ASGCA announces passing of past president Jay Morrish

ASGCA announces passing of past president Jay Morrish
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Jay Morrish, a past president and fellow of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA), has died aged 78.

A graduate of Colorado State University in landscape and turf management, Morrish initially worked as part of the construction team on the Robert Trent Jones-designed Spyglass Hill course in Pebble Beach, California.

He went on to work as a construction superintendent on a number of Jones courses before joining Desmond Muirhead as a designer in 1967.

Morrish then spent ten years working as a designer with Jack Nicklaus before setting up his own firm in 1982 with PGA Tour player Tom Weiskopf. 

During this period he worked on the design of a number of high profile courses,including Loch Lomond in Scotland, UK, TPC Scottsdale in Arizona, US, and TPC Las Colinas in Texas, US.

“Jay Morrish was a stalwart who was admired by everyone,” said Lee Schmidt, ASGCA president. “His work was outstanding and he was funny and smart. As an architect, he positively impacted the world of golf course design, and as ASGCA president he advanced the organisation. When Jay spoke, people listened.”

“I’m very proud of my professional association with Jay, but even more my friendship with him over these many years,” said Bob Cupp, ASGCA Past President. “He was a grand friend and storyteller. His humour was amazing. Jay could share the history of a topic that was not only factual, but tagged with humour, so everybody remembered. I’m just sorry I will not hear them firsthand anymore.”

Morrish first joined the ASGCA as a member in 1989 and served as the society’s president in 2002-03. His tenure coincided with a difficult period in the US and globally following the September 11 2001 attacks in New York City.

“Looking back at his presidency, Jay was the right captain for ASGCA during a tumultuous period,” added Paul Fullmer, retired ASGCA executive secretary. “The world was changing and there was great uncertainty. Jay provided the senior leadership ASGCA needed.”

Morrish is survived by his wife, Louise, and children Carter and Kim.

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