Apr 7, 1959
Austin, Minnesota, United States


It's not an exaggeration to say Brian Curley was born into the golf design business.

He was raised in Pebble Beach, which of course, is golf course royalty in the United States. He worked at Pebble Beach, caddied at Pebble Beach and played it one or two times.

Like his future business partner, Lee Schmidt, Curley got his start in the business working under legendary designer Pete Dye. But it was in 1997, when Curley and Schmidt formed Schmidt-Curley Design that Curley really made his mark in the business.

As the game of golf exploded in the Asian markets, Schmidt-Curley Design became the leading course developers in places like Thailand, Japan and China. They've built more than 40 golf courses in Asia, including the 10 courses at Mission Hills Haikou, one hour north of Hong Kong. Mission Hills is billed as the "World's Largest Golf Club," and its Lava Fields Course was named the "Best New Course" internationally by GOLF Magazine in 2011. Also, the Schmidt-Curley-designed Blackstone Course was voted the "No. 1 course in China" in 2012 by Asian Golf Monthly.

In fact, Curley doesn't list as his proudest accomplishment golf courses like Southern Dunes in Maricopa, Ariz. or Crosby National Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Instead, it's the work he and Schmidt have done in China.

"Developing courses in China on very difficult and severe lands," Curley told "And to create golf on something that is that incredibly difficult of a property to begin with, there aren't too many people that can do that, and I know that those courses don't get the same attention that you get on some of the more natural courses, but to me I think that when you can take something that has no business being a golf course and turn it into something that is world class golf is a huge accomplishment."

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