Architects, Contractors & Professionals

‘Amicable separation’ for Forse and Nagle

Davenport Country Club Ron Forse, Jim Nagle, Superintendent Dean Sparks and GM Johnn Panek

Golf architects Ron Forse and Jim Nagle are parting company after a successful 25 year business alliance. But the split is wholly amicable, and the two expect to continue to collaborate on certain projects in the future.

Forse says: “We have had a fantastic run together over two and a half decades, and I am naturally saddened at that coming to an end, but it is a natural evolution for both Jim and for me, and I am very excited about what the future holds for both of us.”

Nagle says: “My long experience with Forse Design has exposed me to an incredible variety of golf design challenges, and helped me to grow my understanding of how the key Golden Age designers set up their course. I am hugely grateful to Ron for that opportunity. This has been an incredibly difficult decision: I was very happy where I was; I had a lot of flexibility within Forse Design, including the ability to manage my own projects and run jobs from start to finish. But there is a strong desire in every golf course architect to run his own business, and now is the right time for me to do so. Ron and I remain the closest of friends, and will certainly collaborate on a lot of projects in the future.”

Related: ‘Intrigue and joy’ the goal for new Nagle Design Works

One project on which the two will collaborate is their long-term relationship with Davenport Country Club in Iowa. The two worked jointly on the acclaimed renovation of Hugh Alison’s original 1924 design at Davenport, which took place in 2014 and has resulted in the course entering lists of the 100 greatest courses in America, and the firm has maintained a regular consulting relationship with the club. “The club wants to have annual consulting visits to review the design and advise on further improvements to the golf course,” says Forse. “We have got into the habit of each making those visits in alternate years, because it gives fresh eyes on the course, and we will continue that.”

Ron Forse at Lehigh Country Club
Ron Forse at Lehigh Country Club

Both Forse and Nagle are committed to work until 2027, though both have the capacity to take on additional work. Major upcoming projects for Forse include a total renovation and original redesign of the North Nine at Athens Country Club in Georgia to bring the nine holes into closer alignment with the club’s Donald Ross-designed main course, which Forse restored in 2009, the rebuild of the second hole at Hyannisport in Cape Cod, which was drawn by Ross but never built to his specifications, and the restoration of the Foxburg Country Club in Pennsylvania, the oldest continuously operating course in America, which will see the return of Victorian-era ‘steeplechase’ features. Forse says: “The future for both of us is incredibly bright. I plan to get more selective in the work I take on, and I cannot wait to see what Jim does now. As everyone who has met him knows, he is a fantastic human being, the best I have met at handling client relationships. He is a tremendous researcher and historian of golf design, and that will continue to inform his work, both in restoration and on the construction of original courses. He is an outstanding architect, one of the best in the world, and will have a glittering future.”

About Forse Design

Golf architecture represents a confluence of art, land, psychology, design, biology, meteorology, engineering and emotion. Our joy of working with all of the above has helped us deliver excellent golf experiences. We are pleased that our work is universally enjoyed by members, guests and golfers of all skill levels. We are equally humbled to have our work continually recognized as competitively compelling. From 2006 through 2025, 11 USGA National Championships will have been played on courses where Forse Design has performed significant restorations or renovations. Our philosophy is based on our commitment to respect for the client, consideration for the golfer, design innovation, accurate, detailed budgeting, and exemplary project execution.  This has enabled us to deliver a collection of enjoyable, award winning and championship golf courses. These are bolstered by a history of long enduring client relationships.

About Jim Nagle

Jim graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelors of Landscape Architecture and has been practicing Golf Course Architecture for over 25 years. Jim’s professional background in Landscape Architecture & Land Planning has served he and his clients well as exhibited by the team’s outstanding portfolio. Jim is also frequently sought after as a speaker, panelist and contributor.

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