Robert von Hagge passed away Saturday, October 16, 2010, at the age of 83. von Hagge was Founder and Senior Partner/Architect of von Hagge, Smelek, and Baril. Mike Smelek, ASGCA and Rick Baril, ASGCA were von Hagge’s partners, and together, the firm created internationally-recognized courses in more than 50 cities.
von Hagge’s professional life stretched from his early teen years as a caddy to international fame as a master golf course designer and architect. During his career, he vaulted to the top ranks of golf course design and architecture, becoming a dominant force in the European and Mexican golf world, and moving effortlessly into golf design throughout the world.
von Hagge actively maintained hands-on involvement in the creation of distinctive designs all over the world, even in his early eighties. He was propelled to greatness by his own philosophy: “Every shot situation should be one where the golfer walks up to the ball and has his breath taken away. It should be a ritual experience.”
The architect often spoke warmly of his partners of more than a quarter of a century: “Both Mike and Rick have been a driving force behind the creation of many major projects throughout the world… I am personally grateful for the obvious creative talent and responsible dedication that is a part of the very fiber that these two outstanding men bring to the team.”
Content for this piece was provided by von Hagge, Smelek, and Baril.
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