BROOKFIELD, Wis. – Michael Benkusky, ASGCA, of Lake in the Hills, Illinois, was elected president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) at the organization’s recent 77th Annual Meeting in Milwaukee.
A native of Marion, Iowa, Benkusky graduated in 1988 from Iowa State University with a degree in Landscape Architecture. He grew up working and playing at Cedar Rapids Country Club in Iowa, a course designed by ASGCA founding member Donald Ross. Prior to 2005, Benkusky worked as a Senior Project Architect at Lohmann Golf Designs, Inc., with ASGCA Past President Bob Lohmann.
In 2005, he began his own design firm, Michael J. Benkusky, Inc. – Golf Course Architecture. The company’s mission is to, “Create, preserve, and enhance golf courses and their environments.” By combining a variety of design options with a hands-on approach, he has a close working relationship with his clients to enhance their golf courses. He has used more than 30 years of experience in his work on hundreds of projects, including remodeling jobs and restorations of courses originally designed by Ross, Tom Bendelow, Larry Packard, Dick Wilson and Robert Trent Jones.
“We have seen a resurgence in golf and our members are busier than ever with all types of projects,” Benkusky said. “After a slowdown in design, many of our members downsized to one-man shops. Now some of them have started to team up, which allows them to complete more work, share their talents and meet their client’s timeframe.” This is consistent with how many of the top Golden-Age golf courses were designed.
“When you look at some of the top clubs, you see that they were team efforts,” he continues. “Pine Valley benefited from 10 contributing architects, George Thomas and Billy Bell had visits from Alister MacKenzie during the construction of Riviera, and we all know that Augusta National included MacKenzie, Bobby Jones and Marion Hollins as designers.”
Benkusky also emphasizes that ASGCA members continue to learn from each other. “By combining efforts and design philosophies, members are creating timeless designs that are more site specific. We have members spread out across the continent and who have expertise in different areas; whether it is in specific grasses or soils, sharing experiences creates a better course. Look for ASGCA members and our affiliated partners to find more ways to get together on projects in these busy times and create more design teams.”
The design portfolio for Benkusky includes: Beaver Hills Country Club, Cedar Falls, Iowa; Palm Aire Country Club, Sarasota, Florida; Canyata Golf Club, Marshall, Illinois; Point O’ Woods Golf & Country Club, Benton Harbor, Michigan; and St. Charles Country Club, St. Charles, Illinois.
Benkusky became an ASGCA member in 1997 and will serve as ASGCA President through fall of 2024. He and his wife, Annette, live in Lake in the Hills, Illinois.
Founded in 1946 by Donald Ross, Robert Trent Jones and 12 other leading architects, the American Society of Golf Course Architects is a non-profit organization comprising experienced golf course designers located throughout North America. Members have completed a rigorous application process that includes the peer review of representative golf courses. ASGCA members are able to counsel in all aspects of golf course design and remodeling and include many of the great talents throughout the golf industry.
For more information about ASGCA, including a current list of members, visit http://www.asgca.org or call (262) 786-5960.
# # #