American Society of Golf Course Architects

2000 ASGCA Donald Ross Award recipient Ortiz-Patino dies

ASGCA members were saddened to hear of the recent passing of Jaime Ortiz-Patino. Ortiz-Patino, the founder of Valderrama Golf Club in Spain and the recipient of the 2000 ASGCA Donald Ross Award, died in January at age 82.

When Ortiz-Patino accepted the Ross Award at the 2000 ASGCA Annual Meeting in Ireland, he was descibed as the supporter of, "numerous programs for the preservation of the environment and was an integral part in bringing together members of the World Wildlife Fund; International Olympic Committee; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Foundation; United States Golf Association and others to establish the Valderrama Declaration. The objective of the declaration is to establish a proactive perspective within the golf community by initiating and supporting environmental education, research and conservation programs."

Speaking to ASGCA members and industry leaders and diginitaries, Ortiz-Patino may have been ahead of his time in discussing the sustainability of golf courses. "Governments all over the world have taken up the idea and many of them take it very seriously," he said. "Sustainable development is an ideal which the golf world can easily live with, since golf as a use of land is highly sustainable.”

Ortiz-Patino also spoke in glowing terms about the award's namesake and ASGCA founding member, Donald Ross.

“No architect in Ross’ day had more influence on the craft. He transformed golf course design into an art form,” he said. “Ross always advocated that a course must be designed on land, not paper, and he had an innate understanding of the true intent of the game. This, combined with his reverence for nature and sympathy for players of all abilities, explains his supreme mastery.”