Ron Prichard: TPC Southwind Architect
Best known for masterminding the restoration of courses originally crafted by the Scottish-American designer Donald Ross, Ron Prichard’s celebrated career in golf architecture spans nearly 50 years. Prichard’s fascination with traditional golf course architecture began as a child, caddying at Knoll Golf Club near his home in Fayson Lakes, New Jersey – a classic layout designed in 1929 by Charles H. Banks, who had apprenticed with Charles Blair Macdonald and Seth Raynor. There he began to appreciate the simplistic beauty which would have a profound influence on his design philosophy.
Following his graduation from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, where he played varsity golf and lacrosse, and subsequent service for three years as an officer in the U.S. Army, Prichard began his golf architecture career with the design of the 27-hole layout at the Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury, Long Island. During the next 16 years, he perfected his technique designing traditional-style golf courses throughout the country, working with notable design firms/designers including Joe Finger, Desmond Muirhead and Bob Von Hagge. His tenure with Muirhead included the opportunity to travel throughout Europe studying the great old courses of Scotland, Ireland and England, in preparation for his design of both a new course and a duplicate of the “Old Course” at St. Andrews, Scotland, at New St. Andrews Golf Club in Ontawara City, Japan.
Influenced by such notable traditional designers as Donald Ross, Seth Raynor, Herbert Leeds, Devereaux Emmet, Charles H. Banks, A.W. Tillinghast and William Flynn, Prichard opened his own design firm in 1983. Since that time, he has designed more than 20 golf courses and restored more than 60, including Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania; Charles River Country Club in West Newton, Massachusetts; Franklin Hills Country Club in Franklin Hills, Michigan; Beverly Country Club in Chicago, Illinois; and Charlotte Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“I am determined to work in a style which echoes the traditional understated work of such men as Donald J. Ross, C.B. Macdonald, H.S. Colt, and other men who grew up on and embraced the nature of the early links courses.”
— Ron Prichard