In the past six months, I've had the opportunity to play one third of architect Mike Strantz's golf courses. That may sound like an impressive total, but because he died much too early, at age 50, his portfolio is limited to nine courses. But if the three I've played are representative of his work, Mike Strantz was indeed an artist of golf course design.
Mike Strantz was raised in Toledo, OH, and attended Michigan State University. After graduating in 1978, he returned to Toledo to work for Tom Fazio, who was then preparing the Inverness Club to host the 1979 U.S. Open. Strantz continued to work for Fazio for the next eight years, honing his skills on courses like Moss Creek Plantation in Hilton Head, the Links and Harbor courses at Wild Dunes near Charleston, Lake Nona in Orlando, Osprey Point on Kiawah Island, and Black Diamond Ranch in Florida.