Architects, Contractors & Professionals

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

Jim Nagle at Meridian Hills

Jim Nagle, the architect behind the restoration of Lancaster Country Club, venue for this year’s US Women’s Open, and many other historically significant courses, has launched his own firm, to be known as Nagle Design Works, after twenty-five years as part of Forse Design. And Nagle is going solo with a bang, announcing two major new projects, the restoration of Dick Wilson’s 1954 design of the North course at NCR Country Club in Dayton, Ohio, and the creation of a masterplan at Eagles Mere Country Club in northern Pennsylvania, whose creation in 1915 was one of William Flynn’s earliest golf design jobs.

Springhaven Club by Brett Nagy of Mottin Golf
Springhaven Club by Brett Nagy of Mottin Golf

“I, like many designers, entered the field with hopes of running my own shop.” says Nagle. “During my 25 years with Forse Design, Ron and I have completed a numerous great projects for many wonderful clients, and I have learned a tremendous amount about the sort of courses I want to design and work on in the rest of my career. I want to build courses that are steeped in risk and reward, and heroic design, intrigue and joy. Forse Design enabled me to make a name as a restoration specialist, and the great designers of the past will always inform my work. I am excited to forge this opportunity to create new designs from scratch.”

In the near term, Nagle’s schedule is fairly dense. This summer, he wraps a complete restoration of William Flynn’s original design of the Spring Mill course at Philadelphia Country Club by rebuilding the back nine, including a redesign of the finishing hole, which is not original. In 2026, the course will host the strokeplay rounds of the US Amateur Championship. This follows on the heels of his original redesign of the clubs nine hole Centennial Course and practice facility. This summer the US Women’s Open is to be held at the Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania, where Nagle has consulted for 20 years, restoring Flynn’s design intent to the championship course by putting back most of his original bunkers while adding others to deal with the challenges of modern equipment. Nagle has also renovated the Highlands nine, originally designed by another architect, to more closely resemble the main eighteen, and has also constructed multiple practice facilities. Lancaster greens chair Rory Connaughton says: “Nagle has a gift for marrying the aesthetic and strategy of the Golden Age with the realities of the modern game. His work on classic courses has ensured that they remain a challenge without compromising the strategic and aesthetic elements.” Also this year, Nagle’s major renovation of Bill Diddel’s design at Meridian Hills in Indianapolis will open in the late spring. 

Jim Nagle at Lancaster
Jim Nagle at Lancaster

Nagle has also signed up to deliver a new masterplan for one of Flynn’s earliest works Eagles Mere course in northern Pennsylvania. “Eagles Mere is a step back in time, the course is routed through a wooded landscape, with greens played as intended with tricky swells and knobs still being used for hole locations because of the slower speeds. Rock debris piles from the original construction remain untouched sitting between holes. Fairway are pockmarked with small humps and kettles from the cuts and clearing of the forest to build the holes. A few holes provide mountain and peak vistas as far as the eye can see.”

In 2025, Nagle commences restoration of Dick Wilson’s North course at NCR Country Club in Ohio. “The North has really not been touched very much since Wilson built it in 1954,” says Nagle. “We will focus on peeling back seventy years of growth to revive the original shapes and strategies.”

In addition to the work at NCR and Eagles Mere, Nagle will also be rolling over a recently signed Forse Design project with the Westwood Country Club, a Hugh Alison-designed course in the western suburbs of Cleveland. This comes after a highly successful restoration project with the venerable Alison-designed Kirtland Country Club elsewhere in the city, where Nagle has served as the lead architect for nearly twenty years. 

“The next few years are going to be very exciting,” says Nagle. “Ron Forse and I will continue to collaborate on projects. I am enthused and I look forward to taking on interesting new original design, renovation, and restoration projects. These are good times.”

In a bunker at Phladelphia CC by Brett Nagy of Mottin Golf
In a bunker at Phladelphia CC by Brett Nagy of Mottin Golf

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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