Architects' Boot Camp 2024

A Special Invitation to Make Golf Design History
September 10-13, 2024
Erin Hills, Wisconsin

Please Join Us

Erin Hills architects: Ron Whitten; Dr. Mike Hurdzan, ASGCA; and Dana Fry, ASGCA

Welcome to the rarest and most unique experience in the history of golf design.  Be among 16 select guests to immerse in an unprecedented golf course design exploration, under the tutelage of seasoned golf course architects. Spend four days at world-renowned U.S. Open Championship venue Erin Hills, side-by-side with eight golf course architects learning the fundamentals of golf course design.  Your design education will utilize the undeveloped property adjacent to the championship layout where you’ll walk the site and strategize how to best handle the property’s varied constraints.

Instructors will guide attendees through the technical aspects of design including design philosophy, routing types, working with topography, hazard placement, and green design. Students will be tasked with the routing and detailing of four or five holes over their section of the site that will ultimately connect with the design work of the other teams.  The result will be a second Erin Hills golf course designed by the workshop participants!

Boot Camp Overview

Each team of four students will be guided by two ASGCA instructors providing a close working relationship and ample personalized attention and information. Each evening, you’ll enjoy top-level cuisine, ample spirits, and plenty of time to chat around the firepit with the instructors. Be prepared to ask questions and hear stories that won’t make the pages of golf magazines.


Your instructors are seasoned designers and/or past presidents of the American Society of Golf Course Architects: Dr. Mike Hurdzan, Dana Fry, Tom Marzolf, Steve Forrest, Damian Pascuzzo, Jeff Brauer, Jason Straka, Jan Bel Jan, Bruce Charlton, Jeff Blume and Ron Whitten.


Students will enjoy an 18-hole round over the championship layout with your instructors and presenters, a second afternoon on the 9-hole “kettle loop,” and a friendly competition on the Drumlin putting course. We believe you will view the courses in an entirely different way.

Destination: Erin Hills

Erin Hills is regarded by enthusiasts as one of the best natural sites for a golf course in the United States and suitably challenged the world’s best players in the 2017 U.S. Open Championship.

It’s a course like none other — routed over the kettle moraine areas left by glaciers, surrounded by wetlands, a river, and rolling, golden waves of fescue. Inspired by the classic Scottish and Irish courses built by horse-drawn plows, the course designers removed as little dirt as possible during the construction and routed the fairways around contours of the property to provide a firm playing surface that plays shorter than its length on the scorecard.

This mix of traditional and modern elements leaves many golfers with the feeling that they’ve never played anywhere like Erin Hills. This is a walking course, with seasoned caddies, and for our Boot Camp participants, taking in the brilliant hues of fall as they emerge.

Boot Camp Schedule

Arrivals, check-in, settle in

Early Afternoon

Welcome and Introductions (The Lodge)


Evolutions in golf course design philosophy and strategy - Steve Forrest
Formal design phases, site evaluation checklist, and design guidelines – Jeff Brauer
Basic design criteria for hazards in defining hole strategy - Jason Straka

2:15 - 4:00

Pairings Party (match students with land parcel and instructors)

4:00 - 4:30

Instructors meet with their groups

4:30 - 5:00

Reception and DinnerMeet Dana Fry, Ron Whitten, and Mike Hurdzan--Erin Hills’ designers

5:00 - 6:30

Drumlin Putting Course Challenge (lit for night play)

7:00 - 8:00

Buffet breakfast in the Lodge Pub

7:30 - 8:30

What makes for a good routing and beautiful golf holes - Steve Forrest

8:30 - 9:45

Break and each group moves to assigned land parcel

9:45 - 10:00

Attendees walk and analyze their land parcel using checklist, each student prepare a 4-hole schematic design

