Jeffrey Lucovsky, with Jacksonville, Florida-based Mark McCumber & Associates, has created Hidden Cypress Golf Club in Bluffton, South Carolina; The Brickyard at Riverside Golf Club in Macon, Georgia; Tunica National Golf and Tennis in Robinsinville, Mississippi. In Florida, he worked to create Hunters Run (south course) in Boynton Beach and the Golf Club of South Hampton, in St. Augustine.
Travel is one of the fun, exciting, dangerous, and unique parts of working as a golf course architect. After working domestically for most of my career, our firm has begun to aggressively branch out into the international marketplace. Other than a few close calls with amateur pilots on small planes, some bad weather during flights, and lots of travel delays, nothing has compared to my last couple of years of travel to Central America.
Even though I live in the country, my experience riding on horseback was limited to only a few times riding over a span of twenty years. I have now logged over sixty hours riding in steep jungle terrain that are smaller than their American counterparts, with an architect that is not much smaller than an average NFL linebacker.
An easier way to view a property was on a seven-passenger Eurocopter. Seeing the site from the air was an exciting way to see the difficult terrain. Of course you can’t see the entire site by helicopter, so two weeks later, clad in work clothes and boots, we hiked the site. Any missteps might mean a fall of a couple of hundred feet. Grabbing onto a vine to climb up vertical embankments would be the only way to get back up the slopes.
The most unique site visit I ever took was via a zip-line, often known as a “canopy tour.” We were suspended above a coffee plantation by wires, strung tree to tree about seventy-five feet off the ground, and zoomed through the jungle to look at the site. To be honest, I was more worried about getting from tree to tree than paying that much attention to what the ground looked like below in terms of a golf course.
The best part was repelling down to the ground. The guide told me to guide my hands on the ropes, but don’t hold the rope. He explained that a man at the bottom of the tree would catch me. I was the first to go. After jumping off the platform and freefalling below, I was sure that I was going the crush the man on the ground. They did some trick with the ropes and I stopped safely.
There can’t be many jobs where every day is an adventure, and that is what I love about my job.