When people ask “How did you get into golf course architecture?” I normally respond, “Hard work, and a lot of luck.” It is the truth, just simplified. My relentless pursuit of becoming an architect has taken me around the world. I managed to get my foot in the door working on some great projects during the recent slow period for golf. I graduated college in 2009 when most architects I would write to had just let go of employees, or had all of their work put on hold. That's when I started to teach myself Chinese, learned how to operate heavy equipment, and soon enough everything changed. Somehow I managed to keep myself pretty busy since then building golf courses for some of the best architects in the business when so many said it was virtually impossible.

My interest in golf courses is curious one growing up in the heart of New York City. Having travel to out to the suburbs to play golf at different public courses got me analyzing courses, but the biggest ah ha moment came from a chance encounter with Shinnicock Hills #7 during the 2005 US Open. My unlikely path started with me from a high-school honors project where I designed a golf course on the schools campus, to writing a Tillinghast thesis in College, where I now go back as a guest speaker to a freshman seminar on golf course architecture. Then at 25 years old opportunity knocked, and I got to go to work for Tom Doak on his upcoming project in China. Before that started I found my way onto his team for the Rio 2016 Olympic proposal, and learned minimalism first hand working on the crew of Dismal River in the Sandhills of Nebraska, before my 2 years on an Island in China even started.

I founded Proper Golf in 2014 when I returned from China. Starting Proper Golf allowed me the ability to continue working for Renaissance Golf Design as an independent shaper, while also allowing me the opportunity to pursue shaping work with other architects, like Gil Hanse, and begin taking on design work of my own. I have been really lucky to have the opportunity to take on projects of my own, implementing my own blend of the design/shape model for the first time at The Village Club of Sands Point on the North Shore of Long Island, NY. For a young, and eager architect and shaper like myself, looking to make the leap into the next phase of my career, the last few years have allowed me to take my passion for golf course architecture to a whole new level.

Somehow I have managed to find the time to see hundreds of golf courses around the world along the way. I have counted my Doak Points, and read virtually every book on the subject. I was invited to serve on a panel for The Golf Hole Hall of Fame, and rated courses for a magazine. You can find my pictures in the USGA Architectural Archives, articles in Golf Architecture (the magazine), and more...

If nothing else I have worked tirelessly in building my career in architecture the old fashioned way, and am eager to continue to bring my take on fun and artistic golf courses to interesting projects around the world. As a culmination of my relentless travels, study, and work in golf construction and architecture, I have founded Proper Golf to continue building the thoughtful, fun, low impact and artistic golf I love so much.

Jaeger Kovich
Proper Golf

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