Northern California native Don Knott is a past president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and chairman of the ASGCA Foundation, as well as a tenured member of the environmental impact committee. He was, for more than twenty-five years, lead architect for the Robert Trent Jones II group, supervising the completion of more than sixty courses worldwide, including Princeville Resort’s Prince Course in Hawaii, The Links at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, Long Island National Golf Club, and the National Golf Club of Australia. Knott has partnered with architect Gary Linn and PGA Tour player and 1996 PGA Champion Mark Brooks to form Knott Brooks Linn Golf Course Design.
In 1987, I made a site visit to the black free State of Transkei in South Africa. I was alone, walking the proposed site for the golf course, which was still in the planning stage, long before a single shovel of dirt was turned.
I was wrapped up in the scenery, the landscape features, and the solitude of it all when I got a peculiar feeling. I began to look a little closer at the details around me.
It turned out I was not alone on the site walk. The site was occupied by many, many natives living in grass huts. I began to notice bare-breasted women. And then I saw some not-so-friendly looking men.
I was walking solo, and suddenly I felt as if I were intruding. The menacing looks I received were damned scary. My leisurely, peaceful stroll quickly became a hurried gait!