With a lifetime membership list stretching only 280 names long, Chad Goetz of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., became the 24th past or present Nicklaus Design employee to gain admittance into the renowned American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA), the oldest professional organization of golf course designers in America. Goetz was recognized at the organization’s 69th Annual Meeting in La Jolla, Calif.
Goetz, a Nicklaus Design employee since he graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture in 1999, is believed to be the only golf course designer in the world who is a member of both the European Institute of Golf Course Architects and the ASGCA.
Since becoming a Nicklaus Design employee 16 years ago, Goetz climbed the organization’s ranks as a Production Assistant and Design Coordinator, and then became a Design Associate. He has completed two courses as a Design Associate and led two renovation projects, and since beginning his career with the world’s leading golf course design firm, has completed 226 golf holes in leadership roles with the organization, and no fewer than 50 routing studies and approximately 350 green details for construction.
Goetz has been involved with the design or renovation of Cherry Creek Country Club (Denver, Colo.); The Club at Pronghorn (Bend, Ore.); The Peninsula Country Club (Rehoboth, Del.); La Torre Golf Resort (Torre Pacheo, Spain); Villaitana I and II (Benidorm, Spain); El Valle Golf Resort (Torre Pacheo, Spain); Monte Rei Golf Club (Faro, Portugal); Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club (Moscow, Russia); Hacienda Riquelme Golf Resort (Riquelme, Spain); Puntiro Golf Club (Mallorca, Spain); La Loma Sports Center (San Luis Potosi, Mexico); Las Saurines de La Torre Golf (Torre Pacheco, Spain); Mar Menor Village Golf (Torre Pacheco, Spain); Alhama Signature Golf (Alhama de Murcia, Spain); Killeen Castle (Dublin, Ireland); Ullna Golf Club (Roslagsvagen, Sweden); Skolkovo Golf Club (Moscow, Russia); Golf La Moraleja Courses III and IV (Madrid, Spain); Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club (Boca Raton, Fla.); Harbor Shores Golf Club (Benton Harbor, Mich.); and other courses in various stages of development.
In his support letter for Goetz, Sylvain Duval, Director of Golf Course Construction and Maintenance for Polaris World, described the Las Terrazas de la Torre Golf Resort.
“Chad and Nicklaus Design took a completely different approach to this course to make it the most unique course at Polaris World and possibly in Southern Spain,” Duval said. “The land was a flat agricultural field, with very high-density development planned around it. Mr. Goetz took some design risks here to create a dramatic artificial dunescape, but still create a design that was formal enough to fit within the surrounding development. The result was tremendous.”
Robert Anderson, Director of Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club, said, “Even with the challenges that we experienced, Chad always was there with a solution or idea to keep things moving forward. As far as the end product goes, I would have to say that it exceeded my expectations. Now that a large number of our members have toured the property, I am certain they feel the same. The value that our membership gained from utilizing Mr. Goetz and the Nicklaus Group is immeasurable.”
Other current Nicklaus Design employees or consultants who are members of ASGCA include Jack Nicklaus, Jack Nicklaus II, Chris Cochran, Jon Garner, and Jim Lipe. Candidates for Associate membership in ASGCA complete a rigorous, multiphase application process that includes peer review of four completed courses, discussions with project owners and a personal interview to assess the candidate’s professional capabilities. This process typically takes two years for an applicant to complete, and ensures that all ASGCA members are qualified and well-seasoned in golf course design with a trained eye for both functional and aesthetic excellence.