Miss State alum Nathan Crace, the only member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects based in Mississippi, is named to the ASGCA’s Board of Governors
Online PR News – 07-December-2020 – Jackson, MS – Nathan Crace, the only member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects based in Mississippi or Alabama, will join the ASGCA’s Board of Governors with fellow ASGCA member Drew Rogers of Toledo, Ohio. The two will replace outgoing governor Billy Fuller of Augusta, Georgia, whose three-year term has ended, and Mike Benkusky of Chicago, who will become the new ASGCA Secretary.
"I know it sounds silly," Crace explains. "But I knew I wanted to become a golf course architect and an ASGCA member when I designed and built a three-hole course on my parents’ land in Indiana at age 11. The reason I left Indiana for Mississippi State University’s PGA Golf Management program was to learn the business of golf so I could be a better golf course architect. Given all of that, it’s both a thrill and an honor to be appointed to the Board of Governors by my fellow members."
Crace and Rogers officially began their roles last month. That makes a busy fall for Crace, who recently redesigned The Refuge golf course in Flowood, Mississippi (in the Greater Jackson metropolitan area) and has numerous renovation projects ongoing across three states. The Refuge is slated to open in the spring of 2021, featuring three new holes to create returning nines, wider playing corridors, new greens and bunkers, and the Longleaf Tee System—allowing the course to play anywhere from 3,900 yds for juniors and beginners to 7,005 yards from the tips. The blended tee concept allowed Crace to create essentially 10 courses within 18 holes.
"The course is unrecognizable compared to what was built in 1998," Crace says. "It’s a completely new and better golfing experience not only for golfers in the state, but also for visitors, guests at the new hotel, and snowbirds headed south for golf vacations."
The course is so different that Golf Digest has The Refuge in the running for "Best New Public Course in America" for 2021. That comes on the heels of being awarded a 2019 “Environmental Excellence Award” for the re-designed “new” course. Crace followed up that award with a 2020 “Environmental Excellence Award” for his recent lake bank restoration project at Links on the Bayou GC in Alexandria, Louisiana.
"All ASGCA members understand the importance of sustainability and environmental issues in golf course design, construction, and operation," Crace explains. "Golf courses and the environment are inextricably linked and that’s why it’s so important for course owners and green committees to get ASGCA members involved early. We are the professionals in our industry, and we’re dedicated to the game, the land, and our clients."
To that end, the ASGCA recently released a new book titled “Designs on a Better Golf Course: Practical Answers to Common Questions for Green Committees” that aims to help course owners, green committees, municipalities, and operators better understand how to improve their courses. "It’s a great read and Jeff [Brauer] did a wonderful job keeping the tone and the language conversational and easy to comprehend for everyone," Crace says. "It should be mandatory reading for anyone who makes decisions about a golf course." Crace says the book is available for order on Amazon.com and one of the top sellers in the “Golf” category.
Crace says he is looking forward to his three-year term on the ASGCA’s Board of Governors and is excited about he future of the game and the industry as a whole, adding that "Working together with the PGA, GCSAA, and other industry leaders enables all of us to continue growing the game for generations to come—and that’s exciting for everyone!"