In November of 1991, after a career that included work as a design associate with Jack Nicklaus Golf Services, Rick formed Jacobson Golf Course Design, Inc., in Libertyville, Illinois, which has created Virginia courses Augustine Golf Club in Stafford and Bull Run Country Club in Haymarket. Rick’s portfolio of work includes Bear Trap Dunes in Ocean View, Delaware; The Club at Strawberry Creek in Kenosha, Wisconsin; Makefield Highlands in Lower Wakefield Township, Pennsylvania; Patriot Hills Golf Club in Stony Point, New York; Bear Lakes-Links Course, in West Palm Beach, Florida; The Club at Nevillewood in Nevillewood, Pennsylvania; and Wynstone Golf Club in North Barrington, Illinois. In Japan, he created Ishioka Golf Club in Ibaraki Perfecture, World Country Club in Osaka, Hananomori Golf Club in Miyagi Prefecture, and Komono Club in Mie Prefecture. Jacobson also provided the renovation of Des Moines Golf and Country Club for the 1999 U.S. Senior Open.
My first American Society of Golf Course Architects meeting in Scotland was very memorable. The golf experience at the home of golf, the Old Course at St. Andrews, was also memorable for others…at my expense!
We were exposed to the beauty of St. Andrews at the first tee because the Swedish women’s golf team was teeing off in front of our group of golf course architects! We struggled to maintain our composure.
Eventually I met my classic Scottish caddy at this time. Before we started the round, I notified him of my somewhat erratic golf game – I had shot 76 and 103 in the same season – and my previous night’s indulgence in pints of Guinness.
My round evolved in typical form, with a colorful blend of pars, bogies and “others”…until the eighteenth hole. On my tee shot I didn’t quite get through the ball and pushed it slightly to the right…right on top of our hotel! Being the swing doctor that I think I am, I made a minor adjustment, reloaded, and double-cross snap hooked my next tee shot toward the beach on the far side of the first hole! (For those not familiar with St. Andrews, hole #1 and #18 are parallel to each other and basically share a fairway that may be the widest on the planet!)
By this time Jeff Brauer was crying in laughter and my caddie offered words of encouragement. ‘Ay, Laddie, I’ve never seen that done before!’
During another ASGCA Annual meeting hosted in Northern Ireland, we had the opportunity to play one of the world’s greatest golf courses: Royal County Down. The club was also hosting an international amateur tournament representing nearly twenty countries during our visit.
A large group of architects decided to visit a local pub that evening, and it happened to be karaoke night. This was the evening Brian and the Bullet Heads (Brian Curley and several other, as he would say, “folically challenged” ASGCA members) emerged as a self-proclaimed, leading golf industry entertainment group.
As an unbelievably entertaining evening was coming to a close, an elderly Irish gentleman rose and requested an old Irish fisherman’s ballad be played and displayed on the monitors in typical karaoke fashion to close the evening. The entire pub, with people from around the globe, engaged, arm-in-arm and sang the ballad in unison. Now, this is not a life or death subject matter that the media covers, but it was a simple example of how small this world truly is and that people can and do compassionately co-exist on this planet.