A native of Illinois, Ken Kavanaugh spent much of his college and professional lives in the warmer climate of Arizona. Ken received a degree in landscape architecture from the University of Arizona in 1976, after undergraduate work in architecture at Arizona State University and environmental science at Southern Illinois University. Kavanaugh then dove head–first into his first solo project: nine holes at the Happy Trails Resort, now known as the Great Eagle Golf Club.
Kavanaugh has now constructed original designs or redesigns in nine states. His courses include a new nine at Gold Canyon Golf Club in Gold Canyon, AZ; Southwyck Golf Club in Houston, TX; a collaboration with Peter Jacobsen at both The Oregon Golf Club in Portland and the Orchard Valley Golf Course outside of Chicago; and the Homestead at Murphy Creek in Aurora, CO.
Through his firm, Kenneth M. Kavanaugh Golf Course Design, Ken is able to design classic golf courses that challenge low–handicap golfers but still offer an enjoyable experience to the average player. Ken believes that the style of a course is unique to a particular project and is established through combining client criteria and site characteristics. Within this structure, Ken favors golf in a natural setting, in terms of color, texture, landform, and playability.