Jim Nagle began working with golf course renovation and historical restoration legend Ron Forse in 1998, in what might be considered the field’s pioneering days. Golf course restoration is an attempt to reestablish a course’s first principles–placing it back in a specific point in time, usually in accordance with the way the original architect designed it–using documentation and photography as resources. In the last few decades Nagle and Forse have helped dozens of clubs reconnect with their past, from Lancaster Country Club (PA) to Country Club of Buffalo, to Kirtland in Cleveland to Lawsonia Links to Broadmoor East. If there was a Hall of Fame for restoration and consulting work, Nagle and Forse would be first ballot admissions.
Nagle joins the Feed the Ball podcast to discuss how the desire to host top tournaments can skew a club’s architecture, the fine line of following the a previous architect’s design “intent,” how fast green speeds kill interesting contour, the early days of restoration, dealing with a new type of historical ignorance (or at least agnosticism) and the unending revolving door of the renovation profession.
View Derek’s latest narration in the Golf Digest Every Hole at series with “Every Hole at The Country Club“
Photos: Above, Country Club of Orlando (Vaughn Halyard/StoryLounge Films); Title page, Philadelphia Country Club (Vaughn Halyard/StoryLounge Filmss).