Bel Jan becomes ASGCA president at Arizona meeting

  • Jan Bel Jan

    Jan Bel Jan, centre, with ASGCA executive committee members Brit Stenson, Jason Straka, Forrest Richardson and Jeff Blume

  • Jan Bel Jan

    ASGCA members gathered in Arizona for their 73rd annual meeting

  • Jan Bel Jan

    Golf writer Joe Passov received the Donald Ross Award from Jeff Blume

Toby Ingleton
By Toby Ingleton

Jan Bel Jan has been elected president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, at the organisation’s 73rd annual meeting, which took place in Phoenix, Arizona, on 17-21 May 2019.

“I want to carry on the mission of ASGCA past presidents Greg Martin, John Sanford, Jeff Blume and others,” said Bel Jan. “Thoughtfulness for our clients so we may continue providing the best product, helping show a better economic way to do things and greater recognition for the work of ASGCA members.”

Bel Jan becomes the second female president of the organisation, following in the footsteps of the late Alice Dye, who held the presidency in 1997-98.

Like Dye, Bel Jan is known for her work on tee box placement, to make golf accessible for all levels of player. “I had known for a long time that the most-forward tees were not far enough forward,” said Bel Jan. “This was not only about women, but children and older men, too. There has to be a way for everyone to play from markers and feel that they belong and are valued. I went through 20 different terms before I decided on ‘scoring tees’. Everyone wants to score better, especially the best players.”

Bel Jan – whose father George Bel Jan was a golf professional, as were three of her uncles – began her design career with Fazio Design, before setting up her own firm in Jupiter, Florida, in 2009. Her work includes the recent renovations of Jupiter Island Club and Boca Lago Country Club.

The ASGCA annual meeting also saw golf writer Joe Passov receive the organisation’s Donald Ross Award, which is presented each year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the game of golf and profession of golf course architecture.

The five-day event included presentations on several topics – including Brad Klein on the history of desert golf and Ignacio Giraldo on the future of America and golf – plus discussions with former Frank Lloyd Wright associate Vern Swaback and LPGA Founding Member Shirley Spork.

Read more about the ASGCA annual meeting in the next edition of By Design magazine, which is compiled by the team responsible for Golf Course Architecture. Subscribe to By Design via