of Golf/Landscape Services/Airport Operations
only had Nathan proved himself capable the previous year with
his design of the team practice facility project, but he also
had the expertise and the resume we felt necessary to accomplish
the tasks we had set out to achieve [on the course itself]. On
a personal note, I also liked the fact that Nathan’s personality
is much more personable and professional....Nathan is willing to
lead the project in a team sense—with all parties providing
input that he takes to heart while administering the project.
Since construction of the
renovation project began, I have never ceased to be amazed with
the progress of the work and the look of the new green
complexes. Nathan developed ideas in the design of the golf
course that have taken full advantage of our site that—before
now—had been underutilized. In addition to a new irrigation
system and irrigation lake that captures storm water runoff and
completely redesigned green complexes and bunkers, Nathan also
added additional back tees and forward tees to make the course
more enjoyable for players of all skill levels. Seeing what we
have seen thus far, we cannot wait until the course re-opens
this fall [of 2008].
I would not hesitate to
recommend Nathan Crace. His expertise and skill in his work is,
in my opinion, unmatched in his field."
of Golf/Golf Professional, Bay Breeze GC (Keesler AFB)
the aftermath of Katrina Hurricane, the Bay Breeze Golf Course was
totally devastated in almost every aspect: from the greens,
fairways, landscaping, and clubhouse to the maintenance equipment
and irrigation system and more. Having Nathan as the golf
course architect and consultant from start to finish for the Bay
Breeze Restoration Project was the best thing that ever happened
to this very challenging undertaking. His vision and insight
in redesigning all the green complexes, fairway layouts, and
landscaping have undoubtedly elevated our golf course to a whole
new level. Without compromising his unique vision and
architectural concept he was very receptive and accommodating to
our concerns and recommendations--and restrictions of a military
project. The new look (design) of the Bay Breeze Golf Course
is far beyond anything that I could have imagined and golfers at
Keesler Air Force Base as well as from the local communities now
have a new course that they will enjoy playing for many years to
It really has been a joyful experience working with Nathan and I
could not see anyone better for this restoration project
considering all the factors and governmental bureaucracies and
restrictions. His broad experience and expertise also played
a major role in determining the proper remedy for a permanent fix
of our damaged water supply source (lake) and irrigation system.
Nathan’s hands-on involvement and on-site inspections on a
weekly basis throughout the entire process clearly has had a huge
impact on the quality and remarkable progress of this project.
Without any reservation, I am very confident and proud to
recommend Nathan as the [golf course] architect or consultant for any golf
course project (huge or small) either in the Armed Forces or in
the civilian sector."
Manager, Cypress Tree GC (Maxwell AFB)
projects are a different animal altogether.
Here at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama,
construction projects are laden with additional restrictions,
processes, and design guidelines. Our construction project to renovate 18 greens on the West
course at Cypress Tree golf course was no exception. However, Nathan Crace’s professionalism and can-do attitude
helped us tremendously getting through these barriers. Nathan engaged the process and helped us work through a
myriad of issues that took extreme calm and professionalism on his
the end of the day, I can say that Nathan was the driving force in
resolving many of these issues and was crucial to helping keep our
project on time and within budget.
Nathan was diligent, steadfast, and determined in working
in all of our design goals, budget constraints, and customer
experience and knowledge produced a phenomenal result that pleased
everyone in the process. Nathan
is particularly dedicated and displays exceptional integrity.
We definitely chose the right person for the job.
We would highly recommend Nathan Crace and would make him
our first choice on future projects."
Michael Goatley, Jr.
Professor and Turfgrass Specialist
"I am most impressed by the scope of Nathan's background.
He has expertise in [golf course] architecture, and above average knowledge of
edaphic and hydrologic properties and turfgrass systems (something I
have found lacking at many design firms), and is also an accomplished
golfer as well. I feel he delivers the 'complete package' in
terms of what an accomplished golf course architect can
is the ultimate professional, exhibiting a calm demeanor and an
outstanding work ethic. He exudes integrity and dedication to
his work. I believe that his personal qualities are every bit as
outstanding as his professional qualifications.
and I first met years ago when he was a student in the Professional Golf
Management [PGM] program at Mississippi State University. I was
a faculty member in the Plant and Soil Sciences department and had the
opportunity to instruct Nathan in two senior level classes [Turfgrass
Management and Golf Course Operations]...Nathan was simply one of the
top PGM students during my tenure at Mississippi State, exhibiting
both the desire and the ability to maximize his educational
opportunity while at MSU.
was assigned an 'A' in both of my classes, which is quite a feat given
his curriculum had essentially no science background, something that
comes in very handy with these particular classes. Nathan had
well-defined goals then in terms of his career path and his desire to
design golf courses, and I have taken great satisfaction watching his
career in golf course design grow leaps and bounds."
