HOLLAND – Ray Hearn has traveled all over the world for his work as a golf course architect, however dwelling has all the time been Michigan.
“I’m a Midwest guy, I love Michigan, love the seasons, my family is here, my wife and kids love Michigan,” he mentioned. “I’ll be honest Michigan winters by the time it gets to February can be a little tough, but then I’m blessed to be able to pop down to Florida for a while.”
Born and raised in Detroit, educated at Michigan State University and a longtime resident of Holland on the west facet of the state, Hearn’s agency, Raymond Hearn Golf Course Designs Inc., is celebrating 25 years this summer season.
For 1 / 4 of a century Hearn and his agency have excelled in golf course structure, together with creating new course designs and the restoration, renovation, and transforming of present programs all through the United States and overseas.
“It has been a great ride thus far with a couple bumps – recessions – mixed in here and there,” Hearn mentioned. “We have stayed busy during these 25 years and our portfolio remains diverse with a variety of projects.”
In the corporate’s early years new golf course design comprised 60 % of the work portfolio however the portfolio has developed with the trade over time. Existing golf course restoration, renovation and transforming make up 80 % of the corporate’s present work.
“We are still lucky enough to have some new 18-hole designs kicking around,” Hearn mentioned. “Times have changed in the industry though. There are fewer new courses being constructed, especially in the USA, but at the same time there are wonderful opportunities to restore, renovate or remodel existing courses that over time have come to need updating in various ways. Our company excels in this.”
Hearn’s agency is busy with a number of initiatives presently underway, together with some in Michigan.
He accomplished a Master Plan for Washtenaw Golf Club in Ypsilanti final fall and renovation and restoration work has began on one of many oldest golf programs within the state (1899).
At Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs he’s engaged on grasp plans for every gap on The Moor course, doing a little restoration work on the Donald Ross Memorial course and planning a brand new par 3 course.
At White Lake Golf Club in Whitehall he’s restoring options, shot values and techniques of the unique Tom Bendelow design that dates to 1916.
He has been engaged on and off in current years with The Inn at St. Johns in Plymouth with grasp planning concepts and has additionally ready an award-winning grasp plan for Maple Lane Golf Club in Sterling Heights.
Hearn’s firm has earned a nationwide repute for his or her award-winning restoration, renovation, and transforming. The American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) has acknowledged his agency with Design Excellence Recognition Awards 5 instances since 2012, together with three for Michigan initiatives – renovation of his authentic design in 2013 at Island Hills Golf Club in Centreville, renovation work in 2018 at Water’s Edge Golf Club in Fremont and the 2019 grasp planning at Maple Lane. The different two have been for work in Panama (renovation at Golf de Club de Panama) and renovation work on Hearn’s authentic award-winning design at Mistwood Golf Club in Chicago.
Kathy Aznavorian of Fox Hills Golf & Banquet Center in Plymouth identified that Hearn’s 2001 design of their Strategic Fox par 3 course was then a revolutionary idea. That design received the Michigan Golf Course Association’s Golf Course of the Year award.
Golf Inc. Magazine has ranked Hearn’s agency among the many highest valued architects in American and one of many world golf trade’s most progressive designers.
Some of his firm’s initiatives have been accomplished or are underway on extremely regarded designs from varied eras together with the acclaimed “Golden Age of Golf Course Design.” Hearn mentioned he has loved the privilege of engaged on three pre-1900 initiatives with a fourth and presumably fifth task coming quickly, and that engaged on present programs versus creating new ones is clearly completely completely different however equally as thrilling.
“Working on existing courses, especially historical classics, is more difficult in my opinion due in part to the time that must be dedicated to research right out of the gate,” he mentioned. “Respectfully, working on courses where Willie Park, Ross, Bendelow, Langford, Tweedie, and other legends graced the property and created years ago is an incredible privilege for which I am humbled.”
Hearn, a loyal MSU Spartan who began his profession working with Jerry Matthews and Associates in Lansing, mentioned he’s typically requested in regards to the parts which have helped him in his structure journey.
“I always respond in this order: My university degree in Landscape Architecture with my emphasis area in Golf Course Architecture and my degree in Turfgrass Science,” he mentioned. “My overseas study and tours in Scotland, Ireland and England were also invaluable. Combining those things with years of experience has aided my career, and I’ve always held that, as with any profession, you must never stop learning.”