Mike Strantz


1955 - 2005

Strantz was listed as one of the “Top 10 Greatest Golf Architects of All Time” by Golfweek in 2000, and he was earlier described as the “most in-demand course designer in the U.S.” by Golf World in 1989.

Maverick Golf Course Design

With only nine courses completed before his death at 50, Mike Strantz was taken far too early. If you’ve teed it up at any of his courses, you can see genius, artistry, and irreverence in each, but none more so than Tobacco Road. With a love it or hate it design, the polarizing course is the quintessential Strantz layout. Built on an old sand quarry, it is creative, unique, and tough, but somehow, deceptively fair. Most of all, the course is a blast. If you’re headed to North Carolina to play Pinehurst, you’re missing out if you don’t add Tobacco Road to your itinerary. 

Strantz earned a degree in turf grass management from Michigan State and got his start on the ground crew at Inverness Club in Toledo. It was there that he met Tom Fazio, who was prepping the course for the 1979 U.S. Open. Fazio invited Strantz to join his construction team in Hilton Head, South Carolina and went on to work for Fazio as an on-site designer at Wild Dunes, Lake Nona, Wade Hampton Club, Osprey Point, and Black Diamond Ranch in Florida. 

Strantz struck out on his own in 1988, forming Maverick Golf Course Design and applying his own design principles, first to Caledonia Golf & Fish Club and last to the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club. Each design bold and unique, providing players with the excitement he felt golfers wanted in every round.