Golf major champion Dustin Johnson has something in common with golf course architect Bobby Weed.
Weed, here in Orlando at GIS, built a driving range. Big deal, you say? Yep, it is, considering when he achieved it. Weed built it when he was in high school in Irmo, S.C.
That's right. High school.
Now, here is where the Johnson tie enters the picture. As a youth, he used that driving range, appropriately named Weed Hills, to help him learn the game. Based on Johnson's career, especially as of late, Weed Hills was good to him.
Weed, too, certainly has made an impact on the game.
How many people can say they have been a certified golf course superintendent and a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects? Weed can. One of the highlights in Weed's career happened in 1987 when he became the PGA Tour's in-house architect.
Now 61, Weed counts architects and superintendents as his mentors. He worked under legendary architect Pete Dye. "Pete took my work ethic to the next level," says Weed, 38-year GCSAA member, who operates Bobby Weed Golf Design.
Then there is the late Ron Hill, CGCS, who hired Weed at Amelia Island Plantation. "Ron was a walking encyclopedia. As a teacher, he exhibited so much patience," Weed says.
Hill even was in Weed's wedding nearly 30 years ago to his wife Leslie. The Weeds have three daughters.
Weed's first superintendent job was at Ponce de Leon Golf Course in St. Augustine, Fla. In time, though, he focused on architecture, a transition he believes was made fairly simple by his superintendent background.
"They all go together. Design complements maintenance and maintenance complements design," says Weed, whose work includes Spanish Oaks Golf Club in Bee Cave, Texas.
The biggest challenges he faces today? "Labor and productivity. Permitting and dealing with jurisdictional agencies. And keeping up with all the technological advances," Weed says.
Along with partner Chris Monti, they keep busy. One of their latest projects? Bunker renovations at Slammer & Squire in St. Augustine. That one was extra special. Weed was the original designer.
"Going there brought back some fond memories," Weed says.
No doubt that Weed has had one memorable career. And he's still going strong.