am also designing and building courses myself while consulting on many of Mike Strantz courses protecting his vision and finishing his dream.