note added April 18, 2007: Although Dr. Goatley was not
physically injured during the shootings on campus on April 16, 2007, I
spoke with him on Tuesday to find that two of his fellow
professors/friends were killed that day. Dr. Goatley had a
tremendous positive impact on my career path when I was in college at
Mississippi State and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his
family as well as the families of the victims and the students, faculty,
and others impacted by the senseless violence in Blacksburg that
--- Nathan Crace
P. Redford, Jr.
(Former COO of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail)
"As the former Chief Operating Officer for Alabama's Robert Trent
Jones Golf Trail, I have had the opportunity to work very closely with
some of the game's top architects and understand the importance of
selecting the right person for the job. I have no reservations
about recommending Nathan; he will exceed your expectations if given the
opportunity...and I believe him to be one of the golf industry's top
young [golf course] architects.
I have watched as
his professional reputation and industry exploits continue to impress
those of us who are knowledgeable about the golf industry and the role
of the [golf course] architect in the course design business. The
[golf course] architect's
overall influence is substantial, the golf course design and
conditioning potential contributes greatly to the customers' experience,
which impacts a facility's revenue potential and overall operating
I have had the
opportunity to observe first hand Nathan's abilities in renovating an
existing facility...he is excellent at working within the project's
overall objectives, has a history of bringing the finished product in or
under budget, understands the real cost to maintain a golf course, and
possesses a very unique ability to provide a balanced golf experience
suitable for all golfer levels."
and Former General
"Nathan and I first met in
1995 during the construction of Caroline Golf Club near Jackson,
Mississippi when I traveled there to discuss my dream of building a
championship eighteen-hole golf course north of Baton Rouge in the
bedroom community of Zachary.
After changing sites once and developers more than three times,
we were finally able to realize my dream when Copper Mill Golf Club
opened two years ago to widespread acclaim.
Then in January [of 2005], we received the ultimate honor a
public course can receive when Golf Digest named our course the
'Best New Affordable Public Course in America for 2004!'
to say, we have seen our play skyrocket in the wake of the award as
golfers from across the country and around the globe have made the trip
to Zachary to experience what Nathan created.
In May [of 2005], Golf Digest once again honored our
facility by naming it the “#2 Overall Course in the State of Louisiana”
in its bi-annual listing of the top courses in America by state. This
placed Copper Mill ahead of other upscale private clubs designed by the
likes of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye!
In fact, by the numbers, Copper Mill outscored Dye’s TPC of New
Orleans (a course which was on the 2004 'Best New Upscale
Public Courses' list, hosts a PGA Tour event, and cost considerably
more to build) by a relatively wide margin in each of the critical areas
used by Golf Digest to rate a golf course!
He handled the design from top to bottom, made the site visits, and
resolved any problems that arose.
In fact, his choice to maximize our property’s potential by
routing the course with six par 3’s, six par 4’s and six par 5’s
to utilize a flood plain on the property while still maximizing home
sites on the golf course was a stroke of genius that not only made the
course unique and fun to play, but also caught the eye of the Golf
I am perhaps most impressed by his ability to blend dramatic green
complexes seamlessly into the surrounding settings while providing
multiple pin placements on each hole in a method that our grounds crew
can easily and inexpensively maintain.
His greens look like the holes we are used to seeing on TV each
However, his design of the faux mill ruins on the 17th
hole still draws comments on a daily basis from new golfers who do not
realize they were built to Nathan’s designs during
will not find a golf course architect more committed to his craft than
Nathan and I know that he will do whatever it takes to make your project
the best it can possibly be if you select him as your [golf course] architect."
Golf Writers' Association of America
(Writer for travel, golf, and
entertainment publications worldwide since 1982)
"I'm giving Copper Mill an A+ on the scales of playability and fun! This
wonderfully designed layout begs you to let the driver rip, but also demands precise club selection
and your best efforts on approach shots and its unique collection of six testing par three
holes. Treat yourself and play at least one of the awesome 600+ yard par fives from the tips! Copper
Mill is what golf is supposed to be. It's challenging and adventurous, but straightforward and fair."
Golf Course Renovation Committee
met Nathan Crace in the summer of 2006 when our country club
decided to undertake some much-needed golf course improvements.
Our course renovation committee spent several weeks
prioritizing our needs and interviewing a number of golf course
architects. Since we
had minimal knowledge of course design and construction and were
going to be heavily dependant upon our [golf course] architect, we selected
Nathan and his firm--boy
were we lucky! He
immediately outlined a course of action to lead us through the
process, prioritized our “wants” and helped us decide how much
we could do within our budget.
the Club’s Representative and with over 25 years of industrial
construction experience, I soon learned that golf course
construction is first and foremost an artistic undertaking.
Nathan’s artistic eye took in our fixed layout, created
new larger, more playable greens and relocated bunkers in a manner
that will lead the golfers’ attention toward the target.
