Hardin was a Civil Engineering graduate from the University of Arizona. His golf course architecture career included work with fellow prominent architects George Fazio, ASGCA, and ASGCA Past President Robert F. “Red” Lawrence.
Hardin worked alongside Greg Nash, ASGCA, and was instrumental in the career development of Shane Witcombe, ASGCA.
“The cowboy boots Jeff always wore weren’t for show,” Witcombe said. “They were for marching through the rough deserts of Arizona to the canyons of Nevada to the scrubby Texas Hill country. Jeff was one of the first people on a new project, walking the routing and determining the best way to handle the site. He was extremely loyal and had great respect for the peers on his team. A true leader, his stare alone would make you quickly see Jeff’s way was the way to go. Some young whipper-snapper was not about tell him how to do his job. I found this out the hard way but was a quick learner! In the later years of his retirement in Wickenburg, his children wanted him to move closer to Phoenix but Jeff wouldn’t budge. He was an old-school cowboy in an old-school cowboy town.”
“Jeff always maintained he was ‘just a dirt man,’ focusing on the grading aspects of courses,” said Forrest Richardson, ASGCA, a fellow Arizona-based architect and close friend of Hardin’s. “Then he would give a little smile, adding that he was also making significant design decisions so the finished course would be better. He was among only a handful of ASGCA members who have been licensed as civil engineers. His knowledge of how golf courses got built was very deep, and it spanned across several decades working with icons such as George Fazio and developers including Del Webb/Pulte. We have lost a true pioneer in golf design.”
Hardin became an ASGCA member in 1976 and achieved Fellow status in 2003.