10:00 - 12:00



Each group selects best 4-hole schematic design

12:45 - 1:45


1:45 - 2:00

Design development phase – Jason Straka

2:00 - 2:30

Convert selected schematic design to a design development drawings

2:30 - 4:30


4:30 - 4:45

Presentation of plans, specifications - Tom Marzolf

4:45 - 5:00

Convert designs into grading plans

5:00 - 5:45

Play Kettle Loop

5:45 - 7:30

Dinner on Clubhouse Patio


Buffet breakfast at the Lodge Pub

7:30 - 8:30

Guidelines for designing greens – Jeff Brauer

8:30 - 9:30

Complete design development plan refinement (groups)

9:00 - 10:30

Group presentations

10:30 - 11:30



Warm-up for golf

12:30 - 1:00

Play 18 holes at Erin Hills

1:00 - 7:00

Non-golfers: Dr. Hurdzan hosts an in-the-field golf course design seminar

1:00 – 7:00

Cocktails and Chef’s Grill (steaks, fish, brats) at fire pit, followed by an after-dinner bull session on any topic under the sun


Breakfast at Clubhouse

7:00 - 8:00

Groups present finished drawings

8:00 – 9:30

Presentation of composite fantasy golf course - Shawn Smith

9:30 - 9:45

Presentation of final award for winning design.

9:45 - 10:00

-Stay At Erin Hills
-Drive to Green Lake to play Lawsonia Links
-Drive to Kohler to play Whistling Straits
-Return home safely with newfound insights on golf course design

Options (not included in event price)

Your Investment

This is an unprecedented experience to explore your inner golf course designer. This design boot camp is a wonderful opportunity to share with friends or family.

Enrollment fee covers all Boot Camp design materials and supplies, lodging, food and beverages, golf, caddies, and gratuities. Attendance is limited to 16 participants.

Air and ground transportation are not included in the event fee. Get there on your own and we’ll handle the rest. The fee is $20,000 per attendee, with $15,000 qualifying for a charitable tax deduction to the ASGCA Foundation (501c3 EIN: 23-7385866).

Further Information

To enroll or with specific questions, email

Instructor Profiles

Jan Bel Jan

Jan Bel Jan Golf Course Design

Jan Bel Jan comes from a Pittsburgh, Pa., golf family and began her design career with Tom Fazio; she held a senior position in design, construction, and project management for more than twenty years before opening her own firm. Jan was elected to the ASGCA in 1990 and was the 2019-2020 ASGCA President.

Her experience as a registered Landscape Architect, Certified Arborist, and former assistant superintendent, provides Jan with a unique outlook on the playability, strategy, ecology, economics, and aesthetics of golf courses. The USGA prominently featured Jan in its 2017-2018 Golf Museum exhibit, “Breaking New Ground – Women and Golf Course Architecture.”

Jeff Blume

Jeffrey D. Blume, Ltd

With a broad background in both golf course architecture and land planning, Jeff Blume, ASGCA, possesses knowledge in all aspects of golf course design. Blume’s exploration into golf course design began at Texas A&M University, from which he graduated with a degree in Landscape Architecture.

Soon after college, Blume joined Jeffrey Brauer’s firm, Golfscapes, and rose to the position of Project Architect. A few years later Blume joined the firm of Robert von Hagge and serves as Project Architect for assignments in the United States, Jaan, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Blume now has his own design firm, Jeffrey D. Blume, Limited, and has completed projects in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida.

Jeff Brauer

Director of Outreach, ASGCA

Brauer has designed more than 50 new courses and remodeled more than 80 during his golf course architecture career, starting in his native Chicago, before moving to Arlington, Texas.

Brauer is also a prolific author, writing a monthly column for “Golf Course Industry” magazine and as the lead author on “Designs on a Better Golf Course: Practical answers to common questions for Green Committees” for the ASGCA Foundation. He has also taught golf course design at his alma mater.

Now retired from active practice, he accepted the position of Director of Outreach for ASGCA, working on behalf of the members and the industry at large, including support for Foundation initiatives like this one.

Bruce Charlton

Robert Trent Jones II

With close to 40 years of design experience worldwide, Bruce Charlton, ASGCA is one of the most highly respected golf architects in the industry.