All this was accomplished while keeping the ongoing
maintenance costs in mind. Nathan’s
technical knowledge of course management allowed him to design
around many high maintenance features found in other courses.
has demonstrated an interest in our club’s success that goes far
beyond merely creating a superior golf course.
He attended several member meetings where his enthusiasm
quickly spread to the attendees. When we deviated from the proper course, he gently lead us
back to methods with proven success.
Even before the course
re-opened to play, the members' excitement from what they
could see taking place created a buzz throughout the area.
Because of Nathan's hard work, we are confident our
facility will soon rank with the best in southeast Louisiana."
of Golf Operations
(Former Publisher, Tee to Green Magazine)
"I spent the past eight years as the Editor and later Publisher
of Tee To Green Magazine—a monthly periodical covering golf
in Louisiana, Mississippi, the Alabama Coast, and the Panhandle of
Florida. During my time
with Tee To Green, I had the pleasure of playing a number of
courses Nathan either designed as a new course or renovated and I can
honestly say that I never get tired of playing his courses, regardless
of the setting or style of the course.
When I was still writing
for the magazine, I once referred to Nathan as the “best golf course
architect you have never heard of…yet.”
I expect that more people will be
hearing about him soon. In the spring of 2005, I assumed the position of Director of
Golf at The Bluffs—the former #1 course in Louisiana and an annual
top 5 in the state on most lists. We have
already called Nathan in to handle some renovation work on the 17th
hole and to get his ideas on helping us re-work other parts of the
have come to know Nathan over the past few years as a friend, a [golf
course] architect, and a writer when Tee To Green began carrying his
'Lipouts' column each month and I have seen first-hand his work ethic
and dedication to his clients. You
will not be disappointed in the service you receive from Nathan and
his firm and I can guarantee you that you will be thrilled with the
results of his work."
President (served during renovation project)
have known Nathan since the 1999-2000 renovation of Brookhaven Country
Club in Brookhaven, Mississippi when I was serving as the club’s
president. Nathan took
our existing nine-hole course and some additional property and created
what many now consider to be one of the most exciting and fun-to-play
18-hole courses in Mississippi!
From the onset, he
knew that we were limited on land availability and selected to utilize
a par 70 routing—but rather than eliminating two par 5’s (because
he felt that golfers enjoy par 5’s more than par 4’s), he elected
to create four par 5’s, 8 par 4’s, and six par 3’s!
I can recall some members originally questioning this routing,
but since re-opening for play, we have heard nothing but accolades for
our course from members and non-member golfers alike.
Brookhaven Country Club is one of the oldest courses in Mississippi,
we are not a large or wealthy club by anyone’s standards.
Knowing this, Nathan created green complexes that—while they
are exciting to play and pleasing to look at—are able to be
maintained with riding equipment almost exclusively with little or no
hand work. This was a
high priority for us since we do not have a large maintenance budget
or maintenance staff and controlling costs after construction during
routine maintenance was a big concern for the club.
He also utilized large areas of native grasses in out of play
areas to eliminate unnecessary mowing and help to beautify the course
with a unique look.
my experience with Nathan’s work ethic and quality of work, I would
recommend that anyone looking for a [golf course] architect to renovate their golf
course eliminate their risk of being disappointed with the finished
product and hire Nathan’s firm to handle the project.
He will spend more time and energy making sure that the
smallest details are cared for (more so than anyone else you will find
with his experience) and his accolades continue to grow."
of Parks & Rec.
2001, Nathan completed the re-design of the front nine holes at
Whispering Pines Golf Course in Hurley, Mississippi for the Jackson
County Board of Supervisors.
Since re-opening the following year, our course has come be
known as the 'best kept secret on the Mississippi Gulf Coast' and more
and more 'Snowbirds' play our course each year as the word continues
Our course is out of the way compared to some of the other
courses on the Coast, but we have seen our numbers among snowbirds and
resident play continue to rise each year since the renovations,
reversing a steady decline prior to Nathan’s renovation work.
Our course has now become profitable enough that in the spring
of 2005, we issued an RFP in search of a golf course architect to
renovate the back nine, where we still have the same old “push-up”
greens and ongoing drainage problems.
Nathan’s firm was selected over a number of other firms not
only because of his past experience with our course, but also because
of his dedication to his clients and the quality of his work.
I am sure all of his past clients will tell you similar
stories, but Nathan exemplifies what a golf course architect should
professional, and able to get the job done for what he says he can.
We don’t have a huge budget for our renovations, but Nathan
has found creative ways to produce the look golfers want within our
construction budget and—just as importantly—within our maintenance
If you want a [golf course] architect with extensive experience in public
bids and one who will exceed your expectations, you need look no
further than Nathan Crace and his firm.
The golfers at our course cannot wait until we begin
construction after having seen Nathan’s drawings for his renovations
to the back nine.
You will find that with Nathan and you can count on
getting every dollar’s worth out of your construction budget!"
More quotes to be posted soon...