Mike Dasher has twenty-six years of experience in golf course architecture, having completed more than fifty new courses. The majority of Winter Park, Florida-based Dasher Golf Design’s work is in the southeastern United States, although he has also completed projects in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico. A civil engineer by training, Dasher believes that great courses should be able to be maintained to a high standard of maintenance at minimal cost, and that good drainage is crucial to high quality maintenance. Dasher designed Florida courses such as Eagle Dunes Golf Club in Sorrento, Highlands Reserve Golf Club in Davenport, and North Shore Golf Club in Orlando, as well as Georgia layouts Bentwater Golf Club in Acworth and the Traditions of Braselton Golf Club.
A friend of mine, Tom Horan, hosted a live, call-in television show titled Let’s Talk Golf on Orlando cable television in the 1990s. I made two guest appearances on the show.
The routine was to arrive thirty minutes early before airtime, have my makeup applied, get a microphone attached, and go through a sound check.
One of the stagehands, just before we were to go live, brought a handful of golf clubs up onto the stage and laid them to the side of my chair.
“What are those for?” I asked her.
“Some of our guests will pick up one of the clubs in order to demonstrate a proper golf swing,” she explained.
While Horan and I both had reasonable golf swings, I doubted any callers would, or should, be asking us for instructional demonstrations!
Instead, we took some viewer calls from listeners asking about a golf course we had just finished building about an hour west of Orlando. I showed some photos of the course on the air.
A called named Herb then rang through.
“Tom, I just moved here from New Jersey,” Herb told Horan, “and I’m having a heck of a time reading these Bermuda grass greens here in Florida. Ask that architect fellow if he could give me a few tips.”
I thought for a second about discussing the principles of grain in the green and the ways golfers can determine which way the grain was going until I remembered there was an old putter in the stack of golf clubs next to my chair. I grabbed the putter and swung into action.
“If you want to know how to read the Bermuda grass greens in Florida,” I told the caller, crouching low in front of the camera while closing one eye, “try this!”