Phelps is Owner and Golf Course Architect for Phelps-Atkinson Golf Course Design in Evergreen, Colo. He holds a B.S. in Environmental Design from the University of Colorado. His list of representative courses includes The Broadlands, Broomfield, Colo.; Devil’s Thumb, Delta, Colo.; Panther Creek Country Club, Springfield, Ill. (with Hale Irwin); and Antler Creek Golf Club, Falcon, Colo. Remodels include Pinnacle Peak Country Club, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Pinehurst Country Club, Denver; and Liberty Lake Golf Course, Spokane, Wash.
Phelps continues a family legacy in his service to ASGCA; his father, Dick Phelps, is a long-time ASGCA member who served as president in 1980. Dick is highly respected and recognized as the most prolific golf course architect in the Rocky Mountain region; his work focused on playable and sustainable courses long before those attributes were recognized as current industry focal points.
As ASGCA President, Rick Phelps plans to focus on golf courses which are affordable, playable and sustainable. “The most famous courses in North America are well known, but they make up less than five percent of the total number of courses,” he said. “The lesser-known projects also have stories to tell. I want to bring attention to the other 95%, including the public courses where over 70% of all rounds are played, and educate people inside and outside the golf industry that the median greens fee for those courses is $28.”
Phelps also plans to continue the work of Immediate Past-President Erik Larsen, ASGCA, who promoted the “Value of the Golf Course” as part of the recreational, social and economic fabric of communities. “The ‘value’ topic has received a great response,” Phelps said. “I will expand the outreach and ‘value’ story in the coming year.”
As the golf industry continues to change domestically and internationally, Phelps will also actively promote the value of ASGCA and its members. ASGCA continues to be the largest organization of golf course architects in the world and its’ members the most experienced. More than two-thirds of 2011 Annual Meeting attendees work on projects outside North America.
“ASGCA members are international leaders in golf course design,” he said. “We are problem solvers, and the changes taking place in the game of golf require our expert guidance.”
Phelps, father to three children, lives in Arvada, Colo., with his wife Amy.
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 and comprise many of the great talents throughout the golf industry.
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