For my very first design I was lucky to stumble onto a wonderful piece of land for golf, and though I didn’t yet know what my own design style would be, I vowed to err on the side of moving too little earth, instead of too much. There was a Jack Nicklaus course just up the road that was “Scottish style” with lakes and artificial mounds everywhere, so I tried to build the opposite of that.
The inspiration for minimalist design was also a practical matter: I wanted to do all of the shaping of greens and bunkers myself, and we had a modest construction budget of $1.4 million to complete the course. So, I needed to limit the shaping to small areas and use the natural contours for the fairways, as designers had done back in the Golden Age of golf architecture. High Pointe was the start of something big, and something different.