Karl got a degree in Architecture at Ohio University. He worked as an architect in Ohio for two years before moving to Florida in 1957. He worked as a surveyor for a civil engineering firm in Miami for 10 years, becoming involved in land planning, drainage, and irrigation. It is this civil engineering background that enhances Litten's golf courses and makes him a "developer's architect."
In 1968 he joined the firm of von Hagge & Devlin (Robert Von Hagge and Bruce Devlin) eventually becoming a vice president of the firm.
In 1979, Karl opened his own golf design business, based in Florida. From 1987 to 1989, Gary Player served as a consulting partner for the firm.
Litten has made his name with courses in Florida, Japan, and the Arabian Peninsula. He has a reputation of being able to work with difficult terrain.
His operates are now headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina.