Jim Engh, principal of Engh Golf Design Group, based in Castle Rock, Colorado, spent several years learning the trade from established golf course architects such as Dick Nugent, Ken Dye and Joe Finger. Engh eventually became the director of golf course design for IMG Developments at its European headquarters in London, England. Under Jim’s direction, IMG Developments has worked with such golf legends as Bernhard Langer and Isao Aoki on a variety of projects in over a dozen countries worldwide. Engh designed The Club at Black Rock, in Couer D’Alene, Idaho; Tullymore Golf Club in Stanwood, Michigan; and, in Colorado, The Sanctuary in Sedalia, the Club at Pradera in Parker, and the Golf Club at Red Mesa in Grand Junction.

I singlehandedly lost the only golf ball in an entire country!

I was working for IMG and based in London in 1988, when a group of five of us traveled to Rega, Latvia, to discuss the possibility of building a hotel and golf resort. This was before the Berlin Wall had come down and travel was very interesting.

We were visiting the Latvian Golf Club, which consisted of a rebuilt house as the clubhouse, a wooden stand with a rubber mat, and a fifty-yard area that had been mowed by a group of sheep and goats. Although there was no golf course, the scorecard for the club was a handmade leather notebook with blank pages.

The local members of the club knew little about golf but were very hospitable and eager to learn about the game. They insisted that one of us actually hit a ball from the wooden stand. I was elected. As it turned out, there was only one ball and a choice of hitting a three-iron or a five-iron. With a swamp to the right and tall grass all around, I tried to make an easy, safe pass at the ball. Of course, with a nice pass, I pured the ball into the long grass!

Two hours of searching was to no avail. Yep, I had lost the only golf ball in all of Latvia!

Before departing I took a bundle of stakes and located six holes for the boys to mow down and eventually play. Just like the old days!

Upon returning to London, I sent Latvia a dozen orange golf balls.