The characteristics which separate extraordinary golf courses from those that are merely adequate are almost infinite. The impression the course makes on the golfer is closely related to his or her score. Therefore, in order to insure a favorable response from most of the golfers, Kite strives to create situations that challenge and reward golfers fairly and consistently. Thus regardless of the skill level of the player, the golf course will offer appropriate challenges and reward best efforts with various strategic advantages. The result will be golf that is fun, fair and thrilling.
Kite is known as one of the most innovative players on the PGA Tour. His ability to think outside the box in the search of solutions can be detailed in the fact that he was the first professional golfer to employ the three wedge system, now used by practically all tour players. He also was one of the first to include a fitness regime and use of a sports psychologist as part of his practice routine. In a decision that at the time was revolutionary, Kite was the first on the PGA Tour to have LASIK surgery to correct his nearsightedness, a move that went on to improve his golf game. The same creativity, boldness and attention to detail are what one can expect with a Tom Kite Design golf course. Kite chooses only a few projects to get involved with at any one time insuring a hands-on approach that is invaluable to the design process.
Kite begins each design project trying to find the most exciting and desirable natural features of the land and incorporating them into the routing. Undulating topography, vegetation and streams are just some of the natural elements that are used to make the golf course unique and one of a kind. The design philosophy of “finding’ rather than “creating” the golf is one that Kite strives to employ with the result being a natural golf experience that is beyond compare. The working plans for a Tom Kite Design are as complete as any in the business. Using the philosophy that it is more cost effective to push paper and pencil than dirt, results in course that comes in on budget and a fraction of the cost of many projects.
Kite remains actively involved throughout the construction and grow-in phases of the project to insure the integrity of the design is maintained. Site visits with the contractors and owners are scheduled as often as necessary to review and refine the work in progress. He will not only be the architect but also the owner’s representative in dealing with contractors, engineers and environmentalists.
In addition to creating a golf course that is playable, challenging and distinctive, it also must be an extension of the community. While many golf courses could never be built without some real estate component, the golf course should be used as a basis from which the entire project is built. Kite will be involved from the early stages andwill collaborate with land planners and engineers to enhance the overall look, feel and environmental respectability of the development.
Tom Kite has an admirable reputation of being extremely approachable. Throughout his career he has delighted clients, customers and pro-am partners with his down to earth and easy going manner. His personality will go a long ways in helping the owner market and sell the golf development. Meeting with prospective members and home owners comes naturally to Tom and often times they are welcome to accompany Tom on one of his many site visits. “While designing is my love,” Kite said, “the selling of the project has to be at least as important and probably more so to the owner.” With the name Tom Kite behind a golf course, the value is enhanced tremendously and will only grow with time.