Design Philosophy

"Contemporary Design in the Classic Style" is an accurate description of my design philosophy. My designs are a response to the traditions of the game, contemporary shot values and player skills, site features, maintainability of the finished golf course, overall aesthetic feel of the course, and needs of the client. I feel strongly that golf should be fun, and the player should enjoy his golf experience without frustration.

Economy of construction is a major concern. With the current boom in golf course development, survival may well be the keyword for new facilities in the near future. Quality is never sacrificed to this end, but designs are conceived to realize a first class, properly constructed facility and provide an affordable product within a realistic budget. The enthusiasm exhibited by golfers at courses such as Fox Run at Eureka, Eagle Knoll at Hartsburg, Eagle Lake at Farmington, Bear Creek at Wentzville, and Aberdeen at Eureka, Missouri indicates this can be accomplished.

Personal attention is present from start to finish in every project. Client input is a major part of preliminary planning and forms the basis for course difficulty, appearance, intended use, and budget considerations. All details of design receive attention, particularly those seemingly minor items that sometimes get overlooked — such as cart path location, traffic areas to and from greens, and hazard placement relative to typical shots of high handicappers. "Designer's instinct" is in play from start to finish throughout the project to preclude design deficiencies that can lead to costly reconstruction after a course is open for play.

I give special attention to routing the golf course to optimize natural topographic features of the land into the design of each hole and into the layout of the entire golf course.  The topography dictates location of the golf holes, rather than vice versa.  This approach of fitting the golf course to the land as opposed to reshaping land to accommodate a golf course results in less earthwork and artificial hazards required to develop strategy, as well as creating fewer difficult maintenance situations.  As a result, the golf course takes on a completely natural look, rather than the contrived synthetic appearance of a manufactured golf course that appears out of place in its environment.

The routing has a major impact on construction cost as well as the character of the course and is the beginning and heart of the overall design process.  The course is routed in a manner compatible with site attributes; by maximizing natural features, the golf course takes on the appearance of being formed by the forces of nature. Course qualities such as overall length, hole length, par sequencing, strategy, and shot value are also major elements of the routing study.

Routings are always designed to respect environmental site conditions and make such elements focal points.  Early recognition of delicate areas enables the final design to take advantage of any unique natural features that may add visual and strategic interest. In the event disturbance of environmentally sensitive areas is unavoidable, a plan for mitigation is formulated.  This methodology minimizes disruption of environmentally sensitive areas as well as other site characteristics by earthwork and clearing operations.

Site presence is always provided during construction to assure the client of an artistic, properly constructed and finished product consistent with my design philosophy and to insure compliance with contract documents. After completion of construction, and even after a course is open for play, I am always available for consultation with the owner and his staff in matters relating to maintenance and operation as well as design.


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