A Master Experiential Artist

Golf course architecture has always fascinated me.  A specialty within the landscape architecture field, it requires a unique combination of engineering and artistry.

In Charleston, we have courses designed by some of the greatest architects in the world. From Pete Dye to Tom Fazio, to my favorite – Mike Strantz.

Mike made Charleston his home. And although his life was cut short in his prime, his impact on the industry – and on the game of golf – is undeniable. He’s designed courses from coast to coast and is widely considered one of the top 10 greatest golf course architects of all time.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have played two of his nine masterpieces; Bull’s Bay in Mount Pleasant, and Caledonia in Pawley’s Island.  From the shape and contour of each hole, to the unexpected landscape encounters between green and tee box, Mike considered every moment of a four hour round of golf. He understood that the game was just part of the experience. The courses he designed are truly experiential art.

His courses aside, Mike stands out in another way. In addition to the architectural and engineering skills that he possessed, he was also an amazing artist. Not only could he mechanically engineer a course from a common plot of land, he could also turn around express his vision artistically.

His drawings and paintings of signature holes adore the clubhouse of Caledonia and Bull’s bay. Given his genius, I can only assume that the other courses that bear his name have an original piece of Mike Strantz art hanging on their clubhouse wall as well.

And since several of them are on my bucket list, I intend to find that out for myself.


“…how grateful the players and I are for being able to play this special course. It is now one of my favorite courses on tour.” 

— PHIL MICKELSON, PGA, – on the Monterey Peninsula Shore Course experience