It seems like I grew up on a golf course. Most of my extra time as a kid was spent on golf courses either playing golf or helping behind the customer counter, picking up the practice range, caddying, or watering. You see, my father, Gary Kern, designed golf courses and I decided that one day, I would too.
And that’s what I do. I became a golf course architect who believes in, practices, and carries on the traditional principles spirit of the game of golf. In addition to learning from my father, my golf course design reflects the knowledge and styles of some of the great classic golf course designers, Bill Diddel, Donald Ross, Alister MacKenzie, and A.W. Tillinghast.
I love my work. For me, the design of a course is a full expression of my respect for the land on which a golf course is built. I work with the natural terrain and character of the property with minimal change allowing the design to take form and shape a challenge for both the seasoned and the rookie golfer. I expect that on my courses, all golfers get the chance to think their way through a round of golf that offers a view of nature’s beauty and a test of ability.
I’m also an artist, a fine art photographer, who uses perspective, placement, and an fine-tuned understanding of how to pull all elements of a photograph together to design a unique golf course that is not only beautiful but offers an unforgettable experience well worth paying for.
I can build the most extraordinary golf courses in the world and I would like to think that some of mine are, but one thing golf course architects like me need to think about is who is playing golf. I write this article for anyone who loves the game of golf, who loves being on a golf course. Look behind, around, and ahead of you next time you’re out on the course. Who’s playing golf these days?
See any kids or adults with disabilities or special needs playing? I fear that many families simply do not know the resources and support available to them to help their child with disabilities or special needs get the chance to love the game of golf.
My work as a golf course architect is only as good as the courses I design being used by all people. I never design my courses just for an exclusive group of people, but for everyone – of all colors, genders, incomes, and abilities. One thing remains the same: Golf courses are beautiful and challenging to anyone, even if you have Down syndrome or are missing an arm.
The chance to golf should be an opportunity open to all children, including children with disabilities or special needs. The Professional Golfer’s Association (PGA) serves as an ambassador for all kinds of programs and resources available to help kids with disabilities or special needs learn how to golf and to join in on all the fun on golf courses, including my golf courses. Just like the rest of America, kids and adults with disabilities or special needs are in need of exercise to keep waistlines trim. If you’re going golfing soon, include someone you know who has disabilities or special needs.
I’m an architect for what I consider to be the most riveting and challenging landscapes in the world, golf courses. But golf courses depend on people to play on them to be successful. Visit the above website, check out some of the programs and resources, invite someone with disabilities or special needs to join you in a game of golf. The greatest game of all is for everyone.