Tacoma, Washington-based golf architect John Harbottle died suddenly on 24 May, while waiting for a flight connection at LAX airport. He was 53.
Harbottle, who began his career working for Pete and Perry Dye, and later spent time in the design office of Desmond Muirhead, set up his own firm in 1993. He became an associate member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects in 1992, and progressed to regular membership in 1996.
Harbottle’s best-known designs were in the Pacific Northwest of the US, including the Olympic course at the Gold Mountain club in Bremerton, across Puget Sound from Seattle and the Palouse Ridge course he built in Pullman for Washington State University
“Our goal is to create natural looking golf courses with a links touch; timeless classics that fit the terrain as if they have always existed,” Harbottle once said. “The indigenous character of the links courses makes them not only appear a natural part of the landscape, but also allows them to function as a sustainable part of the ecosystem. Great courses possess natural beauty, strategic hazards and variety – not only in overall design, but also in the ways to play each hole.”
Harbottle is survived by his wife, Teresa, and children, Johnny and Chelsea. GCA would like to send our sincere condolences and best wishes to the Harbottle family – we only saw John a few weeks ago at the ASGCA annual meeting in Chattanooga and were shocked to hear of his death.