Jim Krajicek Photo                                    The PAramount Club     



Designing and building golf courses for over 30 years

Consulting

Jim uses that same in the field philosophy when consulting on Golden Age designs, including several golf courses designed by Alister Mackenzie. He has also consulted on the works of Charles Blair Macdonald, William Flynn, Donald Ross, Seth Raynor, A.W. Tillinghast, Vernon Macan, Devereux Emmett, Walter Travis and C.H. Alison to name a few. By preserving these classic courses Jim not only encapsulates these timeless designs he gains knowledge from what made these courses so legendary. Never out of vogue and created with a personal touch. He continues to search out clubs with an interest in preserving the past without the notion of change for sake of modernization.  

Jim spent several years restoring Pasatiempo Golf Club. The club’s inability to close the course required that the restoration of the bunkers and greens happen over a longer period of time. They were very time consuming. The meticulous work that Mackenzie and Hunters construction crews took to create the bunkers also required that we spend the same amount of time to faithfully restore that flare.  The Valley Club of Montecito and Claremont were the other Mackenzie designs that received that special attention.

Many of the clubs that have experienced Jim’s work including Yeamans Hall, The Valley Club of Montecito and San Francisco Golf where greens were resurfaced. Jim spent his time surveying and floating out each and every green so that
no details were left undone.  Jim oversaw all of the work and assisted the clubs with construction costs, construction timelines and overseeing the shapers that performed the work.  Recently Jim had the chance to completely redo the Bob O'Link club in Chicago, keeping the spirit of Charles Alison alive.  It has reopened to rave reviews.

The belief that not every golf course should be 8,500 yards long and prepped for championship play is the standard that Jim is trying to do when consulting at established clubs across the country. These ideas are not sustainable in today’s golfing climate.  Make the course enjoyable for most players providing ample variety and testing shots.  

He looks forward to many more years hand crafting golf courses in a timeless manner
. Creating his own design or assisting in the creation of a golf course for someone willing to let golf evolve. 

Biography

Like Perry Maxwell who began his career working with golf course designers such as Alister Mackenzie, Jim Urbina began his education in golf design working with legendary golf course designer Pete Dye.  Jim did not have any preconceived notions of what a good golf course should look like nor did he have a golf game that formed a design philosophy that he must adhere to. He learned from the ground up. Walking with Pete listening to what was important to him, sometimes kneeling down in the dirt with Pete so he could shape with his hands what he wanted the feature to look like. Pete Dye would look on as Jim would shape a green or sometimes even climbing on a tractor to show Jim what he wanted.  When Pete knew Jim didn’t understand a concept he would send him packing on a plane to look at a golf hole he was trying to emulate. Today, Jim is still spending considerable time looking at golf courses gathering ideas and formulating plans.


Jim went on to work for Pete and his son Perry on many of their designs in the Asian rim during the Japanese golf boom. He quickly was put to work assisting with the large grading maps for many of the golf courses being built in the late 80’s. Jim has a degree from University of Northern Colorado in Education. He taught high school drafting prior to golf; it’s that ability to visualize in three dimensions and his knowledge of topographical mapping that helped his learning process. 

During the tenure with the Dye family he met Tom Doak. Jim would later leave the Dyes and for the next 17 years he would create and build golf courses with Tom Doak. Always in the same fashion he first learned with Pete Dye, using the model of design/build. Jim went on to build many golf courses using in-house crews, including Apache Stronghold, Pacific Dunes, Sebonack and Old Macdonald.  


Now that Jim has been on his own for six years, he continues that  close working relationship  with many talented shapers and construction crews that he has worked with over many years. The foundation he first learned from Pete Dye has served Jim well in his many years in the golf business.  "A talented team is the foundation for every great golf course built in the last 100 years."  Studying great golf courses like St. Andrews, Cypress Point, Prairie Dunes, the National Golf Links and Pinehurst #2 helped build a foundation for the future.  From the very first days in the field crafting and shaping ideas to co-designing Old Macdonald, the foundation has always stayed the same.  Being on the ground "in the field willing to try new ideas"; he trys to use local labor crews when possible and recently created the new Punchbowl Green at the Bandon Dunes Resort relying on the Pacific Dunes maintenance crew to complete all of the construction work.

"Golf is supposed to be fun, Spread the word" - Jim Urbina