Since joining the RTJ II team in 1981, Bruce’s body of work is as remarkable as it is global and he has earned countless awards and accolades. His more than 50 designs are in virtually every corner of the globe, including Chambers Bay near Tacoma, Wash., site of the 2015 U.S. Open Championship.

Bruce joined RTJ II after receiving a degree in landscape architecture from the University of Arizona and went on to hone his skills under the tutelage of Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

He is a past president and current member of the prestigious American Society of Golf Course Architects.

Steve Forrest

Hills-Forrest Smith (golf course architects)

Steve Forrest joined Arthur Hills after earning his Landscape Architecture degree from Virginia Tech in 1979. Since then, he has worked on five continents with hundreds of golf course design and renovation projects in his portfolio. He became a principal in the Hills’ firm in 1999, an ASGCA member in 1985, its President in 2007-08 and currently serves as President of the Foundation.

Dana Fry

Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design

With a wealth of experience and expertise in golf course architecture, Dana Fry brings exceptional multidimensional talent and prowess to his métier. A background of formal education, field training and artistic design talent forms the consummate mix of practical and aesthetic creativity Fry devotes to the worldwide endeavors of Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design.

Dr. Michael Hurdzan

Hurdzan Golf Design

Four hundred plus projects bearing the Hurdzan name can now be found on 5 continents including a suite of “Top 100” North American designs. He became the fifth person in golf to achieve the non-playing “Grand Slam” as recipient of the highest honor from our industry’s “Big 3”: the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the American Society of Golf Course Architects and the Golf Course Builders Association of America. Today, there are seven on that list: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Byron Nelson, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Rees Jones, Pete Dye and Dr. Hurdzan. Dr. Hurdzan has authored 8 books, the first of which, Golf Course Architecture: Evolutions in Design, Construction, and Restoration Technology, is still regarded by many authorities as “the modern bible of golf course design.”

Tom Marzolf

Fazio Golf Course Designers, Inc.

Tom Marzolf, a senior design associate at Fazio Design has worked for Tom Fazio since 1983. An ASGCA past president-2005-2006, Tom Marzolf is the first American ever admitted as a member of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects. He has helped Tom Fazio design 94 courses, and renovations for 4 US Opens, 3 US Women’s Opens & 3 PGA Championships. Adare Manor, County Limerick, Ireland, site of the 2027 Ryder Cup, won Golf Digest’s Best New Renovation in December 2018 & Golf Inc. Renovation of the Year Honors (2019).

Damian Pascuzzo

Pascuzzo Pate Golf Design

Damian is a past president of the ASGCA. Over a 40-year career, he has designed and remodeled golf courses on three continents. Working with PGA Tour player Steve Pate since 2003, they have produced award-winning and financially successful projects in the US and Japan. Their complete renovation of Murasaki CC led to the course hosting both the Men's and Women's Japan Open. Pascuzzo has been one of the leading advocates of alternative golf courses as evidenced by their Challenge courses in California and Idaho.

Jason Straka

Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design

An industry leader in environmental golf course design, Jason Straka blends his formal education, rigorous professional training, and considerable design experience to produce a tradition of excellence. Skillfully merging his professional training in the many facets of golf course design with his extensive hands-on design experience, he has shaped his specialty: integrating a golf course both functionally and aesthetically into its surrounding environment.

Ron Whitten

Golf Digest Magazine Architecture Editor Emeritus

After 12 years as a prosecuting attorney, Ron Whitten switched careers and devoted 36 years to studying, critiquing, and writing about golf course architecture for Golf Digest magazine. He has written five books on the subject, and is co-author of the first history of golf course design, “The Golf Course," later updated as "The Architects of Golf."

In 1996, Whitten was honored with the prestigious Donald Ross Award from the American Society of Golf Course Architects, given in recognition of his contributions to the public understanding of golf course design.

At age 50, Whitten began participating in course designs. Besides collaborating on the design of Erin Hills, Whitten has worked on the design and construction of five other original courses and the remodeling of six others.