E. Lawrence (Larry) Packard, a Past President and Fellow of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA), died Jan. 28, 2014. He was 101. Golf industry leaders and ASGCA members are taking note of both Packard’s design work across the globe and his legacy of service to ASGCA and the profession of golf course architecture.
Packard began his golf architecture career in Illinois in the 1940s with one of the founders of ASGCA, Robert Bruce Harris. Packard started his own firm in 1954 with Brent Wadsworth. Wadsworth would go on to a successful career as a golf course builder, receiving the ASGCA Donald Ross Award in 1993.
Packard’s work included: Innisbrook Golf and Country Club in Palm Harbor, Fla., where he designed three 18-hole courses in addition to a nine-hole layout; Turnberry Country Club, Crystal Lake, Ill.; Lake Barrington Shores, Barrington, Ill.; and Countryside Country Club, Clearwater, Fla.
“Larry Packard was a pioneer in the game of golf,” ASGCA President Rick Robbins said. “Those who influenced his work date back to the 1800s, and the courses Larry designed still stand today and will for decades. Those who play the game will be positively impacted by Larry Packard for generations to come.”
Not limiting his work on more than 600 golf courses to North America, Packard also designed and renovated many courses internationally, working in countries such as Egypt, Guatemala, South Korea and Venezuela.
Born Nov. 15, 1912 in LaGrange, Ill., Packard received a Bachelor of Sciences degree from the University of Massachusetts and became an ASGCA member in 1964. The moniker “Father of the Modern ASGCA” was given Packard by former ASGCA Executive Director Paul Fullmer due to Packard’s service to ASGCA and its members. Packard was ASGCA president in 1970-71, one of the first architects to vocally address environmental concerns, an early advocate for using effluent for course irrigation.
Industry leaders comment on Larry Packard, ASGCA Fellow
ASGCA Past President Bob Cupp: “Since the game of golf is so ancient, we don’t look upon ourselves as ‘pioneers,’ but in Larry Packard’s case, it is appropriate. Larry was at the forefront of the post World War II golf explosion, and his courses still stand. He should wear the ‘pioneer’ title proudly.
Former ASGCA Executive Director Paul Fullmer: “Larry Packard was one of the first of the ‘new wave’ of landscape architects to join ASGCA. He later became a prime mover in ASGCA setting up our offices in Chicago. He told me, ‘Our society began to grow and prosper when I started asking our members to bring the name forward of others who should come on as new members.’ He impacted golf, golf course design and ASGCA.”