The world of golf truly misses Mike. I miss and think of him every day. I still see Mike with his paint gun drawing bunker lines creating his flavor for that particular course. A true artist he was. Like most architects, he walked the land to get a feel of the charm of the property. But Mike had a talent like no other. “He wanders the corridors with charcoal pencil and a sketch pad and sketches skillful pictorials of what he envisions each hole will look like. A flat lifeless field becomes and 80-yard-wide fairway, suddenly being pinched to 15 yards by a mammoth flaking dune, a narrow lifeless stream became an awesome lake and a narrow ditch becomes an enormous ravine”. As an artist, his imagination became a reality on paper and in the field.
We rode on horseback on many of our jobs taking a tour of what was accomplished for the day and dreamed up new ideas for tomorrow. That was a special time for us to get away and take it all in.
He loved what he did and knew he was going to design courses the rest of his life. Well, he did. Unfortunately, Mike passed away after finishing his masterpiece at the Monterey Peninsula CC Shore course in 2005 which many say had been his best work ever.
Many described him as a special genius, the second coming of Alister Mackenzie. “He may not be the best young architect in America, said one publication, He may be the best period!” Golf World named him Architect of the year in 1998 and Golf Week selected him as the top ten designers of all time.
With all the accolades, Mike had received his best trait was the passion he had for life and the love he had for family and friends. His heart was as big as his ideas. He enjoyed life more than anyone I have ever known and it was an honor to be his friend and to be a part of his glorious journey.
We all miss you.