Golf News for Thursday, February 15, 2007 | Awards

Rick Jacobson to be acclaimed Golf Course Architect of the Year

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. -- The national Association of Private Clubs & Directors has named Rick Jacobson its Golf Course Architect of the Year, citing his outstanding work in golf course renovation.

Jacobson will be honored with the association’s BoardRoom Magazine Award at the group’s annual meeting set for Feb. 22 in Anaheim, Ca., according to John Fornaro, president and CEO of the Association of Private Clubs and Directors. BoardRoom Magazine is the association’s official industry publication.

Jacobson recently has completed several renovation projects in the Chicago area, including Sunset Ridge CC in Northfield, Bob O’Link GC in Highland Park, Glen Oak CC in Glen Ellyn, Cantigny GC in Wheaton, North Shore CC in Glenview, and the Indian Lakes Resort’s Blackhawk Trace Course in Bloomingdale.

“This is a very significant award for Rick Jacobson,” Fornaro said. “He is being recognized for his outstanding renovation work, and 45 percent of our private clubs will be doing renovations over the next five years.”

Jacobson said he enjoys renovation work because of club members’ positive reactions to an improved and revitalized golf course.

“The most rewarding thing is to go back to the project after it’s been completed and see how the members take a renewed sense of pride in their golf course,” Jacobson said. “Golf course renovation is a short-term inconvenience for members and their guests, but it is the best way to protect the club’s primary asset for the long term and leave a lasting legacy for future members.”

A protégé of Jack Nicklaus, Jacobson founded his design firm in 1991 after working as a member of Nicklaus’ design team.

The BoardRoom Award comes not long after Jacobson was recognized by Golf Digest and Golfweek magazines for his collaboration with former boss Nicklaus on the new Bayside Resort and Golf Club in Delaware. Golfweek called Bayside one of the nation’s top 50 new courses for 2006. Golf Digest named Bayside among its Top 10 new Upscale Public Golf Courses for 2006.

Jacobson’s renovation of Sunset Ridge received the private club Renovation of the Year Award for 2006 from Golf Inc. magazine. His renovation of North Shore CC earned runner up honors for Golf Inc.’s private club Renovation of the Year in 2004, and the Blackhawk Trace course at Indian Lakes Resort was a finalist for Golf Inc.’s public course Renovation of the Year in 2004.

Jacobson’s renovation of Des Moines G&CC, a Pete Dye original, for the 1999 U.S. Senior Open received high praise from players and championship officials along with club members.