Principal & Golf Course Architect
Nathan Crace, ASGCA, PLA
“I’m extremely fortunate to be able to do what I love for a living. For me, designing or renovating a golf course is about helping my client and being part of creating something that will long outlive me. It’s very humbling.”
Scroll down to read about Nathan’s background and experience in golf for nearly 30 years! ↓
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experience & expertise
A member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) and a licensed Professional Landscape Architect (PLA), Nathan was born in Louisville, Kentucky and raised just across the Ohio River in Charlestown, Indiana where his parents and sisters still live. Nathan is a Graduate of Mississippi State University’s prestigious PGA Golf Management program–one of only three such programs in the world that were sanctioned by the PGA of America at the time. He also has a Bachelors in Business Administration with a Major in Marketing from Mississippi State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Nathan is a past member of the American Planning Association, a former affiliate member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and a long-time member of the Golf Writer’s Association of America.
Nathan volunteers as a guest lecturer and speaker at Mississippi State University for students from the PGA Golf Management, Sports and Turf Management, and Landscape Architecture programs as well as speaking at the ASGCA Annual Meeting, GIS, and regional golf and turf expos and industry gatherings.
In 2020, Nathan was named a member of the ASGCA Board of Governors for a three-year term. (continued below)
Holes of golf designed
years of experience
Nathan’s body of work in golf course architecture has received high-profile recognition throughout his career. Perhaps the most recognizable awards include Golf Digest’s “Best New Affordable Public Course in America” for his design of Copper Mill Golf Club in Zachary, Louisiana (Greater Baton Rouge) and by Golf Inc. Magazine for naming his re-design of Ole Miss Golf Course for The University of Mississippi (in historic Oxford, Mississippi) as the “#3 Best Renovation in America” behind only Cog Hill in Chicago and the TPC Los Colinas course in Dallas–both of which have been regular hosts to the PGA Tour (and spent considerably more on their renovations compared to Ole Miss GC).
Nathan has nearly 30 years of extensive and invaluable experience in golf course architecture and planning, including the creation and preparation of drawings and technical specifications, project budgeting, bidding for public entities, oversight and monitoring of construction, and assistance with grow-in. Prior to co-founding Watermark Golf, Nathan served as the Senior Design Associate with another golf course design firm for nearly eight years and during his tenure with that firm, Nathan was directly involved with the full design and implementation of the firm’s projects including such notable projects as Hattiesburg CC, Copper Mill Golf Club, Caroline Golf Club, and Brookhaven CC to name a few, where he took the lead first-hand in the design process. Since founding Watermark Golf, Nathan has continued his success by providing designs that are both cost-effective and aesthetically-appealing for his clients for private developers and owners, country clubs, municipalities and other public groups, and even the United States Air Force.
Although his true passion is golf course architecture, he has discovered a keen sense of practical skill and ingenuity in residential and golf course master planning to provide clients with a better overall synergy in regards to the operations of a golf course, its related ancillary facilities, and any surrounding residential development. This ability enables his clients to realize a cost savings by better planning for the future for their facilities. More information regarding our land planning services can be found at www.watermarkplanning.com. For information about our services regarding the design of sports complexes, please visit www.watermarksports.com.
Nathan is also active in promoting the game of golf for juniors and promoting the golf industry for those seeking a career in golf and is an active member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA). In 2020, he published his first fictional thriller titled Vincent Vino (available from www.MoonbayMedia.com) and you may have also read some of Nathan’s other literary works in his freelance column “Lipouts” where he wrote for more than 8 years about his perspective on current events in the world of golf. Lipouts appeared in a number of regional and national publications on a regular basis as well as special runs for features (you can read past columns at www.lipouts.com). Nathan is also a regular contributing author to a number of national golf industry publications.
Through his educational background as well as life and work experiences, Nathan has gained invaluable insight into all aspects of golf–the game, the course, and the business. Nathan has completed several PGA seminars and, as a college student, participated in a project jury and seminar conducted at Mississippi State University while by renown golf course architect Bob Cupp, who would later become Nathan’s lead sponsor for ASGCA membership more than 20 years later.
Nathan’s 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 to offer clients a full package of services.
Prior to becoming a golf course architect, Nathan served as assistant golf professional at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Mississippi (host site of the 1999 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2019 US Women’s Amateur); Big Spring Country Club in Louisville, Kentucky (site of the 1952 PGA Championship); Castlewoods Country Club in Jackson, Mississippi; and Diamondhead Country Club on the Gulf Coast. He has found that those “real world” experiences from the operational side of the golf industry have given him a leg up on other golf course architects because he fully understands how his work impacts the day to day operations of the courses he designs and/or renovates.
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p: (601) 849-0461
Post Office Box 1250
Magee, MS | 39111 | USA
100 Lakeview Drive, Suite 210
Magee, MS | 39111 | USA