Golf course architect Vicki Martz has died at her home in Jacksonville, Florida. She was 72 years old.
Martz spent the majority of her 35-plus years as a golf course architect with Arnold Palmer’s design business, until establishing her own practice in 2010. Her golf courses include The Legacy Course at Lakewood Ranch in Bradenton, Florida and TPC of the Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota.
She was known for her environmental approach to golf design, having served as director of Environmental Design for Palmer and dedicating her own practice to “enhancing the environment through sensitive land management and designs that creatively use the natural features of the landscape.”
Former colleagues have paid tribute to Martz. “Vicki was one of the kindest, most caring people I have ever met,” said Erik Larsen. “She was a talented golf course architect, but that pales in comparison to her character… an awesome lady.”
“She has always not only been the sweetest, kindest woman in our profession, but I have never met anyone more positive,” said Harrison Minchew.
“Those in our industry fortunate enough to have worked with her recognised Vicki as a pioneer, a creative architect, and an advocate for the environment. She was one of the kindest people I’ve ever known and will be dearly missed,” said Thad Layton.
Greg Martin, president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, of which Martz had been a member since 2000, said: “She made everyone feel like a friend. Vicki was a soft-spoken, pure-hearted pioneer. The twinkle in her eye and the smile on her face cannot be extinguished because we have been graced with her light.”
Speaking to Golf Digest in 2005, Palmer said: “She designs really good golf holes. In many instances, people are requesting her to do the work, which is about as great a compliment as you can get. When she works somewhere, they want her back.”