My beautiful wife and I have three great children. A native of
Charlestown, Indiana (in the Greater Louisville, Kentucky metropolitan area), I have a
degree in Business Administration with a Major in Marketing from Mississippi State
University where I graduated Summa Cum Laude in what seems like a
lon-n-n-n-g time ago.
In addition to holding a degree in Marketing, I am
also a Graduate of Mississippi State University's Professional Golf Management Program;
when I was enrolled, it was one of only a few such programs in the world sanctioned by the Professional Golfers'
Association of America. That was truly a great experience for me and I would encourage
anyone interested in being a golf pro or director of golf to do the same--e-mail me and
I'll tell you about it. Through my educational background and work experiences while
at Mississippi State (MSU), I gained invaluable insight into all aspects of golf--the
game, the course, and the business. I got the opportunity to attend several PGA
seminars and was also fortunate enough to participate in a project jury and seminar
conducted at MSU by renown golf course architect Bob Cupp where he took
the time to review my project (I'm still a fan of his more subtle
style of design--you can see the influence in a lot of my work).
I actually designed my first "golf
course" at age 10, utilizing three acres of my parents' land at their home to layout
a working three-hole course--complete with contoured fairways and sand bunkers. It
didn't take long to appreciate the amount of work that went into keeping up with a golf
course and that's when the bug bit me and I knew I wanted to design
courses for a living!
My educational background includes Turfgrass
Management, Golf Course Operations, Design of The Golf Environment, Golf Course
Architecture, Plant Biology, and Landscape Architecture in addition to International
Marketing, Business Quantitative Analysis, Marketing Research and other
"specialized" business courses.
I have worked as an assistant golf
professional at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Mississippi (host site of the 1999
U.S. Women's Open); Castlewoods Country Club in Jackson, Mississippi; Diamondhead Country
Club on the Gulf Coast; and Big Spring Country Club in Louisville, Kentucky (site of the
1952 PGA Championship). After graduating from college, I spent
roughly eight of the
first years of my professional career with a small golf course design
firm in Jackson, Mississippi.
that firm, I soon became the Senior Design Associate and worked
extensively golf course design projects, handling the routing, greens
designs, and the the creation and preparation of drawings and
technical specifications, project budgeting, and the monitoring of construction for
all of the firm's projects. Then in the fall of 2002, I left
to launch my solo career and co-found two new firms: Watermark Golf, LLC/Nathan Crace Design--a
firm offering services in golf course architecture, renovation design, and land-planning
Golf Management, LLC--a club management and consulting company.
The firm I began with in Jackson closed its doors shortly thereafter.
I am a member of the Golf Writer's
Association of America, the American Planning Association, and an
affiliate member of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
I was a member of the
Advisory Committee for Hinds Community College's Irrigation and Turf Equipment Maintenance
program and I worked with the LPGA/USGA's Mary Ann Edge
Mississippi Junior Girls' Golf School. Although not an orator by any stretch of the
imagination, I have given a number of presentations/speeches about the game of golf, the
industry, and its positive effects on the environment and the economy.
January of 2005, I was honored when Golf Digest named
Copper Mill Golf Club (the last course I designed for my former
employer) was named the "Best New Affordable Public Course in
America" and again in May of 2005 when the course was named the
"#2 Overall Course in Louisiana!" In 2007, Golf
Digest also named Hattiesburg CC the "#4 Overall Course in
Mississippi." Since that time, the rankings have yo-yoed up
and down and other awards have come across my desk. In 2008,
Golf, Inc. Magazine named my re-design of Ole Miss GC the "#3
Best Renovation Among Public Course in America" behind only Cog Hill
and the TPC Los Colinas! I am very
fortunate to enjoy what I do for a living!
to write about golf in my spare time. That's why I started this column and I
always take the time to read every email and Tweet that comes my way
from readers. I always want to hear from you about
the topics you would find interesting!
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