Ask a golfer in the United States to name a great golf course designer and they might say Pete Dye, Donald Ross or, if they're younger, Jack Nicklaus.

Ask a Canadian golfer who has built some of the great courses and Les Furber's name will surely roll off his tongue.

Furber has designed more than 60 golf courses across Canada and remodeled 52 more. He's as much a national treasure in Canada as hockey and the Canadian Mounted Police.

Furber's introduction to golf was one of happenstance. He was working construction in the early 1960s and he and two buddies were hired to work on a golf course in Santa Barbara, Calif. Over the years, he toiled on golf course construction projects throughout California learning, as he said, "from the ground up."

But it wasn't until after the Vietnam War that his career really took off. He was planning to go home to Saskatchewan when Robert Trent Jones offered him the opportunity to work in Europe. He helped build 18 courses in Europe and the Dominican Republic before returning to Canada.

Furber's most notable golf courses in Canada include Predator Ridge, Gallagher's Canyon, Trickle Creek, The Springs at Radium, St. Eugene Mission in B.C., and Silver Tip at Canmore.

Furber, a 10-handicap, had a simple philosophy when it came to designing courses.

"I think one of the great things I learned from Robert Trent Jones Sr. is you have to cater to the masses," he told The Edmonton Journal in 2007. "I have always been designing courses for the average golfer, probably as much or more than most architects, because of having worked with Robert Trent Jones, Sr. If I get any accolades from people it's that my courses are quite fair and there's ... an alternate way to play shots and shoot a good score."

He also had some simple advice for golf designers just starting out in the business: "Learn early in [your] career all the things that people dislike about courses and avoid doing those things," he said.

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