Golf architect Larry Packard dies

Larry Packard, the nation’s oldest golf course architect, died last week at his home in Florida. He was 101.

During his 40-year career, Packard had a hand in designing or redesigning hundreds of U.S. courses, most of them in the Midwest, and sources say that he also created tracks in China, Japan, South Korea, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Egypt. He also served as the president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, and Golfweek credits him with transforming it “from a social organization to a professional trade group that debated serious architectural issues.” He won the ASGCA’s Donald Ross Award in 1993 and personally selected the group’s emblematic red tartan blazer.

Dick Phelps, a long-time friend, once described Packard’s work as “doing beautiful courses for the masses.” Packard’s showpiece is the Innisbrook resort in Palm Harbor, Fla., where he produced three well-regarded 18-hole courses and a nine-hole track. He lived in the accompanying community.

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