BROOKFIELD, Wis. – John Harbottle III, an American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) Member and president of John Harbottle Design of Tacoma, Wash., died May 24, 2012. He was 53.
Harbottle was nationally recognized for his commitment to environmentally-sensitive design. His award-winning layouts included Ridgecrest Golf Course, Nampa, Idaho; Stevinson Ranch, Stevinson, Calif.; The Olympic Course, Bremerton, Wash.; and The Golf Club at Genoa Lakes, South Lake Tahoe, Nev. All were designated “Best New Courses in the United States” by “Golf Digest.”
A landscape architecture graduate from the University of Washington, Harbottle began his career with ASGCA Past President Pete Dye, with whom he collaborated on projects throughout the world. Harbottle became an ASGCA Associate Member in 1992 and a Regular Member in 1996.
Extensive travel to Scotland allowed Harbottle to study golf’s traditions and form the basis for many of his own designs. He described his design work, especially its noted sensitivity to the environment, when he said, “Our goal is to create natural looking golf courses with a links touch; timeless classics that fit the terrain as if they have always existed. The indigenous character of the links courses makes them not only appear a natural part of the landscape, but also allows them to function as a sustainable part of the ecosystem.
“Great courses possess natural beauty, strategic hazards and variety – not only in overall design, but also in the ways to play each hole,” Harbottle said.
“Losing John is difficult to accept,” said ASGCA President Bob Cupp. “We were all together just days ago, with he a familiar and welcome face at the ASGCA Annual Meeting. This is a devastating loss. Our sympathies go en masse, to Teresa, the children and to his mother and father. “
Harbottle is survived by his wife, Teresa, and children, Johnny and Chelsea.
Founded in 1946 by 14 leading architects, the American Society of Golf Course Architects is a non-profit organization comprised of experienced golf course designers located throughout the United States and Canada. Members have completed a rigorous two-year long application process that includes the peer review of four representative golf courses. ASGCA members are experienced golf course architects, able to counsel in all aspects of golf course design and remodeling.
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