Noted golf architect and Tacoma native John Harbottle III passes away at 53

Updated: June 4, 2012

John Harbottle III, an American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) Member and president of John Harbottle Design of Tacoma, Wash., died suddenly on May 24, 2012. He was 53.

Harbottle was nationally recognized for his commitment to environmentally sensitive design. His award-winning layouts included Ridgecrest Golf Course, Nampa, Idaho; Stevinson Ranch, Stevinson, Calif.; The Olympic Course, Bremerton, Wash.; and The Golf Club at Genoa Lakes, South Lake Tahoe, Nev. All were designated “Best New Courses in the United States” by “Golf Digest.”

A landscape architecture graduate from the University of Washington in 1984, Harbottle began his career with ASGCA Past President Pete Dye, with whom he collaborated on projects throughout the world. He started his own design firm in 1991. He went on to design nearly 20 new courses and renovated over 50 courses in the USA, Canada and Japan.

Extensive travel to Scotland allowed Harbottle to study golf’s traditions and form the basis for many of his own designs. He described his design work, especially its noted sensitivity to the environment, when he said, “Our goal is to create natural looking golf courses with a links touch; timeless classics that fit the terrain as if they have always existed”.

John Harbottle is survived by his wife, Teresa, and children, Johnny and Chelsea.