Tom Weiskopf took up golf at age 15 and within a year was shooting in the 70s. It was little wonder to those who witnessed his elegant swing, which he used to win 16 PGA Tour titles including the 1973 Open Championship.

And so it was with Weiskopf's introduction to the golf design business. Without any formal training, he collaborated with Jay Morrish to create the 36 exquisite holes at Troon North in Arizona.

And with that, the gifted and artistic Weiskopf was off and running in his second career.

Three decades later, Weiskopf has built more than 55 courses. His favorite is Loch Lomond in Scotland, which he fashioned largely alone after Morrish suffered a heart attack. It hosted the Scottish Open for 10 years and ranks in the world's top 100.

It's not the only Weiskopf course golf fans are be familiar with. TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course has hosted the Phoenix Open since 1987 and his Resort Course at La Cantera hosted the Texas Open from 1995-2009.

Many of Weiskopf's other U.S. designs are highly acclaimed, including Double Eagle Golf Course in Galena, Ohio, and Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz. Both rank among the nation's top 100. Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon, Mich. and both of the courses at Troon North in Scottsdale, Ariz. are in the nation's top 100 courses you can play, according to Golf Magazine. In 1989, Golf Digest named Shadow Glen Golf Club in Olathe, Kansas the year's best new private course.

For a player who earned the unflattering nicknames of "Terrible Tom" and the "Towering Inferno," Weiskopf has a surprisingly gentile touch with his designs. He prefers natural lines to man-made features, playable layouts to severe ones and has made his most indelible mark in the industry with the drivable par 4.

"My courses do not intimidate," he said. "Instead, they encourage the player to play well and become more open to the enjoyable aspects of the game."

Weiskopf credits Alister MacKenzie as his favorite course designer. As a college player, he was profoundly influenced by MacKenzie's Scarlet Course at Ohio State, which makes great use of deception.

"I aim to provide playability, maintainablilty, memorability and versatility," Weiskopf said.

Most who have played Weiskopf's designs would agree that his aim is true.

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