David Pfaff - 9 Courses

Golf architect Photo, David Pfaff

October 31, 1938 - May 19, 2013

Born: Urbania, Illinois

Died: New Mexico golf outing, at age 74

David attended Ohio University as a Fine Art major and, as a walk-on, became a member of the university%u2019s basketball team. He withdrew from college after three years due to a family hardship and never returned to complete his degree.

He began his professional career at Grimes Manufacturing Co. David quickly rose into the Engineering Department designing lighting equipment for military and commercial aircraft and the aerospace industry. He liked to tell the story about a light he designed for the original Lunar Excursion Module that %u201Clanded on the moon, worked perfectly as designed, and came returned. He was proud that his %u201Cfingerprints%u201D have been on the surface of the moon.

Always looking for ways to increase his income, he freelanced in his spare time, making technical, patent and architectural drawings. When time allowed, he worked for his brother%u2019s construction company driving bulldozers and dynamiting stumps.

In the mid 60%u2019s during a chance telephone conversation with, the now world famous Golf Course Designer, Pete Dye (then an insurance agent in Indiana) he agreed to work with Pete and draw plans for a couple of golf courses that Pete was designing. David and Pete worked together for several years on a part-time basis, expanding their golf course design business while working full-time in their other careers.

Around 1967 the two formed the two-man partnership %u201CPete Dye and Associates%u201D operating from David%u2019s small office in Urbana and Pete%u2019s home in Florida. They left their former jobs and went into the golf course design field full time. David and Pete worked together for more than 10 years designing and building golf courses. Some of the famed golf courses they collaborated on were: Harbor Town, Crooked Stick, The Golf Club, Teeth of the Dog, LaQuinta Hotel Mountain and Dunes courses, and Oak Tree.

In the late 70%u2019s Pete went into a retirement for several years and turned over the design business to David. David kept the golf course design business active and later signed an agreement with Landmark Land Company to be their Golf Course Architect. He was the designer for all of the Landmark courses until his departure in 1983 to concentrate on his own growing list of clients.

During his (almost) 50 years as a golf course architect, David estimated that he was involved in %u201Cabout a hundred and twenty or so%u201D golf course projects. His final course was Royal Isabela in Puerto Rico. A crowning achievement that received acclaim in Gold Digest, Golf Magazine, Golfweek, Link magazine and the Robb Report to name a few.

A commission as golf course architect for the original Carmel Valley Ranch Golf Course gave him the opportunity to move to Carmel, California where he met Liane (Kunz) Wilder in 1977. They were married in 1982 and lived in Carmel until David%u2019s death.

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