The passing of ASGCA Past President Bob Cupp brought an outpouring of response from the golf industry. Included were extensive reports – both personal and professional – from Golf Digest Senior Editor, Architecture, Ron Whitten, and Brad Klein from GolfWeek.
Whitten, who co-authored Golf’s Grand Design with Cupp, reflected on a 40-year friendship. He wrote:
“When Bob left (Jack Nickaus’) firm in ’85 and relocated to Athens, Ga., he invited me to join him to inspect some of his earliest solo works. I played both Jennings Mills and Port Armor with him and Billy Fuller, the former Augusta National superintendent who served first as his agronomist, later as his design associate and ultimately became a successful golf architect himself. Other associates would later follow, and Bob would praise them all: Mike Riley, David Johnson, former tour pros John Fought and Bill Bergin. He also willingly collaborated with a number of marquee names, including Craid Stadler, Fuzzy Zoeller, Hubert Green, Jerry Pate, Fred Couples and Tom Kite, the one pro (other than Jack) who, as we wrote in Golf’s Grand Design, Bob considered to be sincerely devoted to design.
“Bob told me that naming him as Golf World’s first Architect of the Year in 1992 didn’t jumpstart his career (he was well into it by then), but legitimized it, and put him in the ‘big leagues.'”
Ron Whitten’s article can be seen here.
“Bob Cupp…was one of those rare people who stayed busy, productive, creative and curious and did it all at a high level of craftsmanship. He also was deeply respected by his golf design colleagues, who thought enough of him to elect him as president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects in 2012-13.
“He was a big man with big dreams who hit the ball a very long way and even tried his hand as a professional golfer before turning to course design.
“Cupp was not afraid to move dirt to make a hole better. But he also appreciated the nature of the site on which he was working. During one of many memorable days I spent with him, we tromped around Atlanta looking at Marietta Country Club where he proudly displayed Civil War-era bunker formations that he left untouched and incorporated into the design. At Settindown Creek, a low-lying site in Roswell, Ga., with lots of lateral wetlands, he managed to tease features up and out of the ground that could be incredibly demanding from the back set of tees but that played far more forgivingly from more forward sets of markers set on different angles.”
Brad Klein’s article can be seen here.