We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Tom Weiskopf, who, in close partnership with Jay Morrish, designed our iconic golf course on Lake Oconee. Weiskopf passed away on Saturday, August 20th, at age 79 due to pancreatic cancer.
With 16 PGA tour wins between 1968 and 1982 and four Open Champion Tour wins, plus four victories on the PGA Tour Champions, Tom also claimed his sole major championship at the British Open at Troon in 1973. Tom also finished runner-up at the Masters four times and tied for second at the 1976 U.S. Open. His success was based mainly on the strength of his classic golf swing, considered one of the best in the sport.
However, some say that Weiskopf didn’t discover his true calling until after his playing days on the PGA tour were over. In 1984, the Ohio native teamed up with golf course designer Jay Morrish to create Troon North in Scottsdale, Ariz. Their 12-year partnership was prosperous, resulting in the creation of nearly two dozen high-profile courses, including ours at Harbor Club–the duo’s first course design east of the Mississippi.
At Torrey Pines in 2017, Weiskopf stated, “I look at golf courses a lot of different ways, but I look at the aesthetic course each course can offer. You create aesthetic value by having big mature trees, beautiful vista water features, and bunker styles. That creates the beauty of the golf course…” It’s easy to see Tom’s design vision with six of our golf holes set beautifully along the shoreline of Lake Oconee.
Many know that a well-known standard of Weiskopf’s golf course designs was the drivable par 4. Tom’s inspiration for that came from playing the Old Course at St. Andrews. There, he could drive four of the par 4s, depending on certain wind conditions. In keeping with that, our golf course is a 7,048-yard layout that skirts four creeks with an appealing pair of short, drivable risk-reward par 4s.
Tom Weiskopf made a substantial contribution to golf throughout the world. His beautifully-designed golf courses remain as testaments to his love for the game. He’ll be missed by all at Harbor Club on Lake Oconee, and our hearts and deepest sympathies go out to the Weiskopf family during this sad time.