Posted: December 17th in News & Press

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The Challenge Course at Monarch Dunes, 10th green.

The highest honor bestowed by the American Society of Golf Course Architects is the “Design Excellence” award, and Pascuzzo & Pate Golf Course Design is thrilled to be one of the 2015 winners for its concept of “The Challenge Course” in both California and Idaho.

The ASGCA’s third annual Design Excellence Recognition Program cited exceptional golf course work in the United States and Asia by member architects. The Challenge Course at Monarch Dunes in Nipomo, Calif., and The Challenge Course at Spurwing in Meridian, Idaho, are the honored designs by Pascuzzo & Pate.

Determined to “help grow the game, from the ground up,” Damian Pascuzzo and partner Steve Pate have been working the past six years on what they call “The Challenge Course Concept,” an alternative to traditional golf layouts. The “Challenge Course” consists of nine to 12 holes, each with multiple grass tees, bunkering, water features, trees and all of the other elements that make up a top-quality golf course.

“To us, the award means we are on the right track with our design philosophy and approach to innovative, interesting new golf courses,” Damian said. “We want to thank the ASGCA for appreciating our efforts to stretch the design envelope.”

The Challenge Courses in Nipomo and Meridian both are within residential developments, where the lot premiums are the same as those homes located on the regulation course. Among the distinctive design features are the oversized, undulating greens, which are built and look every bit like those on a championship golf course. Each green is played with two flags – one in a more accessible location, with the other in a more difficult spot.

Both Damian and Stave are convinced that that their “Challenge Course” concept can have a positive impact on the future of the industry – not to mention the game.

“Our Challenge Course designs illustrate how we as architects can respond to the way people live today,” Steve said. “It is important to the future of golf to present new environments in which to play and where everyone can enjoy the game.”